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

PennEnvironment, Clean Air Council will sue U.S. Steel for Clean Air Act Violations at Mon Valley Works

PITTSBURGH -- PennEnvironment and Clean Air Council announced today they plan to sue U.S. Steel Corporation over continuing noncompliance with the federal Clean Air Act. The legal action focuses on the company’s Pittsburgh-area facilities -- Clairton Coke Works, Irvin Steel Mill and Edgar Thomson Plant. They are part of U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works integrated steel making operation.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Clairton Residents Speak Out Against U.S. Steel’s Failed Response on Clairton Coke Works Pollution

Residents from eight communities surrounding the Clairton Coke Works and environmental advocates will gather to share the concerns of the community regarding the Christmas Eve 2018 explosion and fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works. The event destroyed the plant’s ability to remove oils and sulfur emissions from the still-operating coke ovens, creating serious ongoing public health concerns.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Residents Urge U.S. Steel to Focus on Cleanup

Pittsburgh, PA – Residents in the Mon Valley and Pittsburgh urged U.S. Steel to stop appealing fines for air pollution violations and focus on fixing the long violating Clairton Coke Works.  The Allegheny County Health Department held a hearing today on U.S. Steel’s appeal of ACHD’s $1,000,000 fine for hundreds of recent violations at the Clairton Coke Works.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Trump administration is driving to endanger our planet

[Pittsburgh, PA] -- This Wednesday (Sept. 26), the Trump administration is holding one of only three public hearings nationwide in Pittsburgh on proposed rollbacks of both federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, and stripping the power of Pennsylvania and other states to set stronger safeguards to protect public health from air pollution from vehicles. PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center will join dozens of everyday Pittsburghers and Pennsylvanians to voice opposition to this shortsighted attempts to weaken the nation’s best climate change mitigation program.

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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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