Quantcast

How Does Your City's Air Quality Rank?

While U.S. air quality worsened from 2010 to 2012, it was still much cleaner than the previous decade.

Those three years are the subject of an air quality study, the American Lung Association's The State of Air 2014 study. With rankings of the cleanest and dirtiest cities—in terms of ozone and particle pollution levels—the study's results will provide good news for some and a reminder of harmful surroundings for others.

Here's a sampling of the different clean and dirty rankings in the report. Don't fret if your city isn't listed in either—the tail-end of the actual report gives a state-by-state breakdown that includes cities, large and small, as well as counties.

[blackoutgallery id="333495"]

Only four cities on all three lists of the cleanest cities from 2010 to 2012: Bangor, ME; Bismarck, ND; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL; and Salinas, CA. 

Eleven other cities were ranked cleanest for both year-round and short-term particle pollution. They are listed alphabetically:

  • Elmira-Corning, NY
  • Farmington, NM
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Grand Island, NE
  • Homosassa Springs, FL
  • Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI
  • North Port-Sarasota, FL
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
  • Prescott, AZ
  • Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ
  • St. George, UT

Conversely, nearly 28 million people in the U.S. live in counties that failed all three of the researchers' quality tests. In all, half the nation lived in areas with unhealthy air quality from 2010 to 2012.

"Thanks to reductions in emissions from coal-fired power plants and the transition to cleaner diesel fuels and engines, cleaner air shows up repeatedly in the monitoring data," the report reads. "Still, even with the cleaner air, the most-polluted cities failed to meet the official national limits, or standard, for year-round particle pollution."

Photo credit: Rennett Stowe/Flickr Creative Commons

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

How Cheap China-Manufactured Goods Impact U.S. Air Quality 

How 11,000 Oil and Gas Wells Gave Utah Community More Ozone Pollution Than Los Angeles

Why Energy Companies’ Predictions on Carbon Limits Shouldn’t Be Trusted

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.

Read More Show Less
Ten feet of water flooded 20 percent of this Minot, North Dakota neighborhood in June 2011. DVIDSHUB / CC BY 2.0

By Jared Brey

When Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida panhandle last October, it killed at least 43 people, caused an estimated $25 billion in damage and destroyed thousands of homes.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A protestor holds up her hand covered with fake oil during a demonstration on the U.C. Berkeley campus in May 2010. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.

Read More Show Less
Forest fire continues to blaze in Indonesesia on Sept. 18. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Indonesia over their possible connections to the massive wildfires raging in the nation's forest, officials said this week.

Read More Show Less

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Covering Climate Now / YouTube screenshot

By Mark Hertsgaard

The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."

Read More Show Less
A new rule that ends limits for hog slaughtering speeds could increase animal suffering, advocates warn. kickers / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Trump's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalized a new hog slaughtering rule Tuesday that environmental and food safety advocates warn could harm animals, plant workers and public health, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less
Prehistoric and historic walrus skulls, tusks and bone fragments often wash ashore on the southern coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland. Hilmar J. Malmquist

A unique subpopulation of ancient walrus in Iceland was likely hunted to extinction by Vikings shortly after arrival to the region, according to new research.

Read More Show Less