Fla.’s lack of industry compared to some other states and nearby oceans
NAPLES, Fla. – March 1, 2017 – Researchers at Realtor.com compiled a list of the cleanest and dirtiest cities in terms of pollution, and Naples ranked No. 1 as the cleanest in the U.S. – but the state overall has less air pollution than most cities. No Florida metro area made the "America's top 10 polluted cities" list.
Researchers ranked the 150 biggest U.S. metros based on toxic chemicals released from factories; greenhouse gas emissions per square mile; number of Superfund sites per square mile; air quality measured by the number of clear days in a year; and water quality, measured by contaminants like lead, copper, arsenic and nitrate.
The Sunshine State leads the country in air quality, in part because noxious emissions tend to be blown away as sea winds sweep over the mostly flat terrain. However, Florida has also never been a heavy industrial state, with tourism, agriculture and international trade the mainstays of its economy.
Naples – famous as an ecotourism designation – is close to the Everglades, Ten Thousand Islands and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which also helps keep its air clean.
"Collier County [which includes Naples] has more acres of protected lands than any other county in Florida," says Renee Wilson, spokeswoman for Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
No. 3 Ocala (No. 3) has a national forest with 673 square miles of greenspace, and trees help absorb carbon dioxide and pump out fresh oxygen.
Top 10 cleanest U.S. cities
Top 10 polluted U.S. cities
Source: Realtor.com (02/21/17) Pan, Yuqing
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