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- Get Your Tickets for Safe at Home: Understanding Common Environmental Hazards (FREE) Lunch & Learn
Many people think of asbestos abatement as an old, pay-it-no-mind issue and are surprised to find out that it is indeed still a very serious risk to public health. That’s especially true here in Allegheny County, where air quality regulators continue to issue asbestos abatement violations to public and private entities bucking the regulations put in place to protect public health. While asbestos does not pose a health risk when left undisturbed during renovation or demolition, however, it’s common for old, brittle asbestos products to release tiny fibers. These tasteless, odorless fibers can remain suspended in the air and enter your lungs when you inhale. And once inhaled, asbestos stays there forever. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can cause some serious health issues including asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and pleural disease. That’s why GASP is hosting a FREE lunch and learn program Safe at Home: Understanding Common Environmental Hazards Oct. 25 at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Squirrel Hill. The event will run from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Our hope is that it will provide valuable insights into identifying and minimizing environmental hazards in your home - our expert speakers will cover topics such as indoor air quality and exposure to asbestos, lead, and radon. Our panelists include: Rhett Major, The Energy Doctor and inspector Heath Papinchak, MPH, PhD, CPI, Welcome Home Inspections Nesta Bortey-Sam, PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Pitt “Please secure your tickets ASAP - you'll learn practical tips and strategies to create a safer and healthier living environment for you and your loved ones,” Program and Education Manager Laura Kuster said. “And we’re focusing on issues relevant in our own region.” Bring your questions and appetite because lunch will be provided. Reserve your spot today! Here’s how.
- GASP to ACHD: Time To Create Crisis Communications Plan in Wake of Metalico Fire, Pollution Concerns
PHOTO CREDIT: BREATHE PROJECT GASP on Tuesday joined our friends and fellow advocates at Allegheny County Clean Air Now (ACCAN) and others to demand accountability and action following a fire at a Neville Island-based metal recycling facility that took several hours to control and sent a noxious plume of smoke wafting into neighboring communities. The Sept. 16 fire was the second in two years at Metalico - a facility ACCAN and residents have been sounding the alarm over for years - and was the spark for renewed demands for the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to tighten up provisions in its synthetic minor source operating permit and increase regulatory scrutiny. “The community is concerned about the scrap pile fires that occur at Metalico, particularly the very large ones that occurred on April 14, 2021, and on Sept. 16, 2023,” ACCAN wrote in formal comments to ACHD. “In both of these cases, toxic smoke from the fires blew into communities causing panic, health effects, and concerns about what was happening. You can read ACCAN’s full comments here. At a public hearing on that draft permit hosted by ACHD Tuesday, GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell told officials they need to create a crisis communications plan for when outages and fires like the ones at Metalico and Steel’s Mon Valley Works to ensure residents get timely health-based information from the department to help them mitigate exposure to air pollution from these events. Here are his full comments: Good afternoon. My name is Patrick Campbell, I am the executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), a non-profit organization working to improve local air quality since 1969. The fire at Neville Island-based Metalico Recycling on Sept. 16 fouled local air. It frightened local residents, who witnessed more than a dozen fire trucks racing through the township to respond to the blaze. Noxious emissions from the fire impacted residents in places like McKees Rocks, the North Side, the South Side, and as far away as Dormont. Information about the fire and massive plume it created was hard to come by in real-time: Residents told us they wondered why an acrid, burning plastic odor was wafting into their windows, assaulting their olfactory and, in at least one case, waking their small children. While residents on social media and media eventually got the word out, to our dismay, the Allegheny County Health Department was again mum until well after the flames were extinguished. When it did alert residents, the messaging was late and woefully inadequate, telling the public only that the fire had occurred and PM2.5 levels did not exceed regulatory limits. From Metalico’s permit, we all know more was emitted than PM2.5. Yes, ACHD is charged with regulating air pollution sources in the county, however, ACHD is a health department. Residents should be able to trust that when air quality is poor, they can look to you for answers and guidance about how to protect themselves from unhealthy air. There is no reasonable reason preventing ACHD from communicating when emissions emergencies occur at a permitted facility. September 16 was a beautiful night. People likely had their windows open. Residents should be able to expect their HEALTH department to tell them when there’s an industrial emergency at a permitted source that could impact PM2.5, VOC, other hazardous air pollutants, and ultimately their health. Had they been notified, they would have been able to take actions to mitigate exposure. That’s why GASP is calling on ACHD to create a public crisis communication plan for when fires and other emergencies occur at permitted facilities. This was the second fire at Metalico and several fires at other permitted sources this year. During each emergency, the public wasn’t alerted until after. Notifying the public in semi-real time would have prevented exposure to harmful air pollution. Thank you. Stay tuned. GASP continues to follow this issue closely and will keep you posted. Editor’s Note: Big THANK YOU to WPXI, for its coverage of this important issue. Check it out:
