Pollution in North Dakota- how bad is it?

BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Earth Day was last weekend, but it’s always important to take time to consider our impact on the planet — particularly, the amount of pollution we let into the atmosphere.

As globalization increases, so too does the danger humans pose to the environment, and this is especially clear in the industry-focused USA. However, this isn’t to say that people aren’t seeing this as a concern, and many people attempt to reduce their impact on the environment — but how many of these efforts have borne fruit, and which states have the lowest levels of pollution? These are questions that QuoteWizard aimed to discover the answers to in a study of each state’s air and water contamination.

During their analysis, researchers based their results on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality Index measurements from 2022, including data representing air quality as “good” and the percentage of days that were considered to be “good” days. The pollutants covered by the EPA’s Air Quality Index include Ozone, Particulate Matter, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, and Sulfur Dioxide. A similar analysis of America’s Health Rankings data from 2021 was used to categorize water pollution levels based on drinking water violations.

Both of these statistics were then used to rank each state in the US based on their overall placements in air and water pollution — with rank 50 representing the lowest levels of pollution, and rank 1 representing those with the largest amounts. Many states often shared positions with others who had the same low statistics.

When the states were ordered based on the quality of their air and water, it was revealed that North Dakota is one of the least polluted places in the country — with some of the lowest levels of contamination nationwide.

Rank State Air Quality Rank Drinking Water Rank
1 Hawaii 50 50
2 North Dakota 49 50
3 Maine 46 50
4 Rhode Island 39 50
5 Massachusetts 37 50
6 Nebraska 47 28
7 North Carolina 33 50
8 Virginia 44 28
9 South Dakota 42 28
10 South Carolina 28 50

While our state is tied with many others for having a very low rate of water pollution, it’s especially notable for the number of ‘good air’ days that we experience. At least 95% of North Dakota days are defined as those with high air quality — the second largest number in the country, beaten out only by Hawaii (which boasts a 99% rate of clean air days).

It’s great to see that North Dakota has plenty of good air days — but even better to know that other states seem to be having more, too. From 2018 to 2022, while nine states saw a decrease in the percentage of good air days, on average, the U.S. increased the national average number of these days by 4.3%.

“The standards that have been established since the first Earth Day took place are having a positive impact on our air and water quality,” explains QuoteWizard Analyst Rob Bhatt in a press release, “but more needs to be done. When you consider the widespread risks that pollution poses to public health, it’s clear that we all have a stake in environmental protection.”

To view the full study from QuoteWizard, visit this page.

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