Last year, the EPA signaled that it will announce a stricter ground-level ozone standard this fall. South Louisiana and other warm, sunny places tend to be high in "bad" ozone. After a struggle, Baton Rouge and neighboring parishes with refineries and petrochemical plants have managed to comply with EPA's current ozone standard.
Like last year and the year before, I felt a pang when I saw the top five regions with the most air pollution. All five of them are in my home state of California, relatively low-income, and heavily Latino. Too often, those most vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of air pollution are those who breathe the dirtiest air.