Miami is Clean???

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Last week Forbes magazine named Miami the cleanest city in America.

Yeah, I scoffed too. And so did most people commenting on the Forbes.com article.

The study gave the most weight to air pollution and ozone levels, followed by lesser factors like water quality and per-capita spending on cleanup and waste management. According to the results, Miami is king among metro areas with populations greater than 1 million.

I don’t expect you to believe me. Really. I rode up and down Miami’s streets armed with cynicism and a copy of the article. I told people about the study and handed them the proof. I got the same response every time:

“It can’t be,” said Ana in Hialeah.

Manny in downtown called it bullshit and pointed to an empty can of Busch beer and a Subway cup near the sidewalk.

OK, so there’s litter, but after looking for dirt all day, I realized the rampant filth most of us associate with the city is… well, not there. Some areas are unkempt and could use a grooming, sure. But when you look closely (and shed your preconceived notions) it’s not as bad as you expect. Shit, it certainly isn’t as bad as I expected, and I’ve lived in Miami most of my life.

The article says Florida’s weather patterns blow away pollutants. It credits Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection for tightening the grip on the power companies and lauds Miami’s water management for ensuring there are no spills into public water.

Guess they didn't read our story this week, "Poisoned Well," about how the county covered up a benzene spill in the Northwest wellfield.

Me, I’ll follow sdelgad1’s advice and tip my hat to the Joe Carollo and Manny Diaz administrations for wiping up behind us.

Bryan Falla

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


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