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

Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Toxic Ten

Ten industrial polluters in Allegheny County emitted a total of 1.4 million pounds of toxic pollutants into the air in 2013 – including substances linked to cancer, breathing problems, heart disease and nervous system damage.  More than one in three Allegheny County residents lives within three miles of those 10 facilities.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

New Report: Allegheny County’s “Toxic Ten” Emit 1.4 million pounds of toxics in one year

PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center released a new report today that identifies the ten industrial facilities in Allegheny County releasing the most hazardous toxins into the air.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

New Report: Wind Energy can Cut Carbon Pollution by More Than 3.6 Million Cars

Wind power is on track to cut as much carbon pollution in Pennsylvania as 4 coal-fired power plants, or 3,689,000 cars produce in a year by 2030, according to a new analysis by the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center.   If wind continues to grow at its current rate nationally, it will be able to supply 30% of our nation’s electricity needs by 2030. 

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News Release | PennEnvironment Reseach and Policy Center

New Report: Electric Cars Are Putting the Brakes on Pollution

The report, “Driving Cleaner: More Electric Vehicles Mean Less Pollution,” shows that electric vehicles could prevent more than a million metric tons of climate-changing carbon pollution annually in the United States by 2025.

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Report | PennEnvironment Reseach and Policy Center

Driving Cleaner

By 2025, widespread use of electric vehicles, coupled with a cleaner electricity grid, could reduce global warming pollution by 18.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, compared to conventional vehicles. The Driving Cleaner Electric Vehicle report examines the truth about electric vehicles and all of the statistics associated with them.

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