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DNR: Wisconsin’s air quality continues to improve over 20 years

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Air Quality (Sky Photo)

WISCONSIN (WQOW) - Wisconsin residents are breathing cleaner air than they were 20 years ago according to a new DNR report.

The report compiles data of Wisconsin's air quality over the last two decades.

According to the annual report, concentrations of most pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act have been decreasing in all regions of the state.

Experts said Wisconsin continues to meet federal standards for particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and lead, meaning we're either at or below the level of air pollutants that should not be exceeded during a specified time.

Some may wonder how air quality can continue to improve when we've had multiple wildfires around the country and in neighboring Minnesota.

Experts said it's because the report has data trends through 2020, and so this year's wildfires are not factored in.

So, what's contributing to the pollution concentration decrease?  Officials said we have different state and federal pollution control programs to thank.

"The greatest reductions are a direct result of cleaner burning and more efficient fuel combustion from things like highway vehicles and electric utilities. Today's cars and trucks are running a lot more efficiently and a lot cleaner than they were 20 years ago," said Craig Czarnecki, a public information specialist of the DNR Air Program.

Ways you can help improve your neighborhood's air quality include unplugging gadgets, turning off lights when they are not in use, composting leaves instead of burning them, maintaining your car's tire pressure and regularly changing its oil so it releases fewer emissions.

To look at the air quality in your part of the state, you can click/tap here for the Wisconsin's Air Quality Web Map.

You can also sign up to receive air quality alerts.

Email us your story ideas to news@wqow.com

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