EXPLAINER | Air Quality
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Air Quality

Several Pennsylvania cities place among the top 25 most polluted in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association, which uses data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

A coalition of eight Northeast states wants the EPA to crack down on air pollution coming from the Midwest. Pennsylvania has not signed the petition yet.

Mark H. Anbinder/Flickr

And many Pennsylvania counties, too, fare poorly in ALA ratings on ozone and particle pollution. Of 36 counties for which the organization had data, 16 received a grade of D or F for ozone levels. Of 25 counties with data, nine received a D or F for particle pollution.
The rise in use of natural gas over coal has contributed to a decrease in particulate matter in Pennsylvania’s air. A 2015 report by the United Health Foundation, using EPA data, showed that the state’s air pollution — measured by the public’s exposure to particulate matter — decreased each year but one since 2003.
However, in that report, Pennsylvania still ranked 48th in air quality in the U.S.

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Mike Campbell, a college biology professor, is seen on Sept. 11, 2019, in a boat launch area with a smokestack of Erie Coke visible in the background.

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U.S. Steel's Clairton Plant, the largest coke works in North America, in Clairton, Pa.

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US Steel's Clairton Coke Works.

Steelworkers watch Thursday as U.S. Steel president and CEO David Burritt announces a $1-billion investment in upgrades at Clairton Coke Works and the Edgar Thomson plant near Pittsburgh.

U.S. Steel's Clairton Plant, the largest coke works in North America, in Clairton, Pa.

Allegheny County, site of a major polluter, grapples with meeting air quality standards

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US Steel's Clairton Coke Works.

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