Pollution

Realtor.com: The Cleanest and Dirtiest U.S. Cities

While pollution is a problem across the country, some cities are cutting back on emissions at a faster rate than others.

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It’s no secret that life in major metropolitan areas is often filled with its own unique risks. From aggressive drivers and bicyclists to overly crowded streets, there are a lot of factors that make city living unsafe. But one of the biggest concerns facing urban areas today is pollution.

While overall pollution in the U.S. has dropped in recent years, some cities are performing better than others. Realtor.com looked at data from the Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to name the top 10 cleanest—and dirtiest—cities in the U.S.

The least polluted city in the country is Naples, Florida. However, the Sunshine State—which is home to two of the cleanest cites in the U.S.—has an advantage that other areas don’t.

“Collier County (which includes Naples) has more acres of protected lands than any other county in Florida,” said Renee Wilson, a spokeswoman for Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in an interview with Realtor.com. “This is mostly due to the wetland characteristic of the Everglades… 110,000 acres of protected sanctuary.”

Other clean U.S. cities include Salem, Oregon; Ocala, Florida; Anchorage, Alaska and Santa Rosa, California. Cities that made the publication’s most polluted list, on the other hand, include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Los Angeles, California; Houston, Texas; New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois.

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