I was pleased to read the Press Herald’s Monday editorial, “Our View: Cities right to promote charging stations for cars.”

The American Lung Association of the Northeast could not agree more that adding charging stations to encourage greater use of clean, electric cars is simply the right thing to do. We commend the cities of Portland and South Portland for being forward-thinking and for doing what is needed to ensure our air is clean and healthy to breathe, both now and in the future.

As the leading organization in the United States working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, we are acutely aware of the detrimental effect air pollution has on the lungs.

Right now, emissions from combustion engines cause a significant amount of the air pollution in Maine and across the nation. Reducing emissions from motor vehicles is critical to achieving clean air. Expanding the use of electric vehicles and the charging station infrastructure to support them is certainly part of the solution.

It’s important to note that we need to take continued steps throughout this region to push air pollution to the lowest levels possible. In the Lung Association’s “State of the Air Report 2014,” Cumberland County received a C for ozone pollution. This is concerning, especially when we consider that the current ozone standard is outdated and that the levels the Environmental Protection Agency now considers “safe” are not based on the latest science.

As we celebrate the successful efforts of our cities here in Maine to promote healthy air, we must also renew our commitment to protecting and upholding the Clean Air Act at the federal level. It’s going to take the commitment of all levels of government to keep Maine’s air clean.

Jeff Seyler

president and CEO, American Lung Association of the Northeast

Augusta