Indiana Environmental Official says Air Quality Improving

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) – The commissioner of Indiana's Department of Environmental Management says he wants the federal government to acknowledge the state's improving air quality.

Thomas Easterly recently spoke at a committee meeting of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. He said “96 percent of the things'' the state department monitored were good, and that air quality in Lake and Porter counties topped federal standards.

Those counties are at the heart of a lawsuit Indiana filed against the Environmental Protection Agency in 2012. The state said Lake and Porter counties shouldn't be included in a Chicago regional monitoring network found out of compliance with EPA rules because one Illinois monitor exceeded ozone limits.

The EPA said at the time the lawsuit was filed that Lake and Porter counties contributed to the high ozone levels in Lake County, Illinois.