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Councilman O’Connor Introducing Will of Council Supporting Allegheny County Health Department’s Actions to Prevent Air Pollution

The Group Against Smog and Pollution was proud to join City Councilman Corey O’Connor, City Councilwoman Erika Strassberger and fellow environmental organizations at a press conference Monday announcing a Will of Council that supports the Allegheny Health Department’s (ACHD) efforts to prevent air pollution, specifically at U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson Plan and the Clairton Coke Works.

In a press release, O’Connor’s office said the City of Pittsburgh does not have the regulatory authority to force polluters into compliance, so council is “unequivocally voicing its support and placing its trust in the ACHD, the government entity charged with the protection, promotion and preservation of the health and well-being of all residents of Allegheny County.”

“The City of Pittsburgh supports the leadership of PennEnvironment, GASP, and the Allegheny Health Department,” said Councilman O’Connor. “We must do all we can to stand up to any entity that jeopardizes the health and well-being of our residents.”

“It’s exciting to see Councilman O’Connor and Pittsburgh City Council speaking out on this issue, publicly reinforcing what we know to be true — all Pittsburghers have a right to clean air,” said Ashleigh Deemer, Western Pennsylvania Director for PennEnvironment. “For far too long, U.S. Steel has shirked their responsibility to abide by the Clean Air Act, pouring pollutants linked to asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular disease into our communities. It’s time to prioritize health and a cleaner future for our region.”

“Councilman O’Connor’s air quality resolution expresses what so many Pittsburghers have long been demanding,” Rachel Filippini, executive director of GASP said. “We are so appreciative of this city council resolution, this week’s listening session on air quality hosted by Councilwoman Stassburger, and the recent post-agenda discussing the same. This kind of political leadership is crucial, especially given the David vs. Goliath-like local fight for clean air, one that all too often pits residents against a multi-billion dollar company that has repeatedly failed to prove they are capable of – or willing to be – a good neighbor.”

The Will of Council was introduced and approved at Monday’s council meeting.

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