Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

How Does Your City's Air Quality Rank?

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

——–

Recycling and general waste plastic wheelie bins awaiting collection for disposal in Newport, Rhode Island. Tim Graham / Getty Images

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. According to The National Museum of American History, this popular slogan, with its iconic three arrows forming a triangle, embodied a national call to action to save the environment in the 1970s. In that same decade, the first Earth Day happened, the EPA was formed and Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, encouraging recycling and conservation of resources, Enviro Inc. reported.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The coal-fired Huaneng Power Plant in Huai 'an City, Jiangsu Province, China on Sept. 13, 2020. Costfoto / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

One of the silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic was the record drop in greenhouse gas emissions following national lockdowns. But that drop is set to all but reverse as economies begin to recover, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A grizzly bear killed an outdoor guide in a rare attack near Yellowstone Park. William Campbell / Corbis / Getty Images

A backcountry guide has died after being mauled by a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park.

Read More Show Less
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) re-introduces the Green New Deal in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2021. Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

In the latest of a flurry of proposed Green New Deal legislation, Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday introduced the Green New Deal for Cities Act of 2021, a $1 trillion plan to "tackle the environmental injustices that are making us and our children sick, costing us our homes, and destroying our planet."

Read More Show Less
Offshore oil and gas drillers have left more than 18,000 miles of pipelines at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Offshore oil and gas drillers have discarded and abandoned more than 18,000 miles of pipelines on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico since the 1960s, a report from the Government Accountability Office says.

Read More Show Less