Carbon pollution threatens our health

Carbon pollution spewing from power plants threatens Pennsylvanians’ health.  Doctors, nurses and scientists warn that it fuels global warming, which triggers poor air quality that makes it harder for children to breathe and contributes to thousands of asthma attacks, heart attacks and other fatal diseases.

Studies show that 836,880 Pennsylvania adults and 228,593 children already suffer from asthma.  Nationwide, smog pollution alone leads to roughly 4,700 premature deaths and 19,000 emergency room visits.  Allowing power plants to continue emitting unlimited amounts of carbon pollution will mean more global warming and dirtier air for Pennsylvanians.

Scientists also warn that global warming is expected to lead to more devastating floods, deadly heat waves and many other threats.

Coal-fired power plants need to be cleaned up

Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution, yet they currently lack any federal limits on their carbon emissions.  And Pennsylvania’s power plants are a big part of the problem, emitting more carbon pollution than power plants in all but four other states.  

But big utilities like GenOn, which have been allowed for decades to spew unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air, all while taking in enormous government subsidies, are sure to fight for more of the same.  They’ll join with the coal companies and spend millions on lobbying advertising to try and get off the hook for cutting carbon pollution from their dirty power plants. 

With your help, we can make history

Enough is enough, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agrees.  Despite these powerful industry naysayers, the EPA is developing the first-ever carbon pollution standards for new power plants.

Now comes the hard part—getting these standards across the finish line and overcoming the corporate polluters’ opposition.  So we’re working closely with our allies in the public health community, working to rally tens of thousands of activists to stand up for public health and our environment.  

It won’t be easy, but if enough of us speak out, we can drown out the coal industry lobbyists and make sure EPA is allowed to do its job and protect public health.




Clean Air Updates

Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Cutting through the Smoke

Allegheny County has a long legacy of industrial air pollution. But while Pittsburgh is not the “Smoky City” of generations past, industrial air pollution still inflicts immense damage on the health of Allegheny County residents.

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is primarily responsible for protecting the people of Allegheny County from health-threatening air pollution. ACHD has been delegated authority to enforce the provisions of the federal Clean Air Act as well as local air pollution laws.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

PennEnvironment report highlights Clean Air Act enforcement challenges in Pittsburgh

A new study by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group documents how decades of poor enforcement of air quality rules by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) enabled industrial facilities to pollute the region’s air. The report, entitled Cutting Through the Smoke, found that ACHD has enabled pollution through slow permitting and weak enforcement. The report, coming on the heels of the departure of ACHD’s Director, makes recommendations for how the new Director can improve enforcement techniques and in turn better protect residents from dangerous air pollution.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment delivers 6,000 clean air petition signatures to Allegheny County

PennEnvironment members and activists delivered a clean air petition with 6,000 signatures to Allegheny County Council. The petition called on County Council to work with the Health Department to rein in dangerous emissions from major air polluters by setting health-based emissions limits, closing the backlog of expired and un-issued permits and enforcing strict penalties for companies that break the law. 

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News Release | PennEnvironment

BREAKING: Environmental response to U.S. Steel plant running without critical pollution controls AGAIN

In response to the announcement that U.S.Steel's Clariton Coke Works is again operating without critical pollution controls, PennEnvironment issued the following statement: 

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment Response to Today's South Philly Refinery Fire

At approximately 3:15 am this morning, a 3-alarm explosion at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in South Philly rocked local neighborhoods

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