Florida cities among cleanest areas for air quality in U.S.
Several Florida cities were ranked among the best air quality areas in the country. Image via AP.

coal plant
No Florida cities or areas made the list of most polluted in the country.

Florida cities are pretty clean compared to many metropolises in other states, according to the newest American Lung Association “State of the Air” report.

The report concluded that 4 in 10 people in the U.S. “live in places with unhealthy levels of air pollution.” The Sunshine State is not one of those places.

There were 10 Florida cities or regions that made the list of the cleanest cities, which provided no numerical ranking, the State of the Air report said. Five Sunshine State cities or regions made the cleanest U.S. cities list by short-term particle pollution.

According to the report, Palm Beach County had the lowest level of particle pollution in the state at 6.7.

The American Lung Association report concluded that some environmental policies, such the U.S. Clean Air Act approved by lawmakers in 1970, have some impact on some municipalities that are improving air quality.

“From the beginning, the findings in ‘State of the Air’ have reflected the successes of the Clean Air Act, as emissions from transportation, power plants and manufacturing have been reduced,” the report stated.

While Florida remains relatively clean in its air quality compared to many areas of the country, several municipalities remain strapped with increasing pollution.

“High ozone days and spikes in particle pollution related to extreme heat, drought and wildfires are putting millions of people at risk and adding challenges to the work that states and cities are doing across the nation to clean up air pollution,” the report said.

The report grades and ranks cities and counties based on their scores for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution levels. Federal, state and local air quality data were used as factors in the findings. It’s the 25th State of the Air report issued by the American Lung Association since 2000.

On another positive note for Florida, no cities or regions from the state made the list of most polluted areas of the U.S.

California dominated the list of most polluted cities by ozone pollution with nine cities or regions landing on the top 25 areas of that menu. Four California cities filled out the top four of that dubious list.

California cities and areas also dominated the top 25 ledgers of both year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution.

The American Lung Association also graded counties on their air quality based on available ozone data. There were 35 out of 67 of the Florida counties that had that data, and nearly every one of those counites graded received an “A” for air quality. Miami-Dade, Marion and Escambia counties scored a “B,” and Hillsborough County got a “C.” No Sunshine State county scored below that mark.

The Florida cities and areas among the cleanest cities by ozone air pollution are:

— Cape Coral-Fort Myers-Naples.

— Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin.

— Gainesville-Lake City.

— Jacksonville-St. Mary’s (Georgia)-Palatka.

— North Port-Sarasota.

— Orlando-Lakeland-Deltona.

— Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville.

— Panama City.

— Sebring-Avon Park.

— Tallahassee.

The Florida cities or regions among the cleanest U.S. cities by short-term particle pollution are:

— Cape Coral-Fort Myers-Naples.

— Northport-Sarasota.

— Orlando-Lakeland-Deltona.

— Palm-Bay-Melbourne-Titusville.

— Pensacola-Ferry Pass (Alabama).

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 24, 2024 at 2:15 pm

    Ocean breezes work wonders. What up with Hillsborough County, though? With that one exception, Hillsborough County, all other places in Florida were deemed to be okay.

Comments are closed.


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