- GASP Presents Public Comments at Hearing About Allegheny County SO2 Attainment Redesignation Request
GASP on Thursday presented testimony at a public hearing regarding Allegheny County Health Department’s request for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise Allegheny County’s portion of the state Implementation Plan to redesignate it as being in attainment for sulfur National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Here are the comments from Executive Director Patrick Campbell: Good afternoon. I’m Patrick Campbell, executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), a nonprofit organization working to improve regional air quality since 1969. Largely due to our region’s continued reliance on coal-fired power plants and industrial processes, several areas in Southwestern Pennsylvania have historically suffered from elevated levels of sulfur dioxide - among them, the Liberty-Clairton area here in Allegheny County. If granted, EPA’s redesignation of Allegheny County as a sulfur dioxide attainment area will signify a significant step forward for cleaner air locally. But we know that attainment is only a step - and we are asking that both the EPA and ACHD remain steadfast in their surveillance and monitoring of SO2. That’s because the air pollutant is still very much a public health issue for the residents of Allegheny County - specifically those who live in or downwind of the industrial facilities that have long driven our area’s SO2 exceedances, like U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works. We know that even short-term exposure to high levels of S02 can cause ailments like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. We know its stench impacts the quality of life for residents. In 2022, there were no exceedances at North Braddock and one exceedance at Liberty. However, so far in 2023, there have been two exceedances at North Braddock and one exceedance at Liberty. Clearly we still have a long way to go to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors in environmental justice areas will no longer be impacted by high levels of SO2. GASP is urging the EPA to carefully monitor Allegheny County’s S02 surveillance and monitoring efforts as it navigates the next step - implementation of its maintenance plan - over the next 10 years. Thank you. Editor’s Note: Stay tuned, GASP continues to follow this issue closely and will keep you posted.
- $2.3M from Clean Air Fund Headed to Mon Valley: Electric Trucks and More Trees. Hooray?
Allegheny County announced in a press release Wednesday that $2.3 million has been awarded to fund five projects in Mon Valley communities centered on electrification of municipal vehicles and tree planting. Funding for the five projects comes from the Clean Air Fund, a repository for fines and penalties assessed by the Health Department’s Air Quality Program against polluters. While the project numbers might appear balanced – three electrification projects and two for trees – the funding is not: 96% of the money awarded will go to new equipment and a paltry 4% to nature’s air filtration system. Per the release, the projects are: $750,000 to the Steel Rivers Council of Governments, a group that provides support to 19 municipalities in the Mon Valley region, to replace its existing 2006 diesel-powered street sweeper with an electric street sweeper. The organization's current street sweeper will be decommissioned and scrapped. $748,339 to West Mifflin Borough to replace its existing 2007 diesel-powered refuse truck with an electric rear-load garbage packer, as well as install two electric vehicle charging stations and an electrical service upgrade at the vehicle site. Installation of the new electric infrastructure will support the new truck and ensure that the planned conversion to an all-electric municipal vehicle fleet is practicable for the borough. The Borough’s current 2007 diesel-powered refuse truck will be rendered inoperable and scrapped. $700,000 to Swissvale Borough to replace its existing 2016 trash collection truck and 2014 recycling truck with electric versions, as well as install two charging stations at the borough's Public Works Department. The Borough will disable and scrap its existing trucks. $92,000 to Tree Pittsburgh for two separate projects. The first grant will see 75 caliper, balled, and burlap trees planted in the Woodland Hills School District. The second will support the planting of 75 caliper, balled, and burlap trees in the Steel Valley School District. Both plantings will take place as part of the organization's One Tree Per Child program designed to engage students in hands-on educational activities, including tree planting and care. Allegheny County Health Department regulations require that Clean Air Fund projects “support activities related to the improvement of air quality within Allegheny County” or “support activities [that] will increase or improve knowledge concerning air pollution, its causes, its effects, and the control thereof.” Reducing diesel pollution is critical to improving air quality, but call us unconvinced that scrapping two trucks fewer than 10 years old is a prudent use of the Fund. On a related note, thanks to all who supported our efforts recently to urge better management of the Clean Air Fund.
