Clean Air for Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh area has some of the dirtiest air in the nation. And its putting the health of local residents—and in some cases even their lives—at serious risk. This is unacceptable. Clean air is a right—not a privilege.
A Dangerous Haze
The Pittsburgh area has some of the dirtiest air in the nation. The metropolitan area ranks 6th in the nation for year-round soot pollution and the American Lung Association graded the county with an F for its overall air quality. This is putting the health of local residents--and in some cases even their lives--at serious risk.
Just about everyone has a friend or family member who struggles with asthma and air pollution drastically increases their likelihood of an asthma attack that could send them to the hospital. Additionally, research found that Allegheny County ranks in the top 2% of counties for cancer risk from pollution.
This is unacceptable. Clean air is a right—not a privilege.
Cleaning up the Dirty Dozen
Much of the industrial air pollution in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County comes from just the Dirty Dozen—12 industrial facilities that are responsible for 83% of the toxic air pollution reported by industry in the region.
For example, one of the worst offenders is the Shenango Coke Works. This polluting behemoth recently violated its Clean Air Act permits 330 times in a 432 day period—essentially 3 out of every four days.
Many communities located near or downwind from these polluting facilities have been fighting to get them to reduce their pollution and clean up their act for years. These communities are tired of having to keep their windows closed to keep the toxic odors out of their homes, and worrying about the possible health impacts of letting their kids go outside to play.
Our Chance for Clean Air
Unfortunately, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), who is responsible for protecting citizens residents have failed to address these large sources of pollution so far. Despite overwhelming evidence of heightened risks from air pollution throughout the county, ACHD has dismissed the threat posed by air pollution time and time again.
PennEnvironment is working to organize and amplify the voices of concerned Pittsburghers, to make sure that the county’s elected officials and the Health Department take air pollution seriously and work quickly and aggressively to address it.