In the news
The Environment Montana Research and Policy Center has released a city-by-city report on air pollution in Montana.
Director Skye Borden and Hardin, Montana pediatrician Lori Byron held a telephone press briefing on Thursday to discuss the causes and effects of air pollution in the state.
“Our message today is clear,” Borden began. “Even one day with unhealthy air is too many. We think burning dirty fuels like coal, oil and gas threatens our health, and it’s time to switch to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. Today’s report on health at risk says that air pollution remains a major threat to our health in Montana.”
Borden quoted from the report that targeted two of the valleys in western Montana.
“Some key findings in the report include that two counties in Montana, Ravalli and Lincoln, were among the 10 worst rural counties in the nation in terms of particulate matter pollution,” she said. “People here in Missoula experienced 112 days, that’s all at the start of the year, with elevation soot pollution in 2015.”
Hardin pediatrician Lori Byron echoed the warning about climate change.
“Major health societies have called air pollution climate change the greatest threat to be the greatest threat to public health in the 21st century,” Byron said. “Wildfires affect everyone in Montana, even when we’re hundreds of miles away. Children and pregnant woman are hurt more, as well as farmers and athletes and those who love the great outdoors are also more at risk.”
The solution, according to Borden and Byron, is for the public to wholeheartedly embrace climate change.
“The biggest solution is that we all need to stand up and defend climate change and to defend all actions to protect us against climate change,” Borden said. “I think we need to support the Clean Power Plan, and to fight back against budget cuts at the EPA.”
Click here to read the report.