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

  • In 2017, the air quality in the Pittsburgh region was considered NOT GOOD for 279 days (more than three-fourths of the year).  This builds off of the 249 NOT GOOD air days in 2016.
  • In 2017, the air quality in Allegheny County was considered NOT GOOD for 203 days (more than 55% of the time).  This builds off of the 189 NOT GOOD air days in 2016.
  • Based on an annual average for PM 2.5 spanning 2015 – 2017, eight of the 10 Pittsburgh regional monitors had PM 2.5 levels in the worst 20% ranking of the nation’s 775 monitors.
  • Three of these ten monitors were in the worst 10% nationally.
  • For 2015 -2017, four of the Pittsburgh region’s 11 ozone monitors ranked in the worst 30% of the nation’s 1135 monitors.

Source: EPA AQI Data 2015-2017

DOWNLOAD THE FACT SHEET

AIR POLLUTION
SOURCES

58% INDUSTRIAL

Manufacturing, Electricity Generation, Land Fill

 

22% TRANSPORTATION

Cars, Trucks, Buses, Construction, Mobile Services

 

22% RESIDENTAL

Wood Burning, Home Emissions

 

2% OTHER

 

Source: CATF 2015 Allegheny County Emissions from NEI 2011 v.2  PM2.5

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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