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

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

As Electric Cars Revolutionize the Vehicle Market, New Study Helps Cities Address Infrastructure and Parking Challenges

Pennsylvania– With electric vehicles (EVs) hitting U.S. streets in record numbers, a new study by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group highlights best practices to help local officials make their cities as EV-friendly as possible. The new report, “Plugging In: Readying America’s Cities for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles,” includes local and state data for Harrisburg and Pennsylvania about the projected number of electric cars expected on the road in coming years, and how cities can accommodate these new EVs with enough places to park and recharge. 

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Report | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

Plugging In

The adoption of large numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) offers many benefits for cities, including cleaner air and the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles are far cleaner than gasoline-powered cars, with lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower emissions of the pollutants that contribute to smog and par- ticulate matter. 

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Proposed Pollution Limits Are A Major Step Backwards for Public Health

PITTSBURGH- Residents from Brackenridge and surrounding communities were joined by advocates from PennEnvironment, Group Against Smog and Pollution, the Environmental Integrity Project, Clean Air Council, and others at a public hearing to speak out against Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) second draft of a permit that would allow a ATI’s Brackenridge facility to emit far more pollution than it currently reports emitting. 

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment delivers historic clean air settlement with Monessen coke plant.

[Pittsburgh, PA] – Today the statewide citizen-based environmental group PennEnvironment announced that it has garnered what is believed to be the largest citizen suit penalty of its kind in Pennsylvania history  for alleged hundreds of air pollution violations against the world’s largest steel company, ArcelorMittal, and at the company’s Monessen, PA coke plant (a facility that processes coal).

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Allegheny County Health Department Proposes to Allow More Air Pollution from Steel Plant

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Allegheny County Health Department yesterday proposed a permit for a steel plant near Pittsburgh that would allow the release of over 2,000 tons more air pollution than an earlier draft permit, threatening public health.  As compared to a draft issued by the county last year (which already raised concerns among local community and advocacy organizations), the new proposed Clean Air Act operating permit for ATI Flat Rolled Products Holdings, LLC’s steel plant in Brackenridge would allow the plant to annually emit nearly 300 tons more nitrogen oxides (which contribute to smog), and over 50 more tons of particulate matter (soot), which can trigger heart attacks.

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