BAKERSFIELD - The air we breathe is improving, but there is still a long way to reach the national standard for air cleanness.
In 2013, for the first time in recorded history, the San Joaquin Valley did not record any violations of the hourly ozone standard established under the federal Clean Air Act, according to a study called "California's Progress Toward Clean Air" released Wednesday. The study includes local and statewide air quality data from 2013.
The San Joaquin Valley exceeded the standard during 281 individual hours in 1996.
It also highlights the progress and challenges left for improving air quality in the San Joaquin Valley.
Kern County's air quality is among the worst in the nation and has been linked to everything from asthma to heart disease.
The report said San Joaquin has made significant progress in the last decade, but cites weather stagnation and lack of rain for the continued high numbers.
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