A report shows New York City's air is fourth-cleanest among major U.S. cities
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says New York City's air is the cleanest it's been in 50 years. And looking forward to the next administration, he says reducing air pollution should be simple, as it's just common sense.
"Everybody knows what we have to do. There's no new science here. Stop putting the stuff in the air and you will clean up the air," he explained.
The mayor says levels of sulfur dioxide, a chemical linked to increased asthma and emphysema, have decreased by 69 percent citywide in the past four years. And he says these low levels are due to the city's PlaNYC Clean Heat program, which encourages using cleaner fuels or natural gas to warm buildings.
New York is now ranked fourth in cleanest air among major American cities, up from seventh. Mayor Bloomberg says these results prove that the benefits of being environmentally conscious can no longer be denied.
"People understand this is their health. The air you breathe has a lot to do with how long you're going to live and the quality of your life," said the mayor.
He says the cleaner air will prevent 800 deaths and 2,000 trips to the emergency room in New York City each year.