All that complaining you did about the hot, smoggy summer — turns out you had every reason to whine.

Preliminary data from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that from April to September, Connecticut had the worst air quality in New England with the number of bad air days nearly doubling since last year.

For the six months, the region had 29 days with ozone concentrations higher than the health standard. That was up from 16 in 2011. Connecticut recorded bad air on 27 of those days, up from 14 in 2011. The next worst was Massachusetts at 17 bad air days, up from 10. Over the years, Massachusetts’ air quality has been similar to Connecticut’s and at times worse — but this year it was considerably better.

In Connecticut, almost all the communities registering high ozone readings were along the shore from Greenwich to Groton, though Middletown had a number of bad air days as well. The Hartford and Danbury areas had some, though fewer than Middletown.

The EPA cited the hot, dry, sunny weather as the cause, noting that there were many days of over 90-degree temperatures. The bright side, according to the agency, is that the overall trend is still cleaner air. The number of bad air days in the region has declined by 74 percent since 1983. Connecticut also had a 74 percent decrease during that same period. Connecticut’s low, however, came in 2009 — a particularly cool, rainy summer — when it registered only six bad air days.

Jan Ellen is CT Mirror's regular freelance Environment and Energy Reporter. As a freelance reporter, her stories have also appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yale Climate Connections, and elsewhere. She is a former editor at The Hartford Courant, where she handled national politics including coverage of the controversial 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. She was an editor at the Gazette in Colorado Springs and spent more than 20 years as a TV and radio producer at CBS News and CNN in New York and in the Boston broadcast market. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate. She graduated from the University of Michigan and attended Boston University’s graduate film program.

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