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#ICYMI: Mon Valley Tallies Two More Air Quality Exceedances This Past Weekend

Another weekend, another pair of air quality exceedances for the Mon Valley – concentrations of hydrogen sulfide at Allegheny County Health Department’s Liberty and North Braddock air quality monitors exceeded the state’s 24-hour hydrogen-sulfide standard of 0.005 ppm again Saturday.

The 24-hour H2S average at the North Braddock air quality monitor Saturday was 0.008 ppm. Liberty’s was 0.010 ppm – twice the state standard.

“Air quality in the Mon Valley has been particularly bad this month. We’ve had seven days of hydrogen sulfide exceedances so far,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said. “Despite all these exceedances – and the community outcry that the foul air elicited – the health department has stayed mum, providing zero communications to the public about the exceedances or what it is doing to get to the bottom of them.”

She added that it’s not just the frequency of the exceedances, but the insanely high one-hour values experienced at the North Braddock air quality monitor in particular. 

Example: There was a 0.081 ppm peak March 23 and a 0.077 ppm peak on March 3, which are the second- and fourth-highest one-hour h2s readings over the past five years. That means that two of the worst four hours over the past five years have occurred in the past three weeks in North Braddock.

GASP put out a call last week for ACHD to better communicate these exceedances to the public, and to make finding the source of these concerning H2S peaks a priority. We are renewing that call today.

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  1. Amy Carothers says:

    Thank you so much for your continued advocacy for the people in our region to have cleaner air. I am very disturbed to learn about these exceedances and the county health department’s failure to notify the public. I intend to call the health department to ask about their silence and to question why the Lincoln Boro monitor continues to be offline.

    I have forwarded this article to my Facebook page. If you have the opportunity to write about the dangers of wood smoke, I’d gladly forward that, too. People are increasingly burning, not always seasoned wood, in my neighborhood where many of the homes are about five yards apart. I’ve dealt with wood smoke in my house last Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I’m afraid it’s only going to continue.

    Again, thanks so much. You are real heroes to me.

    1. Amanda Gillooly says:

      Good morning, Amy! Thank you so much for your kind words. And thank you for mentioning the wood smoke issue. I just put “write an update on wood smoke” on my to-do list! -Amanda, communications manager

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