The city’s air quality has reached the cleanest levels in more than 50 years through efforts that will save the lives of some 800 New Yorkers annually, officials announced Thursday. “New York has the cleanest air now of any major American city,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. In the last five years, the levels of sulfur dioxide—which can cause difficulty breathing, death and contribute to acid rain production—decreased by 69 percent, according to a study conducted by the city. Soot pollution has dropped 23 percent since 2007. Phasing out the most toxic heating oils as part of the Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC initiative is the largest contributor to the reductions, officials said. Read more here.