Hamilton County's air quality continues to suffer as a result of climate change as hotter temperatures negatively impact ozone levels nationwide, according to a new report from the American Lung Association, but a county official is discrediting those findings, assuring residents the air quality is better than it's ever been.

The county received a "D" grade for high ozone days, which ranked it among the worst counties in Tennessee, according to the 20th annual State of the Air report, sliding from last year's "C" rating. Only Shelby County, which received an "F," ranked lower. The report used the most recent air pollution data, collected between 2015, 2016 and 2017, for counties with air quality monitors.

"We're seeing more ozone days across the country from warmer weather, which makes ozone more likely to form and harder to clean up," American Lung Association in Tennessee Healthy Air Campaign Manager Christine Hart said. "Climate change plays a big role in ozone pollution."

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