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More than 40 percent of the public lives in regions with unhealthy levels of air pollution, a new report from the American Lung Association says.

The public health group, in its annual State of the Air report, said air quality has dramatically improved in recent decades as a result of the Clean Air Act. But it warned that more action is needed to better protect the public from air pollution like smog or soot.

The Obama administration has issued a slew of regulations in recent years aimed at improving air quality, including rules to limit air pollution from industrial boilers and natural-gas drilling. Republicans in Congress have taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency, working to limit or repeal several major air pollution regulations because of their cost.

President Obama scuttled planned EPA regulations that would have tightened existing ozone standards, a major defeat for public health groups like the American Lung Association.

The groups argue that the existing ozone standards, put in place during the George W. Bush administration, don’t fully protect the public.

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