Camden County Reacts to State of the Air Report with New Air Quality Team

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(Camden, NJ) – Last week, the American Lung Association released their 2024 State of the Air report measuring air quality and the impact that air pollution has on public health. Although there have been improvements, Camden County continues to receive subpar grades for our high number of days above the national standard for ground-level ozone, a pollutant that can cause respiratory problems and other ailments for young children, the elderly, and those with asthma.

To help address the issue, the Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce our support for the newly established Camden County Air Quality Committee (CCAQ).

CCAQ is an advisory panel of subject experts and community advocates assembled to provide strategic guidance to the Camden County Board of Commissioners, municipal, and regional partners with a goal of improving health outcomes by reducing ambient levels of particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen oxides, and other contaminants.

“There are a lot of factors that contribute to poor air quality. Some of them are going to be harder to address and will require working closely with our regional partners.” said Commissioner Jeffrey L. Nash. “That said, there are actions that we can take here in Camden County through the new CCAQ, including education, electrification, monitoring, and thinking outside the box when it comes to addressing issues like food waste.” 

“I am excited to serve as a community member on the Camden County Air Quality Committee. This committee’s diverse focus areas, from eliminating food waste to improving outdoor air quality, underscore its commitment to improving environmental health and sustainability in Camden County and Camden City,” said Ben Saracco of Camden for Clean Air. “I look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts to make a positive impact on air quality and environmental well-being in our communities.”


“As we see in our most recent ‘State of the Air’ report, climate change is making air pollution more likely to form and more difficult to clean up. In New Jersey, there are actions we can and must take to improve air quality, including building electrification and reducing air pollution from the transportation and power sector. We appreciate our partners at the Camden County Air Quality Committee and their focus on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure,” said Michael Seilback, Assistant Vice President, Nationwide Advocacy, American Lung Association.


This committee’s mandate is focused on working with our municipalities, schools, hospitals, businesses, state agencies, and regional partners across the following pillars:

  • Fleet Electrification & Charging Infrastructure
  • Solid Waste Operations
  • Regional Engagement
  • Green Space
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Finance & Funding Mechanisms


“I am honored to serve on Camden County’s Air Quality Committee,” said Assemblyman Bill Moen (D-Camden, Gloucester)“This is a group of leaders and stakeholders who are committed to working together to find solutions that will help to improve not only our air quality, but in turn, will help to better the lives and health of residents in Camden County and the tri-state area for generations to come. This collective effort will require innovative solutions and this team is ready to rise to the challenge.”


“Attaining our health based National Ambient Air Quality Standards and mitigating climate change requires a holistic and collaborative approach to emissions reduction,” said Peg Hanna, Director, Division of Climate Change Mitigation and Monitoring, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “Through the work of the Camden County Air Quality Committee, along with a variety of in state and out of state efforts, we’re making progress on a healthier NJ as shown by the latest American Lung Association report.


Poor air quality across South Jersey and Camden County is a silent killer and triggers tens of thousands of asthma attacks for residents suffering from respiratory ailments. Our air quality is worse in our more urban inner suburbs and Camden City, especially because of the prevalence of highways and the smog pollution triggered by our cars and trucks. The Camden County Air Quality Committee provides a hyper-local and state partnership alliance, especially with a focus on electrifying our cars, trucks, and buses to finally clean up our air to benefit our lungs and the climate,” said Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey.


“The Camden County Air Quality  Committee is doing the necessary work to tackle and improve Air Quality in this region of the state,” said Tri-County Sustainability Environmental Justice Co-Chair Renée Pollard. “Working and collaborating with partnering agencies, our hope is to improve Air Quality and enhance better health outcomes while continuing to improve our annual grades reported by the American Lung Association.”


“Improving and enhancing our air quality is paramount to protect and strengthen the health and welfare of our community,” said Camden County Commissioner Jon Young. “That said, we know that this is a significant challenge based on a number of variables that are at work and are outlined by the ALA report. Nevertheless, we have a moral obligation to create a roadmap that we can use to resolve and remedy antiquated practices of the past that will deliver direct benefits to our residents.”


“Air pollution can be both a local and larger regional issue,” said Sean Greene, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Office of Freight and Clean Transportation. “DVRPC is pleased to join the Camden County Air Quality Committee (CCAQC) to help bring partners together to improve air quality in the communities in Camden County and beyond.”


“One in five premature deaths every year are caused by fossil fuel pollution. In NJ, more than 17,600 deaths annually are directly linked to air pollution based on research from Harvard School of Public Health and Camden County routinely gets failing grades for our air quality,” said Elizabeth Cerceo MD, Director of Climate Health at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. “The Camden County Air Quality Committee (CCAQ) is dedicated to improving those numbers and the health of our communities.”


For more information on the 2024 State of the Air Report, visit State of the Air | American Lung Association

For questions about the new Camden County Air Quality Committee, Email us.