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air quality

Graphics demonstrating how air pollution influences people's health
American Lung Association

Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and air quality in the Tampa Bay area is getting slightly worse. 

That's according to the American Lung Association, which also said that while this can affect people with chronic respiratory diseases, it's also a likely challenge for COVID-19 survivors.

Between 2013 and 2017, Hillsborough County had the most polluted air in Florida with 16 days where it exceeded smog concentrations. No other county came close to that.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Resource Management

Florida environmental officials released a proposal last week, outlining what to do with settlement funds from the Volkswagen emission scandal. Activists are not satisfied with the state's plan.

Seventeen states, including Florida, are asking a federal judge to review a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency move to force more cuts in carbon emissions from power plants.

The petition, filed Tuesday in a federal appeals court in Washington, charges the EPA with illegally invalidating the states' air quality protection plans.

EPA sets national air standards and identifies pollutants that pose public health dangers. States must implement plans to comply with these standards.