For the seventh straight day, Allegheny County on Tuesday tallied another air quality exceedance – the 24-hour concentration of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) at the health department’s Liberty monitor exceeded Pennsylvania’s air quality standard of .005 ppm with an average concentration of .006 ppm, according to preliminary data from the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD).
But that’s not all: Allegheny County also experienced three straight days where concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exceeded federal health-based regulations, initial data show.
The county was plagued by poor air dispersion for the past week, but ACHD said gusty winds Tuesday and rain today would help “clean” the air, giving residents a respite from subpar air quality.
GASP has been tracking the air quality implications of this latest prolonged period of stagnant air, renewing its call for ACHD to update its episodic weather regulations to help better protect public health during inversions and other conditions expected to exacerbate poor air quality.
“We are again calling on U.S. Steel to voluntarily reduce operations during weather events that are forecast to cause a public health hazard,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said Wednesday. “The company has repeatedly talked about its commitment to the surrounding communities, its workers, and union members it employs, but talk is cheap and these kinds of empty corporate promises are getting old.”
GASP encourages our members to reach out directly to U.S. Steel and tell them to do the right thing and voluntarily reduce production to protect public health during periods of poor air dispersion. You can write, call, or email: https://www.ussteel.com/newsroom.