Report: Mesa County air quality improving

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- A new report from the American Lung Association shows the air in Mesa County is a little cleaner than it was a year ago.

The report card gives Mesa County a ‘B’ for ozone levels and a ‘C’ for pollutant levels in the air in the air. Last year, the report gave the area a failing grade for Ozone.

“I feel like it’s clean and fresh and we're outside quite a bit,” said Tamara Zimmerer, out at Canyon View Park.

Mesa County Public Health officials said they use different ways to monitor air quality, but they too, agree it’s looking good.

“The EPA gets the air quality monitor information that we have here in the Grand Valley then they let us know when we get out of that good category," said Katie Goddeyne, spokesperson for the Mesa County Public Health.

In 2016, health officials said there was only one day where air levels fell below “good” conditions. That’s when the focus is on those who have trouble breathing.

“People who have asthma or upper respiratory conditions...that's kind of when it gets to be a more difficult thing for them to be breathing,” Goddeyne said.

'Citizens for Clean Air' said that there is more people can do to keep the air clean.

"It may present an inconvenience, but I say it’s worth it for our kids,” said Karen Sjoberg, a member of Citizens for Clear Air. “We can try to carpool. We can walk to work if you can, or ride your bike. If you can, you can also drive your car less."

The biggest concern for the air in the Grand Valley comes with inversions. Mesa County Public Health said an inversion creates a cap on the Valley, which traps gasses like car exhaust.

“There have been times where I didn't want to go outside because the air was yellow,” Sjoberg said. “I’d like to find the source of those and really do something about it. Some years are better...some years are absolutely horrible."

While air quality remains a large focus in the area, the air is looking pretty healthy.

“We are very fortunate to have really good air quality here in Mesa County and a lot of that has to do with residents and what they're doing,” Goddeyne said.

You can find the American Lung Association report by clicking the link to the right of the story.

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