Take a deep breath and rest assured the air you breathe is some of the cleanest in the nation. Visitors and residents are reminded of this in a proclamation made by Governor Rick Scott for the the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to recognize May as National Clean Air Month.
"Floridians breathe some of the cleanest air in the nation, thanks to the efforts of the department to protect our air quality and the investment of significant financial resources to upgrade and increase air monitoring statewide," said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. in a recent DEP press release. "Florida air emissions are the lowest on record, thanks to the department's work during Governor Rick Scott's administration to curb air pollution statewide."
The DEP reports a reduction in the emission of key industrial pollutants that contribute to the formation of ozone and fine particulate matter and over the past decade power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides has decreased 83 percent.
"We all play a role in ensuring Florida's air quality remains among the best in the country and is enjoyable for both residents and visitors," said Brian Accardo, director of the Division of Air Resource Management. "Smart personal decisions, hard work by local and state air program professionals, and increased compliance by businesses, all contribute to the protection of this valuable resource."
On April 30, 2014, the American Lung Association released the State of the Air 2014 where Florida reportedly experienced zero unhealthy days for ozone pollution during the three-year study period. Ten cities in Florida were listed among the three clean air categories, more than any other state. Cape Coral-Fort Myers area is named one of the three "cleanest cities" for having no days with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution and one of 25 cities with lowest year-round particle levels.