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Allegheny County Air Quality Fund Audit Shows Health Department Still Grappling with Air Quality Permit Backlog

Updated: Feb 21

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) ended 2020 without having taken action on required air quality operating permits for six of 31 major sources of air pollution, according to the results of an annual audit.

The 17-page report issued Sept. 27 by Allegheny County Controller Chelsea Wagner notes that ACHD failed to either issue or deny Title V operating permits to the following companies within the time frames required by the Clean Air Act:

  1. Bellefield Boiler Plant

  2. U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works facility

  3. Sunoco Partners Marketing and Terminals (formerly Sun Oil Pittsburgh Terminals)

  4. Harsco Metals

  5. Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN)

  6. ATI Flatrolled Products (formerly Allegheny Ludlum)

In addition, Eastman Chemical Resins, Inc., a major source, has never been issued a Title V permit. Eastman has been working through the requirements of a 2011 consent order and should submit its application for a Title V permit pursuant to that consent order this coming fall or winter. 

The audit indicates that while progress has been made to eliminate the Title V permit backlog, the department still has a long way to go, an issue GASP has investigated annually and most recently reported on back in May. You can read more on our Watchdog Report. 

You can read the entire audit here.

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