- Mystery Plume(s) from U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works Prompt GASP to Demand Answers, Accountability
Today, GASP is calling on the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to provide a public update regarding possible opacity violations at U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works facilities, what’s causing them, and what it’s doing to stem the issue. Here’s what’s going on: GASP’s volunteer smoke readers (more on those here) have been back in the Mon Valley, with stops in Clairton and Braddock to observe emissions from U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works and Edgar Thompson facilities. Those observations have noted a familiar and disconcerting scene: some nasty brownish plumes coming from the Clairton Coke Works. Over the past several months, GASP staff - and longtime volunteer Melanie Meade of Clairton - did what watchdogs do: We reported the plumes - and the stench of rotten eggs - to the Allegheny County Health Department, our local air quality regulator. We also provided ACHD a heads-up about some high-opacity smoke and industrial odors emanating from the Edgar Thomson facility. In response to these official complaints, ACHD said the department is “currently looking into the photos and investigating to determine if an enforcement action(s) is/are warranted.” GASP then received this response to a subsequent report about the troublesome plumes and what their investigation discovered: “We have been in contact with the facilities regarding the possible sources of visible emissions and odors. We are continuing to inspect the Clairton facility and take enforcement actions for alleged violations of our regulations.” With regard to the visible emissions and odors observed at the Edgar Thomson plant, ACHD believes that “actions to be taken under the proposed Consent Decree will alleviate these emissions and odors.” Stay tuned for a GASP investigation into whether or not U.S. Steel met the obligations set forth in that consent decree. But back to those plumes… We think it’s important to reiterate that these brown plumes of smoke billowing from the U.S. Steel facility are concerning not only because of their high opacity but because of their frequency. Numerous complaints have been made. The time for a substantive update from ACHD is now. “In this information vacuum, the community suffers,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “Industrial emissions harm public health. Full stop. Allegheny County residents need - and deserve - action and transparency from their air quality regulators and trust that they are working to stem whatever is causing these brown plumes and associated stench.” Editor’s Note: The ACHD enforcement docket shows the last emissions-related enforcement action levied against U.S. Steel was in March 2022.
- GASP Announces Hiring of Program & Education Manager, Reaffirms Commitment to Local Communities
The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) is delighted to announce it has hired Laura Kuster as its new program and education manager. "I see this as a way to maximize GASP's greatest strength; our staff - its experience and talent,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “Laura is a well-connected, outgoing educator and strategic thinker and I personally can’t wait to see how her skill set and passion for advocacy and education help GASP continue to grow and more effectively serve our local communities." While the position is new to GASP, Kuster is not: She has served as the nonprofit’s part-time educator since 2019. Prior to her tenure at GASP, she worked as the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s health equity specialist. Kuster earned her undergraduate degree from The College of Wooster and a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. “I'm grateful for this opportunity to dedicate more time to projects that bring GASP closer to our local communities,” she said. “I'm looking forward to getting to know more colleagues in the advocacy arena as well as residents interested in our regional air quality and finding creative ways we can work together to improve conditions for us all.” GASP President Jonathan Nadle lauded the hire, saying the additional full-time position will allow the organization to expand its educational and outreach offerings in local environmental justice areas. “Laura has done amazing work for GASP as a part-time educator, spearheading our Fresh Voices for Clean Air initiative and taking the lead on the creation of air quality resources for local elected officials,” he said. “We can’t wait to see what she adds to our organization as a full-time staff member. We are fortunate to have her working with us.”
