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Michigan's air quality continues to improve, report shows

Cover of 2020 Air Quality Annual ReportThe Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy recently released the 2020 Air Quality report, showing pollutant levels in Michigan have continued to decrease since the 1970s, when monitoring of outdoor air began.

The federal Clean Air Act requires the United States Environmental Protection Agency to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards for six criteria pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. EGLE's Air Quality Division monitors for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter smaller than 10 and 2.5 microns in diameter (PM10 and PM2.5, respectively), and sulfur dioxide.

In 2020, the entire state of Michigan was in attainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. Portions of the state are in nonattainment for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ozone, however levels of those pollutants are also decreasing.

EGLE is currently working on State Implementation Plans to reduce pollutants further and bring the entire state into attainment for SO2 and ozone.

EGLE has established a network of more than 40 monitoring sites throughout the state. The monitoring locations measure one or more of the criteria pollutants, and many look at other things like air toxics, metals and meteorological data.

Full details are available in the report.

Photo caption: Cover of 2020 Air Quality report.

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