The Allegheny County Controller, Chelsa Wagner, recently completed an audit of the Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) Air Quality Program. What she found is not shocking to those of us who have had to live in polluted communities or those of us who have been working across the region to improve air quality.
Did you hear the recent news? The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), the primary agency that deals with air pollution in Pittsburgh and the surrounding county, reached a deal with US Steel to reduce emissions from the Clairton Coke Works. They announced it on Good Friday, but it should have been Groundhog Day because it's giving me a serious case of déjà vu.
When I was moving to Pittsburgh I conducted the arduous task of finding a place to live without being in the city.
The U.S. Steel owned Clairton Coke Works is the largest producer of coke in the nation, and 37,000 people live in the plant’s shadow. We know that coke emissions can be very dangerous – the Environmental Protection Agency has classified them as carcinogens.