South Dakota’s Dirtiest City Might Surprise You (Or Maybe Not)
South Dakota's dirtiest town is one of the cleanest places in the entire country.
I've lived pretty much all over the state of South Dakota over the past 47 years. Winner, Aberdeen, Volga, Brookings, Sturgis, Rapid City, Sioux Falls.
Moved to the state in 1974 and never left. Don't want to leave, thank you very much. I'm livin' in the greatest state in the nation. Friendly folks, beautiful scenery, good clean towns.
Or so I thought...Turns out I've spent many years in South Dakota's 'dirtiest' town and didn't even know it.
Now the term 'dirtiest' is relative. I think it's fair to say South Dakota's dirtiest town is one of the cleanest places in the entire country. Please, allow me to explain.
IQAir is a website that keeps track of air pollution not only around the United States but places all around the world.
Believe me, there are some places on the planet that you and I don't want to live. Geez, looks like a soul could hardly breathe in some of those spots!
Anyway, in checking the Mount Rushmore State, we're pretty much clean all over, but the least of all the clean cities is...Sioux Falls.
I've lived here for decades and have never noticed folks walking along wheezing, holding their noses, or wearing a gas mask. So why would SIoux Falls hold the distinction of poorest air quality in the state?
According to their numbers, IQAir rates Sioux Falls air quality at 46, or 'Good'. For comparison, one of the most polluted cities in the world is Delhi, India with a score of 146 'Unhealthy.' The numbers represent how much junk is in the air.
The main pollutant in the Sioux Falls area is PM 2.5 particles.
"These particles come in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals.
Some are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires.
Most particles form in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles."
OK, well I live here as I said, and I can report...not a big deal.
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By the way, back to those rankings of South Dakota's most polluted cities (which in the grand scheme of things aren't really all that polluted), west-river's biggest city, Rapid City, ranked ninth.
As far as the 'cleanest' South Dakota city? That would be Pierre. Although I would argue Pierre is also the city with the hottest air.
But only when the legislature is in session.
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