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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The Delaware City Refining Company will pay a $950,000 penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act dating to 2010. The settlement does not cover violations from a fire that broke out in February, releasing hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide into the air.

Bruce Mansfield coal-fired power plant in Shippingport, Pa.

‘Trump on Earth’ podcast: So long, Clean Power Plan. What will the president’s new rule bring?

An Obama administration official says the Affordable Clean Energy Rule will be challenged in court — and the outcome of that battle could have a significant impact.

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

US Steel, Allegheny County have a draft agreement on pollution violations

Deal does not affect lawsuit over pollution from Dec. 24 fire
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Melanie Meade, a Clairton resident, says that current efforts to address U.S. Steel’s pollution from the Clairton Coke plant have had little effect on the company’s actions.

The smokestack of the Delaware Valley Resource Recovery Facility looms over a residential street in Chester.

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

The county, home to U.S. Steel’s Clairton plant, is trying to bring particulate matter down to federally mandated levels by 2021.

By Amy Sisk

US Steel's Clairton Coke Works.

Groups sue U.S. Steel, alleging potentially ‘thousands’ of Clean Air Act violations

The lawsuit alleges that the company’s decision to flare coke oven gas, instead of stopping the coke-making process or putting the plant on hot idle, put public health at risk.

By Reid Frazier

US Steel's Clairton Coke Works.
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