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Pa. air quality by the numbers: Here's how Lancaster ranks against 12 other regions [chart]

There's an air quality alert in Lancaster County today. So what does that mean?

Particle pollution comes from a variety of sources such as cars, power plants, factories, construction sites, forest fires, and municipal waste incinerators. 

Lancaster County's air quality is the worst in Pennsylvania, according to a new report from PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group.

The report covers calendar year 2018, showing how many days air quality monitors reported elevated levels of ozone (aka smog) and particle pollution (aka soot).

The 2018 numbers are better than those from PennEnvironment's previous report, for 2016, which showed 179 days that one or both levels were elevated — 168 for particle pollution and 46 for ozone.

Here's why Lancaster County, despite its wholesome reputation, has such bad air [We the People report]
Lancaster's air quality is worst in Pennsylvania, report says

Here are the regions with the most days of elevated air pollution in 2018:

1. Lancaster

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 119

- 2018 population: 543,557


2. Harrisburg

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 114

- 2018 population: 574,659


3. Lebanon

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 105

- 2018 population: 141,314


4. Lehigh Valley

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 99

- 2018 population: 842,913



5. Reading

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 96

- 2018 population: 420,152


6. York

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 96

- 2018 population: 448,273


7. Pittsburgh

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 90

- 2018 population: 2,234,743


8. Philadelphia

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 85

- 2018 population: 6,096,372


Lancaster County's air quality, among the worst in the country, again gets failing grades

9. Erie

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 85

- 2018 population: 272,061


10. Gettysburg

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 71

- 2018 population: 102,811


11. Altoona

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 66

- 2018 population: 112,492


12. Johnstown

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 66

- 2018 population: 131,730


13. Scranton

- Days of elevated air pollution in 2018: 50

- 2018 population: 555,485

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