Cameras to provide constant monitoring of visible air pollution at Mon Valley plants

Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab is expanding the focus of its Breathe Cam network of air pollution-capturing cameras to include three U.S. Steel Corp. facilities in the Mon Valley: the Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock, the Irvin Plant in West Mifflin and its coke works in Clairton. The cameras, activated Tuesday, will provide 24-hour-a-day monitoring of visible air pollution, and give residents and government agencies an additional way to document smoke, fugitive emissions and other visible air pollution. Read the full article from the Post Gazette

ER visits for asthma dropped 38% the year after one of Pittsburgh’s biggest polluters shut down

Winters was distraught when she found out about the plant and its long history of Clean Air Act violations. She worried about her own declining respiratory health, but was even more concerned about the impact the air might have on her daughter’s young lungs. But then, in 2016, the Shenango plant shut down following several years of escalating community protest. It wasn’t long before Winters was able to stop taking her daily asthma medication altogether. She said her respiratory health has steadily improved in the last two years—and she’s not alone… Members of the community group, including Dawn Winters, urged...
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The brain on pollution: A new study links air quality and cognition

Those especially vulnerable to pollution, such as children and the elderly, should stay indoors on high-pollution days. But the findings also give activists more ammunition in their fight for tougher laws and stronger enforcement, provide regulators with more reason to do their jobs effectively and give image-conscious cities an additional reason to campaign for clean air.  Long after most of the steel mills have gone silent, Pittsburgh continues to struggle with poor air quality, and some have demanded that the Allegheny County Health Department up its game.  The issue must be on the front burner here. Pittsburgh’s universities attract and...
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Erie Coke Reaches Out to Public During Permit Renewal Process

While Tonawanda Coke, near Buffalo, is facing a possible shutdown and hefty fines, Erie News Now wanted to know how well its sister plant, Erie Coke, is obeying environmental laws. Erie News Now looked at the plant’s operating record over the past year, and found that it is not clean. There have been penalties, and there have been fines, and they’ve come at a very important time at the plant…a time when it must renew its operating permit. According to statistics obtained by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Erie Coke has been issued 8 notices of violation for...
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