Pittsburgh Air Quality Ranks 4th Worst In Study of Metro Areas

Most Pollution Here Comes from Industrial Sources

Joe DeStio
July 12, 2018 - 12:11 pm
A new study of major metropolitan area ranks Pittsburgh 4th worst in number of days with elevated air pollution levels.

Joe DeStio

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – A new study of major metropolitan area ranks Pittsburgh 4th worst in number of days with elevated air pollution levels.

The report for PennEnvironment says the Pittsburgh area recorded 121 days of moderate or high smog and particulate levels in 2016. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California area topped the list with 209 days. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada ranked 2nd at 145 days. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California was 3rd at 138 days.

Ashleigh Deemer with PennEnvironment says, “These are days when more than half of our monitoring locations across the county register moderate to high levels of risk for air pollution.”

Across the country, the report says 73 million Americans experienced more than 100 days of degraded air quality. 2.3 million of those people were in the Pittsburgh area.

“60 percent of our region’s air pollution comes from industrial sources,” according to Matt Mehalik who heads the Breathe Project. “Part of it is coal-fired power plants but some of it (is) steel facilities (and) coking facilities.”

Mehalik says that’s different from other parts of the country where most of the air pollution comes from mobile sources like cars, trucks, and buses.

According to Deemer, “We want to see the Clean Air Act get stronger not weaker. We want to see our clean car standards stay in place so that emissions from vehicles can continue to go down and not up.”

Joe DeStio

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