Many cities in the U.S. enjoy air that is considered clean for one or more of the pollution measures tracked in “State of the Air.” In this year’s report, 64 of the cities for which there is monitoring data had zero high ozone days and 80 cities had zero high short-term particle days (32 fewer than last year). Because year-round particle pollution is scored differently, the cleanest cities for this measure can be ranked. As a result of ties for the 25th best metro area, there are 31 cities on this year’s list. See Data Tables 3a-c.
Ten cities rank on all three cleanest cities lists for particle pollution and ozone. They had zero days high in particle pollution or ozone and are among the 31 cities with the lowest year-round particle levels. Added to the list this year are Bangor, Maine (returning after a one-year break due to incomplete data); and Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Lincoln, Nebraska; and Elmira, NY returned after coming onto the list last year. The other three again repeat their appearance on this list.
Listed alphabetically, these cities are:
- Bangor, ME
- Burlington-South Burlington-Barre, VT
- Charlottesville, VA
- Elmira-Corning, NY
- Harrisonburg-Staunton, VA
- Lincoln-Beatrice, NE
- Roanoke, VA
- Urban Honolulu, HI
- Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC
- Wilmington, NC