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

News Release | PennEnvironment

Rally to Clean Up Pittsburgh’s Air

Pittsburgh, PA--Today over 50 citizens, community leaders, and environmental experts gathered at the Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard for PennEnvironment’s inaugural “Fridays with Fitzgerald” Rally for Clean Air. Citizens called on the County Executive to take serious measures to clean up our air, including more timely permitting of industrial facilities, better enforcement of the Clean Air Act, and limiting use of the Clean Air Fund to projects that benefit the air.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

AG Shapiro, PennEnvironment, Mayor Kenney, Congressmen Evans and Boyle speak out against Trump Rollback of Auto Pollution Standards

[Philadelphia, PA]  – PennEnvironment and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro were joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Congressmen Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle, and State Rep. Steve McCarter today at City Hall to voice their opposition to the Trump administration’s effort to dismantle critical federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. At the same time, the Trump administration is also proposing to usurp states’ ability to  set stricter state-level emissions standards.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment laments feds’ decision to repeal Clean Car Standards

Philadelphia, PA -- Today, the Trump administration announced new vehicle emission guidelines which roll back the existing Clean Car Standards. This regressive move will get rid of our nation’s best climate change mitigation program, which is cutting future carbon emissions more effectively than any other current federal policy. Preliminary calculations indicate this move could increase global warming emissions by 2.2. billion metric tons. This action betrays the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)’s stated mission of protecting human health and the environment. Trump officials are also considering rejecting a waiver that has allowed California and 12 other states, including Pennsylvania, to adopt standards that are more protective of health and the environment.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Trouble in the Air: Pennsylvania’s health at risk with high numbers of dirty air days in 2016

[Pennsylvania] – As the Trump administration considers weakening federal air quality and global warming emissions standards, air pollution remains a threat to public health in communities across Pennsylvania.

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Trouble in the Air

People across America regularly breathe unhealthy air that increases their risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts.

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