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GASP, Black Appalachia Coalition Petitioning ACHD for Accountability & Transparency in Clairton

Everyone deserves clean air, but sadly, too many of our neighbors struggle to breathe all too often thanks to industrial emissions from facilities like U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Work, which is one of the largest coke-making facilities in the country and one of the most egregious air polluters in the county.

That’s why the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) petitioned the EPA to reject the air quality permit the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) issued to U.S. Steel because it lacked a compliance schedule and other remedies to ensure the plan’s compliance with clean air laws.

The EPA’s decision to grant our objections has provided an opportunity for residents to voice their views and share their experiences with industrial air pollution from the mill.

That’s why the GASP is teaming up with our friends at the Black Appalachia Coalition on a petition demanding ACHD host educational sessions as well as a public hearing in Clairton related to efforts to get air pollution poster child U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works back into compliance with air quality regulations.

Here’s what we are petitioning ACHD to do:

Championing environmental justice requires meaningful input from the people whose health and quality of life will be most impacted by operations at U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works.

It is imperative that ACHD Air Quality Program leadership not only commit to hosting a public hearing regarding any proposed changes to the permit but also to convening an educational session in Clairton. This type of meeting would allow residents there to better understand the permit and how - and why - they should participate in the public comment process.

While formal hearings allow residents to provide comments, they do not allow conversation and interaction between officials and residents. Sign this petition to urge ACHD to provide this important opportunity for public engagement and input.

“We’ve said it before: The health department needs to build trust with the community and it can’t do that without transparency and accountability,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “Hosting a public hearing and educational sessions in Clairton is a first step to building back that lost trust.”

No matter if you’ve been impacted by emissions issues at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works personally or simply want to stand with those who have been. we encourage you to check out and sign the petition here.

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