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California air pollution drops over past decade

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- State officials say while overall air quality in California has improved significantly over the past decade, about a third of the population lives where pollution is in excess of federal health standards.

The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/1mR1yI9 ) the California Air Resources Board presented an evaluation of smog and soot levels on Thursday in Sacramento.

The board's report says smog fell 15 percent to 20 percent in urban areas since 2003. But levels remain above federal health standards in parts of greater Los Angeles, the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento and San Diego.

Of the state's five biggest urban areas, only the San Francisco Bay area meets all federal standards for ozone _ the worst component of smog _ and fine particulate matter, or soot.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

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