News Release | PennEnvironment

Enviro groups ask court to find U.S. Steel liable for more than 12,000 Clean Air Act violations

PITTSBURGH – U.S. Steel violated the Clean Air Act more than 12,000 times at its three Pittsburgh-area plants, including Clairton Coke Works, the largest coke oven facility in North America, according to a motion filed in federal court Thursday by PennEnvironment and Clean Air Council. The violations, which the groups say are proven by U.S. Steel’s own statements and compliance reports, occurred when the company operated Mon Valley Works for more than three months in 2018 and 2019 while required pollution control equipment was out of commission.

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

‘Toxic Ten’ report singles out Allegheny County’s new most- toxic air polluter

PITTSBURGH --  Allegheny County’s “Toxic Ten” industrial air polluters collectively released more than 1 million pounds of toxic air pollution in 2019, according to a new report by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. The pollution included toxic chemicals such as benzene (a carcinogen), chromium (a carcinogen and respiratory irritant), and manganese (a neurotoxin). The full ranking, along with a tool allowing residents to find out how close they live to the Toxic Ten, is available at www.ToxicTen.org.

News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment Statement: State Senators introduce legislative package to limit harms from fracking

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvania lawmakers today unveiled a package of legislation to address the most egregious problems with fracking by implementing the recommendations from last year’s grand jury report. The investigation found that Pennsylvania’s leaders had “failed” to protect the public from fracking and allowed the industry to damage public health.

The specific legislation announced and highlighted at the Zoom news conference include legislation introduced by state Senator Katie Muth to require disclosure of chemicals used in fracking (SB651), air and water monitoring (SB 652), and public health response legislation (SB654); Senator Maria Collett to give jurisdiction to the Office of the Attorney General to address fracking violations (SB 655, SB 656, and SB 657); Senator John Sabatina to address the transportation of fracking waste (SB 653); and Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Carolyn Comitta to increase setbacks from fracking well pads for schools and other vulnerable populations (SB650). 

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Pittsburgh City Council plans to ban plastic bags

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh City Council passed a resolution Tuesday stating their intent to pass a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags, were it not for a state law preempting local governments from doing so. The resolution, introduced last week by Councilmember Erika Strassburger, means Pennsylvania’s two largest cities could soon join forces to protect the Commonwealth from plastic pollution and the health and environmental degradation it causes. In March, Philadelphia, along with the boroughs of West Chester and Narberth, and Lower Merion Township, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the General Assembly’s preemption law. The passage of Councilmember Strassburger’s resolution opens the door for the City of Pittsburgh to file a legal motion in support of that suit.

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Statement: Allegheny County receives another failing grade for air pollution

PITTSBURGH -- Allegheny County again received straight “F” grades in the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report, making it one of only 13 counties nationwide to do so. The Pittsburgh Metro ranked ninth- worst for soot pollution in the study, which was released Wednesday. This type of pollution is linked to health problems such as asthma, heart disease, stroke and premature death.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: PA cities’ lawsuit to undo General Assembly’s preemption crucial to addressing plastic pollution

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia joined with the municipalities of Lower Merion, Narberth (Montgomery County) and West Chester (Chester County) to file a lawsuit Wednesday against Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. The suit claims the legislature unconstitutionally enacted a preemption law that strips the ability of local communities and officials across the commonwealth to implement ordinances addressing waste and litter from single-use plastics.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Vote to protect Delaware River from fracking is historic

PHILADELPHIA – The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a regional multi-state agency charged with preserving the Delaware River watershed, cast a historic vote today to ban fracking within the Delaware River Basin. This action comes after a multi-year public input process. Patrick McDonnell, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, voted on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf to approve this proposal.

Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Accelerating the Transition to Electric School Buses

THE VAST MAJORITY of school buses in the United States run on diesel, a fossil fuel that has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including asthma, bronchitis, and cancer. Diesel exhaust is also a greenhouse gas, which contributes to climate change. However, there is an alternative: zero-emission battery electric school buses.

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Allegheny Co. residents overwhelmingly support stronger clean air protections

PITTSBURGH -- The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) held a virtual public hearing Wednesday night on proposed revisions to the County’s Coke Oven Regulations, which are the key environmental protections governing U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works. More than 50 local residents, including more than 25 PennEnvironment volunteers, testified in support of the County’s proposal to improve inspection practices and clarify limits for sulfur pollution, a respiratory irritant. Residents also urged for even stronger emissions reductions. 

News Release | PennEnvironment

Environmental Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over Air Pollution from Industrial Flares

Washington, D.C. – A coalition of ten environmental organizations today sued the Trump Administration’s EPA over its failure to reduce toxic air pollution from industrial flares at petrochemical plants, gas processing facilities, municipal solid waste landfills, and other large industrial sites.

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