A Dangerous Haze

Sadly, the Pittsburgh area has some of the dirtiest air in the nation. Right now, 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 Toxic Ten

Much of the industrial air pollution in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County comes from just 10 industrial facilities that are responsible for 83% of the toxic air pollution reported by industry in the region--They’re known as the Pittsburgh Toxic Ten.

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. Local residents are sick and tired of having to keep their windows closed to keep the toxic odors out of their homes, and they’re fed up with worrying about the possible health impacts for their families or letting their kids go outside to play.

Our Chance for Clean Air

 The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is responsible for protecting local residents, and being our advocate against the region’s worst air polluters. Instead, ACHD has turned a blind eye instead of standing up to these polluters. Despite overwhelming evidence of the heightened risks posed by air pollution throughout the county, time and again ACHD has shrugged off these threats instead of taking action to protect our health.

So 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

Headline

EPA puts polluters on notice with new air rules

  
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced its final health-based rules for controlling mercury, acid gases and other air toxics from coal-burning power plants.

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Danger in the Air

All Americans should be able to breathe clean air. But pollution from power plants and vehicles puts the health of our nation’s children and families at risk. Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, is one of the most harmful and one of the most pervasive air pollutants. This report looks at the number of days that were considered unhealthy for sensitive populations across cities nationwide. The report also shows new data showing the problem is worse than the public thought.

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Headline

Opinion: TRAIN wreck waits to happen

On Sept. 23, the U.S. House passed legislation that would greatly limit government's ability to curb air pollution.

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News Release

Statement: Gov. Perry’s Proposal is Too Dirty and Dangerous for Pennsylvania

Today, Texas Governor Rick Perry unveiled a proposing to remove protections against pollution generated by the coal and gas industry. Gov. Perry’s speech comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prepares to set standards to limit the air pollution associated with gas drilling.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

U.S. EPA Proposes Protections against Air Pollution from Oil and Gas Industry

As U.S. EPA held a public hearing today in Pittsburgh, PennEnvironment praised the agency’s proposed rules to curb air pollution from oil and gas operations as part of an urgently needed response to the public health threats posed by hydraulic fracturing.

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