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Mon Valley Air Pollution Mitigation Plans Now Available on Allegheny County Health Department Website, GASP Lauds Transparency

We have some good news to share: The mitigation plans submitted by U.S. Steel and other companies subject to the new Mon Valley Air Pollution Rules are now available on the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) website.

GASP just last week called on ACHD to make the documents public so that residents could see for themselves how the polluters in their neighborhoods plan to deal reduce particulate matter emissions during short-term air pollution events.

“We want to thank Allegheny County Health Department for making these plans available for public consumption,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “Transparency is paramount when it comes to accountability.”

Here’s what ACHD tweeted last night:

You can read the mitigation plan U.S. Steel submitted for its Clairton Coke Works here. You can view the plan submitted for its Edgar Thomson plant here. In case you missed it, ACHD rejected both of the plans and ordered the company to resubmit them. You can read all about that here.

To check out the mitigation plans submitted by the 14 other facilities impacted by the rule, check out the ACHD website here.

GASP staff is currently reviewing the documents.

For those who need a little bit of background info: The Mon Valley Episode Rule, an addition to the County Air Pollution Control Regulations, was signed into law in September 2021 by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to develop and implement a system to respond to weather-related inversions in the Mon Valley, which can result in episodes of high levels of particulate matter pollution (PM2.5).

Under the rule, ACHD monitors pollution forecasts for conditions that could lead to an episode. When conditions are likely to exceed acceptable levels for the Mon Valley, sources are required to follow approved mitigation plans to reduce their emissions. 

An Air Pollution Watch is issued when weather conditions are forecast to cause a high concentration of particulates in the Mon Valley, and an Air Pollution Warning is issued when the exceedance occurs and is expected to continue for 24 hours.

The rule applies to certain sources within or near the following municipalities: Braddock, Braddock Hills, Chalfant, Clairton, Dravosburg, Duquesne, East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Elizabeth Borough, Elizabeth Township, Forest Hills, Forward, Glassport, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln, McKeesport, Munhall, North Braddock, North Versailles, Port Vue, Rankin, Swissvale, Turtle Creek, Versailles, Wall, West Elizabeth, West Mifflin, White Oak, Wilkins, Wilmerding, and Whitaker.

Notifications and alerts will be sent out using Allegheny Alerts. To sign up, go here.

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Group Against Smog and Pollution