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Smell that? It's the scent of success — Bellingham just made another national list

Lucas Walker watches his son Charles Walker, then 2, throw rocks and look for crabs at the beach at Marine Park in Bellingham in September 2010. Bellingham was one of only six cities nationwide to appear on all three of the American Lung Association's cleanest cities lists for ozone and particle pollution in the association's State of the Air 2018.
Lucas Walker watches his son Charles Walker, then 2, throw rocks and look for crabs at the beach at Marine Park in Bellingham in September 2010. Bellingham was one of only six cities nationwide to appear on all three of the American Lung Association's cleanest cities lists for ozone and particle pollution in the association's State of the Air 2018. The Bellingham Herald file

Breathe in ... breathe out. Breathe in ... breathe out.

Take real deep breaths, Bellingham — the air you're breathing is about as clean as it gets.

Bellingham was one of only six cities nationwide to appear on all three of the American Lung Association's cleanest cities lists for ozone and particle pollution. The City of Subdued Excitement had zero high ozone or high-particle pollution days and was among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round particle levels in the association's State of the Air 2018 report released Wednesday.

Bellingham and Casper, Wyoming, were newcomers to the Triple Crown list, joining repeat clean air cities Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont; Honolulu; Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida; and Wilmington, North Carolina.

Bellingham ranked 19th overall nationally in the association's list for year-round particle pollution, according to the release.

It's good that Bellingham was so highly ranked, as some of the most-polluted air in the country sits just an hour and a half to the south. The Seattle-Tacoma area was ranked 15th worst for short-term particle pollution behind top-ranked Bakersfield, California. Seattle was 17th worst a year earlier, a spot now owned by Yakima.

Whatcom County also was one of five counties in Washington state to receive an A grade on the report card, joining Clallam, Pierce, Skagit and Thurston counties.

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