The buzz a couple of weeks ago was that Los Angeles was set to regain the title of smoggiest city in the U.S. from Houston — but, hark, the race isn’t yet over. As of yesterday, Houston had rebounded and surpassed L.A. with 37 days above the national standard for ozone pollution compared to L.A.’s 34 days. In fact, Houston is on a tear with nine days in a row of violations. This could be good news for Vice President Al Gore, who likes to call attention to environmental problems in Gov. George W. Bush’s home state. Meanwhile, residents of New England are breathing easier. Thanks to cool weather and tighter air pollution controls, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are on pace to have a record low number of smoggy days since readings were first kept in 1983.

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