Clean Air for Pittsburgh

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 Research & Policy Center

Allegheny County Council Approves Motion Supporting Health Department’s Efforts to Ensure U.S. Steel Complies with Air Emissions Standards

Allegheny County Council on Tuesday passed a motion of council that endorses recent enforcement actions undertaken by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) intended to foster compliance with existing air quality regulations for the good of public health—especially as it relates to U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works.

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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 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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Headline

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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