air pollution sources

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FACT: 

Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have some of the worst air pollution in the United States — with more than 1.2 million people at risk.

OUR REGION’S AIR IS
STILL POLLUTED

  • The air quality in the Pittsburgh region was considered NOT GOOD for 170 days in 2020 and 230 days in 2019, between half and two-thirds of all days. [4] 
  • During 2018 – 2020, one regional air monitor in Pittsburgh registered particulate matter (PM 2.5) concentrations worse than 90% of all monitors in the U.S. and four others worse than 80% of the U.S. [4] 
  • During the same period, seven out of 8 monitors in the Pittsburgh region had PM-2.5 levels in the worst 50% in of all monitors in the U.S. and do not meet World Health Organization standards for fine particles. [4] 
  • Allegheny County fails to meet national air quality standards for sulfur dioxide. Of the four sulfur dioxide monitors in Allegheny County, two were in the worst 10% and two were in the worst 50% of all monitors in the U.S. [4] 
  • Of the three ozone monitors in Allegheny County, one was in the worst 30% and two were in the worst 40% of all monitors in the U.S. [4] 

Source: Pittsburgh’s Air Quality Data Analysis by John Graham, Ph. D., Clean Air Task Force 2019.

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AIR POLLUTION
SOURCES

49% INDUSTRIAL

Manufacturing, Electricity Generation, Land Fill

 

28% TRANSPORTATION

Cars, Trucks, Buses, Construction, Mobile Services

 

23% RESIDENTAL

Wood Burning, Home Emissions

 

<1% OTHER

 

Source: CATF 2017 Allegheny County PM2.5, Criteria Pollution Emissions from EPA.Gov

WHO ARE THE BIG POLLUTERS?

Allegheny County Health Department Title V Facilities

These are the biggest polluters in Allegheny County, all required to obtain a Title V permit under the Clean Air Act because they have the potential to emit more than 100 tons of a single pollutant.

The Toxic Ten

Allegheny County polluters are fouling our air and threatening our health. PennEnvironment’s latest report finds that ten industrial facilities in Allegheny County emitted more than 955,000 pounds of toxic pollutants in 2016 – contributing more than 70 percent of the air pollution from all industrial sources in the county.

Our Region's Hazardous Air Pollutants

Our region’s public health crisis is due in large part to pollution from industrial power plants and diesel source like trucks, school buses and heavy machinery. Read the PRETA report.

Facility Emissions Report

Explore details on the top polluters and emissions in our region through Pennsylvania’s Environment Facility Application Compliance Tracking System eFACTS.

FRACKING AND THE PETROCHEMICAL RISK

Plans for a petrochemical “hub” in the Ohio River Valley, including the Shell plant in Beaver County currently under construction, present a public health crisis for our region. A petrochemical plant means more fracking, more pipelines, and more gas infrastructure.

Air pollution is the single largest risk of the petrochemical build out. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, frequent headaches, nausea, and can also damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

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