SAN JOSE (KCBS) – It’s not unusual for San Jose to make a top ten list, but this latest ranking is one the city could have done without. Forbes ranked San Jose 8th in its list of America’s 20 Dirtiest Cities.

Residents might point to failures in the city’s graffiti program or the large homeless encampment by Mineta San Jose International Airport as factors that led to the listing.

But city officials were quick to point out why the article lumped San Jose in with several Central Valley cities—Superfund sites left over from chip manufacturers such as Intel.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“Most of our dirt is dirt that’s contaminated. We have some superfund sites left over from the old days of Silicon Valley,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “Those are all being cleaned up either through the Superfund process or private-sector funds.”

The Forbes article notes 28 Superfund sites around San Jose, mostly at former semiconductor fabrication plants.

Fresno topped the Forbes list , followed by Bakersfield because of air and water contamination from agriculture. Those factors also put Modesto and Riverside high on the list. Stockton, Sacramento and Los Angeles were included because of ozone levels and particulates in the atmosphere.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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