Forbes: Raleigh-Cary among nation's cleanest metros

Posted March 23, 2011

— The Raleigh-Cary area is the nation's third cleanest metropolitan area and has better water than every other major metro, according to the website for financial magazine Forbes. ranked the 80 largest metro areas in the U.S. for which toxicity data is available and measured their air quality, water quality, the number of nearby Superfund hazardous waste sites and the amount of toxic emissions from industry.

Raleigh-Cary ranked No. 1 in water quality, 24th in Superfund sites and 41st in air quality. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 492,000 pounds of toxic materials were produced in the metro area in 2009.

McAllen, Texas, ranked first overall on the list, followed by Little Rock, Ark. Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas placed fourth and fifth.


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  • rbarham3 Mar 25, 2011

    I'm sure Forbes didn't look at the I-40 entrance and exit ramps around Cary.

  • Leonardo Mar 25, 2011

    "the only water scare is when cary mansion dwellers can't water their precious grass"

    That is true. We rarely get REAL water shortages here. Our water shortages are usually of the kind where you're only allowed to water your lawn every other day. Woopie!!!

    It's nothing compared to places like Las Vegas where their water supply (Lake Mead) has been continuously dwindling for years, and there is serious concern that Las Vegas could eventually become a ghost city.

  • Leonardo Mar 25, 2011

    I'll never understand how people can so hate living in Raleigh that they have to criticize it at every opportunity. Why are you living here if you hate it so bad?

  • Shelley Cooper Mar 24, 2011

    the only water scare is when cary mansion dwellers can't water their precious grass

  • burnstock99 Mar 24, 2011

    While Raleigh may have a litter problem (which is caused from lazy people in my opinion), it is spared from a lot of the heavy industry you see in other large cities. In summertime the air pollution can get pretty bad though and if you look at the report it finished in the bottom half for that category. Luckily the water source, though threatened, is protected fairly well, as long as we can keep development in the watershed down and implement better stormwater controls. There is still tons of work to do to clean Raleigh up and it starts with it's citizens being concerned about what they're leaving their children. Demand from YOUR government the right for environmental protection.

  • jonnraleigh Mar 24, 2011


    I've heard of water scares in other counties, but not those municipalities on the Raleigh water system. The only scare in Raleigh is drought conditions.

  • lmbl Mar 23, 2011

    another tactic to get even more people to move to the area and make it even trashier- nice going

  • 426X3 Mar 23, 2011

    What has Forbes been smoking?

  • concerncitizen Mar 23, 2011

    I40 and Hwy 54 is a mess also!

  • Sarge Mar 23, 2011

    yeah right