The Most and Least Polluted States

The Most and Least Polluted States

(Nexstar Media) How clean are the air and water in your state? Using 2021 data, U.S. News and World Reports’ feature on the “Best States” has ranked U.S. states on several metrics, including economics, education and health care. The listing also measures natural environment, which is based on a state’s air/water quality and pollution levels.

The least polluted states

10. Idaho
9. Colorado
8. Maine
7. Rhode Island
6. California
5. Wyoming
4. New Mexico
3. South Dakota
2. New Hampshire
1. Vermont

States with the worst pollution

50. Louisiana
49. Nevada
48. Indiana
47. Delaware
46. Utah
45. Ohio
44. Oregon
43. Tennessee
42. Illinois
41. Alabama
40. Texas

Six common air pollutants identified and regulated by the EPA are carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also called “particulate matter”), and sulfur oxides. Other air pollutants include asbestos, fuel oils and kerosene and benzene.

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