Report Gives Gold Stars for Maine’s Air and Water Quality

April 29, 2014

CONTACT:

For Immediate Release: April 29, 2014

Contact: Jessamine Logan, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, jessamine.logan@maine.gov or 287-5842

AUGUSTA- The people of Maine can breathe easy and be proud of clean water in the State. That’s what the 2014 Measures of Growth In Focus report from the Maine Economic Growth Council and Maine Development Council indicates about the environmental quality of life in Maine.

Prepared by the MDF, the 27 economy, community and environment indicators reflect the quality of life in Maine. The report gives Maine gold stars for its Air and Water Quality.

“The department is proud that the report highlights what we’ve known all along, Maine’s environment is healthy,” said Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho. “A clean environment is vital to the people of Maine who need healthy air and water and to the industries that depend on Maine’s iconic natural resources. “

Citing the department’s data on Air Quality, the report notes that this year Maine has made progress in meeting its benchmark that the number of days that fall into either moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy or very unhealthy and the severity of the health categories will continue to decline through 2015. In 2013, only 23 days fell into the designated categories and no days fell into the unhealthy or very unhealthy categories.

Maine’s air is in compliance with all National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Bureau of Air Quality Director Marc Cone said “I’ve worked closely with private industry and know the stringent controls emission sources must have in place to comply with state and federal rules and regulations. It is because of this work with the private sector that our air is clean and, in fact, in the last 10 years we have seen a 20 to 50 percent reduction in pollutant levels.”

The report also noted that Maine’s Water Quality is cleaner than the US average. By using data from the department and the Environmental Protection Agency, the report noted the Maine’s rivers, streams and lakes were cleaner than the US average.

“All of the work that the department does to improve the environment in Maine, helps protect Maine’s water quality. Whether it’s DEP Responses protecting a waterbody from a spill, the Air Quality Bureau working with emission sources to use control technology to permitting landfills that reduce leachate, the department works together to ensure Maine’s water quality is something we can all be proud of,” said Bureau of Land and Water Quality Director Mick Kuhns. “While there was not updated data available for the 2014 report, the most recent data indicates Maine’s water will continue to remain above the national average.”

For more information about the Maine Economic Growth Council and to view the full 2014 Measures of Growth In Focus report : http://www.mdf.org/publications/Measures-of-Growth-In-Focus-2014/720/.

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