Muskogee, Oklahoma is considered to be one of the top 50 cities in the U.S. for having the dirtiest air.
The claim comes from the energy website STACKER which ranks Muskogee 35 on its list of 50 cities.
“Much of the pollution in Muskogee comes from sulfur dioxide in the air, which is a byproduct of the fossil fuels burned by power plants and industrial facilities in the area, according to the STACKER report.
Muskogee is the only city in Oklahoma to make the list. Wichita, Kansas was ranked 29.
“Two major contributors of air pollution in Wichita are byproducts from industrial plants and smog from neighboring cities in Oklahoma and Texas,” stated the report.
Denver, Colorado made the list at 16.
“The major contributors to air pollution are increased vehicle traffic and increased building construction. Another issue is the smoke from wildfires in western states drifting eastward toward Denver.”
Las Cruces, NM was ranked 13.
“Much of the air pollution in this region is not from vehicle emissions or manufacturing, but rather from the many dust storms that pass through the region.”
Albuquerque, New Mexico was ranked 11.
“Much of the air pollution in Albuquerque comes from the burning of fuels such as gas, oil, and coal: Airports and vehicle traffic are massive sources of emissions. A 2017 report by the Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center found that Albuquerque had 113 days of high smog pollution in 2015.”
While 21 California cities made the top 50, the number one ranking went to Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona.
The air quality was ranked according to the amount of particulate matter (PM) between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in the air. The higher the amount of particulate matter, the dirtier the quality of air.
To help identify poor-quality air, the Environmental Protection Agency has created National Ambient Air Quality standards. The two most relevant standards are 150 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter of air over a 24-hour period for coarse particulate matter (PM10) and 12 micrograms of pollutants for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
For this article, Stacker researched the 50 American cities with the worst quality of air. This ranking was based on 2018 statistics and took into account 193 United States cities that the EPA reported their PM10 values for.