The Liberty/Clairton area of Allegheny County consists of the City of Clairton and the boroughs of Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue. This area has been designated as a separate PM2.5 non-attainment area by EPA. According to the soon-to-be-released National Air Toxics Assessment (based on 2005 data), this area faces the highest cancer risk in the country from toxic air pollutants. The Liberty/Clairton area has a unique, local soot problem that requires the development of a highly specific local solution, in addition to regional controls applied throughout the area to control the problem. Being in non-attainment means this area is not meeting the federal health-based standards for soot. Since this entire non-attainment area is within Allegheny County, the Allegheny County Health Department is responsible for developing the State Implementation Plan (SIP), the plan for getting this region into attainment.
Clairton is home to the U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works, the largest coke-making facility in the United States, and a major emitter of particulate matter in the region. Most of our region’s highest short-term PM2.5 readings occur at the Liberty, PA monitor site located roughly two miles from Clairton Coke Works.
In January, 2010 GASP and PennFuture submitted joint comments on the Proposed Revision to the State Implementation Plan for PM2.5 for Allegheny County – Liberty-Clairton Area Attainment Plan.