On Aug. 15, as part of our ongoing effort to address chronic air pollution problems in the Pittsburgh area, PennEnvironment released a new report recommending best practices for local officials at the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), which is responsible for addressing the region's air pollution.

The report, entitled “Cutting Through the Smoke,” was written in conjunction with Frontier Group. It details recent case studies of pollution enforcement in the Pittsburgh area.

“When the ACHD finds a health problem at a restaurant, it shuts the restaurant down. But when it comes to major air polluters, the ACHD has too often allowed them to go right on harming our health,” said Zachary Barber of PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. “There are time-tested enforcement practices used across the country that, if implemented consistently in Allegheny County, could go a long way toward reining in dangerous pollution.”

The report does note that the ACHD has recently has shown signs of improvement — including joining PennEnvironment in a lawsuit against U.S. Steel — and recommends best practices to follow moving forward.

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Photo: PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center's Zachary Barber speaking to press at the release of the "Cutting Through the Smoke" report. Credit: Staff.