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. 

Clean Air Updates

News Release | PennEnvironment

New report card gives governor “F” for environmental record

Gov. Corbett received an “F” on an environmental report card released today by the statewide environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment. 

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Report | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

America's Dirtiest Power Plants

This report from PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center finds that Pennsylvania ranks 3rd in the country for most carbom pollution from its power plants, the nation's largest single source of global warming pollution.  It illustrates the scale of carbon pollution from Pennsylvania's power sector and ranks Pennsylvania's biggest carbon polluters.  

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

PA Ranks 3rd for Global Warming Pollution from Power Plants

On the heels of another summer of heat waves and flooding, and only a few weeks before the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, a new report from PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center finds that Pennsylvania 3rd in the country for most carbon pollution from its power plants, the state’s largest single source of global warming pollution. 

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Headline

Pennsylvania Tightens Air Quality Permits

As a result of a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice on behalf of the Sierra Club, the Clean Air Council, and PennEnvironment, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) updated and strengthened air quality permits for coal plants across the state.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

"Fossil Fools" rally highlights Rep. Murphy’s foolish voting record on public health

Activists rallied in front of Congressman Tim Murphy’s office in Mount Lebanon today calling on him to better protect public health and end his foolish ties to the dirty coal industry. He has repeatedly voted against policies that would limit harmful air pollution from sources like coal plants, although his district suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the nation. Both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties have failing or near failing air quality, exceeding safe levels of soot and smog that can cause lung disease, heart attacks and severe asthma attacks. In fact, right outside his office, a full twelve percent of students in the Mount Lebanon school district suffer from asthma.

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