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Sign Our Petition to Tell ACHD it Must Provide Public Update on Edgar Thomson Emissions Issues & Compliance Plan

GASP needs your help to send a message to the Allegheny County Health Department that enough is enough: The public deserves a substantive update on the air quality issues revolving around U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Works facility. Read and sign our petition below.

Editor’s Note: On the same day we published our petition, the Allegheny County Health Department released information on its website about (another) enforcement order issued against U.S. Steel for visible emissions violations at Edgar Thomson. You can read more about that here.


Petition | Tell ACHD: Public Deserves Transparency Regarding Recent Emissions Episodes at Edgar Thomson Plant & How - and When - Facility Will Comply with Air Quality Regulations

The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) and the undersigned are calling on the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to provide a substantive public update briefing regarding recent emissions episodes at U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Works, as well as detailed information about when - and how - the facility will be forced to comply with local and federal air quality regulations.

It’s been nearly three years since ACHD and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a joint Notice of Violation (NOV) against U.S. Steel for repeated emissions issues at the plant.

It was supposed to be the first step in getting the plant back into compliance with both county and federal air quality regulations.

Acknowledging that ongoing emissions issues there present a public health risk, ACHD and EPA indicated back in 2017 that in the wake of the NOV would be a plan detailing what financial penalties would be assessed against U.S. Steel, as well as what equipment and operational upgrades would be required to bring Edgar Thomson back into compliance.

While ACHD this past June acknowledged a reddish-brown plume that ushered in a spate of questions and complaints and told the public it was investigating the incident, later revealing the emissions were caused by a faulty valve, nothing further has been publicly stated about air quality compliance at Edgar Thomson. Not on social media. Not at the recent Allegheny County Board of Health meeting. Not on the Allegheny County Health Department website. 

The public has waited long enough for an update on this public health issue, which is of paramount importance to the communities surrounding the plant, the communities downwind of it - and everyone in between.

Allegheny County Health Department officials have repeatedly asked residents to be patient and to trust the process. But without transparency, there can be no trust. The Air Quality Program must provide a detailed update addressing these community concerns as soon as possible. 

When it comes to showing the most-affected communities that it prioritizes air quality as a public health issue, Allegheny County Health Department officials need to understand that action is eloquence. The time for lip service is over.


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  1. Bonnie Spoales says:

    I am chemically sensitive.
    I become sick and agitated when poisoned; I spend days in bed. I am not a child with asthma. Their plight is even worse.
    Why are corporations not held liable for their pollution?
    You have promised for years to hold them accountable. Yet you do nothing.
    Why is it your desire to murder us?

  2. C Harper says:

    At the very least, US Steel could choose to operate clean burning locomotives under the Union Railroad umbrella and still they choose to burn garbage fuel in old tired work locomotives all over their properties. How convenient, mobile waste incinerators that don’t have to follow the emission regulations for stationary equipment. That’s just one example of the low hanging fruit for which US Steel could easily take action on right way, to show it is truly committed to their posted statement of “Continuous Improvement To (the) Environment.” You can find that statement posted on a roof at Clairton plant (seen from Google Maps).

  3. Peg says:

    Pittsburgh has some of the worst air quality in the nation. Why is that? We deserve better! Our Health Department should be at the forefront of protecting our air quality and the health of our citizens!

  4. Nick says:

    Stop fucking around with our air quality.

  5. Wendy says:

    I wake up many mornings and open my door to greet the day. There are many days where the air smells noxious so I decide to keep my doors and windows shut and wonder if it is safe to take a walk outside and breathe the air.

  6. Bernard says:

    Pittsburgh ranks in the top ten worst air quality cities in the entire Country every year. That is a pathetic and disgraceful failure. And we’re breathing that failure into our lungs everyday.

    We follow the EPA’s AirNow website reporting daily and the frequently poor air quality measurements and Air Quality Alerts. You need only open your window or front door to smell the stench correlating to their measurements.

    When are you going to care enough to actually fully fill Allegheny County’s Board that monitors air quality and decides on appropriate actions? Why is the Board obfuscating it’s meetings and actions from the public? Meeting Federal requirements is the absolute least you could possibly do. You need only look at the measurements to prove the inadequacy of your policies. The failed results we unendingly live with seem to indicate that the polluters on the Board have the biggest say in the decisions.

    My wife and I are in our late sixties. My wife has asthma. I have had pulmonary emboli. We had to spend $1300 extra dollars on our furnace to install electro static filters and UV lighting so we can breath healthier air in our own house.

    The Board is killing people by slow suffocation and disease. Why? I guess because you can.

    It’s time to stop bragging about how much better Pittsburgh’s pollution is than 50 years ago. That ship has sailed. The air is constantly polluted, the worst in the Country.

    Wake up and fix it. Stop the half baked measures and excuses. Profits don’t come before lives!

  7. barbara pace says:

    I live in a senior high-rise with 43 other residents in this non-profit facility in Ross Twp. Too many of our folks cannot even walk from their cars on the parking deck to the front door without stopping to catch their breath. I try to encourage them NOT to open their windows; but they are not accepting the reality of Pittsburgh’s less than healthy air they refuse to believe me. I try and forward on the articles I get from the well informed agencies like yours, Penn Future, etc. Many do not have computers at all. They believe because they cannot see the pollution up here high on a hill, there cannot be any harm, and they enjoy the breeze. I’ve lived here five years and have never opened my windows. Sadly, I’m too aware of the fine particulars “Blowing In The Wind!” Barbara Pace, glad you’re in our lives!!

  8. Kelly H says:

    I live in Swissvale and can smell it with my windows closed. If I want to sleep with windows open, I have to check what the reading is on the county air quality monitors. If I don’t, I wake up with chest pain and shortness of breath. I don’t have Covid (I don’t go out and have been tested when I suspected potential exposure) and have never had respiratory issues before moving to Swissvale. I do now. I know it’s so much worse for the low income or black folks that live closer to these heavy polluters. I’m sick and tired of not seeing any tangible change.

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