LA County earns 'C' grade in air quality, energy use in UCLA report card

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The University of California, Los Angeles has released a new environmental report card that gives a "C" grade to Los Angeles County when it comes to energy use and air quality.

Researchers analyzed about a decade's worth of energy and environmental data.

"The Los Angeles region has seen a steady improvement in air quality over the past several decades; however, the recent drought definitely demonstrated how vulnerable the region still is," the report said.

MORE: LA air cleaner, but SoCal still most polluted region in U.S., study says

Emissions of 10 hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals decreased between 2010 and 2015, though researchers were quick to point out that the improvement didn't necessarily indicate an overall trend.

"Toxic industrial air emissions also continue to pose neighborhood-scale concerns, and asthma-related emergency department visits are on the rise - primarily affecting the most vulnerable communities," according to the report.

While a "C" grade isn't great, researchers say there are reasons for optimism -- new policies at the local and state levels are promoting increased sustainability and public transit funding.
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