There have been significant improvements in air and water quality in the state over the last two decades, according to a new state report.
Jessica Jones: The 2011 State of the Environment Report evaluates the quality of the state's environment. It's a scientifically based review released by the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources that also describes the department's efforts to protect natural resources and identifies emerging issues. The report says since the 1980s air quality has improved substantially with lower ozone and particle pollution levels. That's thanks to the cooperation of business and industry and more stringent federal air quality standards for cars. Better management strategies are now in place to reduce fish kills and algal blooms in river basins. And progress has been made in cleaning up contaminated properties that have an impact on the water supply. The report says continuing to improve air and water quality will still be a challenge. And it mentions an ongoing study to identify issues associated with oil and gas exploration in the state, including hydraulic fracturing.