- GASP to Board of Health: Prioritize Public Health During Bad-Air Events; Share Real-Time Conditions
The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) was among those who addressed the Allegheny County Board of Health Wednesday when our executive director demanded improved public communications from the Allegheny County Health Department during prolonged periods of unhealthy air quality like our region experienced when wildfire smoke impacted our region. Here's what he said: Good afternoon. I’m Patrick Campbell, executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution (or GASP), a nonprofit working to improve our air quality since 1969. Waves of Canadian wildfire smoke wafted into our region again since the last time this board convened. The resulting pollution dimmed our skies and fouled our air. At the pollution’s peak, the Air Quality Index or AQI in most parts of the county was well into the Purple, very unhealthy range. GASP followed conditions closely and interacted with myriad residents who shared their fears about potential health impacts from the wildfire smoke and who were seeking clear, actionable information to help them mitigate exposure to this pollution. For so many, it was the worst air quality they had experienced in their lifetime. In public messaging, the PA Department of Health recommended those impacted by wildfire smoke utilize EPA’s AirNow app and its color-coded AQI for real-time air quality conditions. So did the EPA. And the DEP. And the National Weather Service. And the PA Emergency Management Agency. And local news stations. And advocacy groups like GASP. Allegheny County Health Department, meanwhile, pushed the use of its own air quality dashboard - one that displays air quality data averaged over 24 hours. Meaning users needed to access raw data that is not presented in the AQI format for shorter-term considerations like, “Should I let my children play outside this afternoon.” You don’t need to be a mathematician to realize a current or real-time PM2.5 level outside is not the average of the previous 24 hours. To put it another way, if you wanted to know whether to take an umbrella with you to work, you wouldn’t look at the average rainfall over the last 24 hours - you’d want to know if precipitation is imminent. That’s why GASP repeatedly called on the department to promote airnow.gov - it is a superior option to ACHD assigning the public math homework before they go outside. Now we’re calling on this Board to take responsibility for public health. You must ensure that next time, residents in your charge can count on their health officials to provide the information and resources they need to protect themselves and their families. Thank you.
- EPA Wants to Revise Coke Oven Emissions Standards, But Not Enough to Address Unacceptable Risks
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this summer proposed policy revisions that will impact coke-making operations, including those at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works and Cleveland Cliffs’ coke ovens in Monessen. We’re here to break down these proposed new National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (or NESHAPs for short). Spoiler: The proposed revisions unfortunately offer much less than they could. Some Necessary Background As we reported last week, the Clean Air Act requires EPA to review NESHAPs for a particular category of sources eight years after it promulgates them. This review must confirm that the emissions permitted under the NESHAPs do not create an unacceptable health risk (this is what’s known as a residual risk review). In this context, an unacceptable health risk means that emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from the source category at any one facility are likely to cause more than 10 deaths or serious illnesses among 1 million people with lifetime exposure to those HAP emissions. Still with us? Good. Next, EPA must determine whether control technologies have become available that could be used to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants from the source category (this is called the technology review). The Clean Air Act requires EPA to perform a technology review for each NESHAPs every eight years. However, EPA has taken the position that the Act requires it to perform only one residual risk review for each NESHAPs, eight years after a particular NESHAPs is first promulgated. There are technically two sets of NESHAPs for coke manufacturing facilities, with each covering different sources within those facilities: First, the NESHAPs for Coke Oven Batteries were promulgated in 1993 and revised in 2005 after a residual risk and technology review. Second, the NESHAPs for Coke Ovens: Pushing, Quenching, and Battery Stacks were promulgated in 2003. The proposed revisions EPA published on Aug. 16 cover both sets of NESHAPs and are thus based on the findings from the agency’s second technology review of the NESHAPs for Coke Oven Batteries and the first residual risk and technology review of the NESHAPs for Coke Ovens: Pushing, Quenching, and Battery Stacks. As a result of those reviews, EPA has proposed three notable revisions to the NESHAPs, which are of varying significance in relation to the coke plants in Clairton and Monessen. Three Revisions That Could Most Impact Clairton, Monessen Mills First, EPA will require all coke-making facilities to monitor benzene concentrations at four spots along