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Health Department Considering Plan To Clean Up Air Pollution

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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Sarah Arbogast joined the KDKA team as a Traffic Reporter in November...
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CBS Pittsburgh (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSPittsburgh.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSPittsburgh.com/Health

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – How does free bus service sound?

That’s part of a new proposal to clean up the air here in Pittsburgh.

There is no doubt Pittsburgh has come a long way in terms of air quality, but the city still needs some work.

That’s where, Walter Goldburg, comes in.

He’s a board member of the group against smog and pollution and he recently came up with a radical plan to clean up Allegheny County’s dirtiest days.

“Air pollution that we still have now kills people, it makes people sick,” Goldburg said.

That pollution is coming from a number of sources like local industries and vehicle traffic.

Under Goldburg’s proposal, Allegheny County industries would have to cut back operations and emissions when tiny airborne particulates reach unhealthy levels.

Goldburg said last year there were roughly 10 of those air quality action days.

“Certainly, it will include coal fired plants and certainly, it will include our two coke plants,” Goldburg said.

Another big part of this proposal involves bus service here in Allegheny County. Goldburg wants people to be able to leave their cars at home and take the bus for free on air quality action days.

“That’s done in many cities. That’s not some clever idea of mine. That’s a very standard thing to do, of course it costs the city and the county money to let people ride for free,” Goldburg said.

Goldburg argues that the adverse health effects of pollution also cost a lot. Plus, he said there is a trickle down economic impact.

“First rate people are not going to want to come to a town where the air quality is lousy,” Goldburg said.

The plan is now being considered by the Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Pollution Control Advisory Committee.

It’s still a long way away from being implemented, if at all.

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