Fresno is topping another negative list. Forbes is calling Fresno the ‘Dirtiest City in America.’ Poor air and water quality were the factors used to compile the list. Three California cities were among the top five:
- Philadelphia, Penn.
- Bridgeport, Conn.
Dirty air and dirty water is what Forbes says makes Fresno ‘America’s Dirtiest City.’ Some Fresno residents agree.
“Just the air itself, it looks dirty,” said Miguel Tovar, a Fresno State student.
The report suggests the water pollution comes from agriculture pesticides and toxins from Fresno’s first landfill at Jensen and West. It even says the city used to tell pregnant women not to drink from the tap. But the City of Fresno says it's not true. Patrick Wiemiller believes information from one report, over a decade ago, was taken out of context.
“What they were referring to was a statement that appeared in a water quality report 12 years ago that was an isolated incident involving one well, in one testing,” said Wiemiller, Fresno’s Public Utilities Director.
The city's water comes directly from snow run off and a major water company even bottles it.
“The city has won international awards for public water supplies for its clean, safe and even tasty drinking water,” said Wiemiller.
Meanwhile, Valley Air District is taking the label ‘America's Dirtiest City’ in stride.
“We do have some of the worst pollution in the United States. We're aware of that; that's why we're here. But we have seen huge improvements in the last two decades,” said Jaime Holt of Valley Air District.
Holt says programs like ‘No Burn Days’ and air quality reports have raised awareness, but the Valley still has a ways to go.
“It should be on the list, I don't know if it should be number one. [Fresno] is kinda messy,” said Renay Rodarte, a Fresno State student.
Since the city disagrees with some of the article's findings, CBS47 placed a call to the Forbes staffer who wrote the article for an explanation. CBS47 is still waiting for a response.