their fencelines. The monitors would be required to operate continuously and report benzene concentrations averaged over two-week-long periods. Here’s how it would work: If a monitor detects benzene levels that are more than 3 micrograms/cubic meter higher than established background levels (AKA the ambient level of pollution that is not affected by local sources of pollution), the facility must conduct a root cause analysis and take corrective action. If a facility’s monitors detect low levels of benzene, it will be permitted to sample on a less frequent basis. Second, EPA will reduce the percentages of leaking coke oven doors, lids, and offtakes that are allowable under the NESHAPs, with the new limits being dependent upon the facility - the Clairton Coke Works will have stricter limits than all other facilities in the United States. The limits that apply will also depend on the type of coke oven door – at Clairton, the allowable percentage of leaking coke oven doors will be higher for tall doors, while at all other facilities, those allowable percentages will be the same for both types of door. “Although lower limits on leaking equipment are to be welcomed, it is difficult to predict how much pollution they will actually prevent because coke oven facilities regularly violate the higher, existing limits on such leaks and also to determine how much pollution equipment leaks actually create when they do occur,” GASP senior attorney John Baillie explained. Third, EPA will establish emission limits for six HAPs from battery stacks at by-product recovery coke plants (which includes both Clairton and Monessen) for which no such limits currently exist. The six HAPs are hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide, mercury, and metallic HAPs. “It does not appear that these new limits will require either facility to add new controls or make changes to its operations; rather, the limits quantify allowable HAP emissions that have been occurring and will continue to occur,” Baillie said. He continued: “EPA did not perform a second residual risk review of the Coke Oven Batteries NESHAPs in connection with the proposed revisions it published on August 16. Which is too bad. If it had, additional emission or operating limits that save lives might be in the pipeline.” In the residual risk review that EPA did perform for the Coke Oven Batteries: Pushing, Quenching, and Battery Stacks NESHAPs, EPA determined that although HAP emissions from pushing, quenching, and battery stacks at coke ovens do not pose an unacceptable risk under the existing NESHAPs, actual facility-wide emissions from coke ovens do: [the maximum cancer risk posed by all sources of HAP at coke oven facilities] would remain unchanged, at 50-in-1 million because the whole facility [maximum individual risk] is driven by the estimated actual current fugitive emissions from coke oven doors … and we do not expect reductions of the actual emissions from doors as a result of this proposed rule. “A risk level of 50-in-1 million exceeds EPA’s acceptable risk level by a whopping factor of five,” Baillie said, “EPA is failing the communities it has a duty to protect by not imposing stricter emission limits or operating requirements.” EPA will accept comments on the proposed revisions through Oct. 23. Editor’s Note: Stay tuned, GASP is preparing sample comments so folks can easily weigh in on these important revisions.
- GASP Seeking Applicants for Fresh Voices for Clean Air Youth Education Program
The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) is seeking Allegheny County students in grades 9, 10, and 11 interested in becoming environmental game-changers. If that sounds like you or someone you know, we invite you to apply today for an innovative program called Fresh Voices for Clean Air. For the third year, GASP is partnering with Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP), a non-profit organization working in the greater Birmingham area in Alabama to advance healthy air and environmental justice through education, advocacy, and organizing. “Our missions are very similar - they work to reduce air pollution, educate people about the health risks associated with unhealthy air quality, and encourage municipal leaders to be role models for clean air and clean energy development,” Patrick Campbell said. “We’re excited for another opportunity to partner with our friends in Birmingham and look forward to seeing what the students come up with this time around.” Here’s how Fresh Voices for Clean Air works: GASP will pair a small group of high school students in Allegheny County with a group of their peers in Birmingham, Ala. for a school year-long collaborative partnership. Throughout 2023-24, the cohorts in each city will meet virtually to participate in discussions with each other as well as guest speakers. This year, Fresh Voices will be partnering closely with Communitopia’s Pittsburgh Youth for Climate Action (PYCA). The team will learn more about air quality while building the skills necessary to become effective environmental advocates. By the program’s end, students will have created, developed, and executed an air quality project of their own choosing, with the support of adult mentors in Pittsburgh and Birmingham. “This new partnership between air quality-focused non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh and Birmingham reflects our cities’ similar industrial and environmental history,” said Michael Hansen, executive director of the Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution. “A century ago, Birmingham was nicknamed the ‘Pittsburgh of the South.’ The two cities have experienced some of the worst air quality in the nation, and residents have been fighting back for decades.” GASP Air Quality Educator Laura Kuster agreed: “Discovering and discussing the similarities and differences between experiences in these two regions will be a key component of the collaboration,” she said. The program will run through the 2023-24 academic year and is open to students in grades 9, 10, and 11 who attend school in either Allegheny County or Jefferson County, Ala. Students must be willing and able to participate in Fresh Voices for Clean Air until the end of the school year in June 2024 to be considered. Participants will need access to a laptop or desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone to take part in virtual meetings, as well as written consent from a parent or guardian. The deadline to apply is Sept. 22. You can apply here. Need a little more info first? GASP will host a brief virtual info session via Zoom at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 12. GASP staff will provide details about the program and answer any questions. You can register here. The Fresh Voices for Clean Air initiative was made possible by funding through the Grable Foundation. The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), a non-profit founded in 1969, works to improve air quality in SWPA to safeguard human, environmental, and economic health. GASP is a diligent watchdog, educator, litigator, and policy-maker on air quality issues impacting our region. Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP), a non-profit organization working in the greater-Birmingham area in Alabama, advances healthy air & environmental justice through education, advocacy, and organizing. They strive to reduce air pollution, educate the public on the health risks associated with poor air quality, and encourage community leaders to serve as role models for clean air and clean energy development. Communitopia is a nonprofit organization working to provide transformative climate change education that develops today’s climate leaders and advances equitable solutions. They envision a world where solution-based climate change education has transformed community thought and practice resulting in empowered and healthy local communities.
- More H2S Exceedances in Mon Valley Beg Question: Why the Sharp Rise at N. Braddock Despite ET Deal?
If you’ve noticed a distinctive stank in and around the Mon Valley over the past week, Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) air quality monitor data show a likely culprit: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) concentrations that exceed Pennsylvania’s 24-hour standard. SmellPGH users certainly noticed: Many reports poured in those days with folks complaining of an industrial, rotten-egg odor. Our Mon Valley friends (and those who live downwind of those communities) know the H2S stench all too well: So many people have told us so many times that the rotten-egg odor is strong enough to seep through their closed windows and pungent enough to wake them from slumber. If you’re asking yourself, “What’s the source of all that stink?” we’d like to remind folks: In 2022 ACHD published a comprehensive study analyzing potential sources of H2S that have been driving exceedances of the Pennsylvania 24-hour average H2S standard at its air quality monitor in Liberty Borough. The 31-page study concluded: “Based on all available data and resources, H2S exceedances that occurred at the Liberty site during the period of Jan. 1, 2020, through March 1, 2022, can be attributed entirely to emissions originating at U.S. Steel’s Clairton coking facility.” But it should be noted: The Clairton Coke Works isn’t the *only* industrial source of the foul-smelling air pollutant - U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson facility in North Braddock is one, too. Now back to recent conditions, because this past week has been a rough one: ACHD monitor data show that H2S concentrations exceeded the state limit this past Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at its air quality monitor in Liberty Borough and on Monday and Tuesday at the North Braddock location. For those keeping count, that means there have been 58 such exceedances at the Liberty monitor so far this year and 21 more at the North Braddock monitoring station. Note: ACHD began monitoring for H2S at the North Braddock monitoring location in 2020. “Based on the rate of exceedances so far this year, we are on pace for 90 H2S exceedances at Liberty and 32 at North Braddock for 2023. If that pans out, that would make 2023’s numbers slightly better than 2021 but clearly worse than 2022,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “Because the provisions in the consent decree between ACHD and U.S. Steel were expected to stem these emissions issues, we have to ask: Why the sharp increase in H2S exceedances at the North Braddock monitor?” Editor’s Note: A little context: The consent decree called for U.S. Steel to begin “feeding an oxidizing chemical additive or additives…into the slag pit quench water spray system, to enhance suppression of H2S emissions.” Stay tuned, GASP is investigating how - and if - U.S. Steel met the requirements of the agreement.