The American Lung Association gave Barnstable County, a failing grade for having the worst air quality in the State of Massachusetts in a report released entitled, State Of The Air 2003.Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts – May 5, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The report calls for strict enforcement of the Clean Air Act to reduce pollution from America’s aging fleet of fossil fuel power plants. The Massachusetts and Maine Constituent Offices of the American Lung Association both submitted letters last year to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) to point out another way to improve air quality – to replace fossil fuel generation with clean energy sources like wind. Boston-based Cape Wind Associates would offer just such an option if their proposed offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound survives the gauntlet of regulation, permitting, and public debate. The EOEA has joined the ranks of organizations that have stepped up in support of the Cape Wind proposal. In his letter about Cape Wind to the EOEA last year, Carlos Alvarez, Executive Director of the American Lung Association of Massachusetts wrote: “Projects such as the one proposed by Cape Wind Associates would help to transform this energy production profile by putting 420 megawatts of clean energy on the grid. The quality of the air that we breathe directly impacts our health, it would benefit us all if clean energy sources are able to replace fossil fuel energy production that pollutes our environment.” A physician who has studied local power plant air pollution and the Cape Wind project, Dr. Anna A. Manatis-Lornell, Co-Chair of Cape Clean Air, refers to the potential of Cape Wind to reduce air pollution by saying “Each day the wind blows, the wind turbines will generate electricity that would otherwise come from the oil and coal based plants.” During the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Cape and Islands Offshore Wind Public Outreach Initiative meetings in Hyannis over the past six months, third party experts verified that Cape Wind’s Renewable Energy generation would reduce the region’s use of fossil fuel power plants, particularly from more local power plants in southeastern Massachusetts said the company. “While cars and Midwest power plants contribute to the Cape’s air pollution, local fossil fuel power plants also play a crucial role,” said Kathryn Kleekamp, Co-Chair of Cape Clean Air. “The Harvard School of Public Health study of power plants found that the greatest concentrations of polluting emissions fall locally, peaking within 5 to 20 miles of the plants, and cause significant numbers of premature deaths, asthma attacks, and other respiratory problems.” The American Lung Association’s State Of The Air 2003 report can be downloaded at their Web site, at the link below.