PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An environmental advocacy group has released a new report reaffirming Philadelphia’s status as one of the smoggiest cities in America.

The report released by Penn Environment finds that Philadelphia is one of seven cities in Pennsylvania that ranked among the smoggiest large and medium-sized cities.

Michael Tracht of Penn Environment (below right) says Philadelphia is the fifth smoggiest big city based on the number of days when the air was unhealthy, both in 2010 and this summer.

tracht michael penn environment side kurtz Philadelphia Among Americas Smoggiest Cities, Says Environmental Group

(Michael Tracht of Penn Environment, outside City Hall today. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

“Our research shows that on seven additional days last year, residents in the Philadelphia area were exposed to smog levels that a national scientific panel has found to be dangerous to breathe, but because of outdated federal air quality rules those at risk were never alerted to unhealthy air levels,” Tracht told KYW Newsradio today.

The release of the report comes in the wake of a controversial decision on the part of the Obama administration to reject a proposed EPA rule that would have significantly reduced emissions of smog-causing chemicals.

“President Obama chose to kick the can down the road and abandon any strengthening of the rule until 2013,” Tracht says.  “Kids, seniors and those with respiratory illnesses will suffer as a consequence of this decision.”

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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