Study finds Philly ranked one of worst metropolitan areas for air quality

Experts calling for more enforcement of existing laws

Mike Dougherty
July 12, 2018 - 6:14 pm
Smoke still pours from the scene of a huge junk yard fire in Kensington, Philadelphia.

Sam Clover/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Millions of people in Philadelphia and the surrounding area experience unhealthy air more often than in most parts of the country, according to a study. 

Environmental experts and politicians are calling for tighter restrictions and more enforcement of existing laws. 

"In 2016, here in Philadelphia, 111 days the air quality was below the acceptable standard," said Kelly Flanigan, an associate at PennEnvironment.

The study found Philadelphia is ranked eighth out of the 10 worst metropolitan areas for air quality. Flanigan fears it could get worse if proposed legislation loosens the current EPA emissions standards. 

Experts believe residents in these areas are at greater risk for asthma and other respiratory ailments.

RELATED: Clean air advocates warn public of hazardous matter from Kensington fire

State Rep. Chris Rabb is working on a bill to make Pennsylvania 100 percent reliant on renewable energy by 2050.

"This has to happen. The question is, do we have the political will to make it happen sooner as opposed to later," he said.

He noted he has bipartisan support because everyone has a contractual right to breathe clean air.