Some of the cleanest cities in the U.S. are usually in agricultural communities that have a natural forest or natural reserve nearby, according to realtor.com®’s data team. On the other hand, the most polluted cities tend to be located in former industrial hubs, such as in the Rust Belt and along the Gulf of Mexico.
Pollution in the U.S. has been declining. For instance, in 2015, the nation’s industrial facilities released 25 percent less toxic chemicals than in 2005, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Air quality has gotten much better because of preventions that were put in place under the 1970 Clean Air Act,” says Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of the American Lung Association.
But which cities boast the least amounts of pollution? To locate the cities with the cleanest air, realtor.com®’s research team ranked 150 of the largest metros by factoring in the amount of toxic chemicals released from factories, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, water quality, and more.
The following seven cities topped its list as least polluted:
View the full list at realtor.com®.
Source: “We Come Clean About the Least Polluted U.S. Cities (and the Dirtiest),” realtor.com® (Feb. 21, 2017)
- Naples, Fla.
- Salem, Ore.
- Ocala, Fla.
- Anchorage, Ak.
- Santa Rosa, Calif.
- Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Eugene, Ore.