North Dakota’s air quality receives ‘A’ grade

The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” Annual Report for 2012 gave eight North Dakota counties “A” grades for lack of ozone, also known as smog. One of the eight is Oliver County, where Minnkota’s Milton R. Young Station is located.

Oliver County and Mercer County, which also received an “A” grade, are home to five of the state’s seven power plants and the lignite-to-natural gas Great Synsfuel Plant.

In addition to the counties, Bismarck ranked as one of the cleanest cities in the nation for ozone and lack of particulates, also known as dust. Fargo was also among the top 25 cleanest cities for lack of particulates.

In compiling the annual report each of the past 13 years, the lung association used local data that was submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency. This year’s report covers the years 2008 to 2010.

The lung association is not alone in its assessment of North Dakota’s air quality. The EPA has designated North Dakota as one of only nine states to meet all of the nation’s strict federal ambient air quality standards.

Utilities in North Dakota have invested nearly $2 billion in technology to help protect the environment. Approximately $425 million has been invested in environmental improvements at the Young Station in the last six years.

To see CCEC’s emissions report, visit and click on the Conservation and Environement tab and select Emissions Data.

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