PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – During a preview of his state of the county address next week, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald had some good news about the quality of air we breathe.

Fitzgerald made the announcement while addressing members of the Airport Area Chamber of Commerce.

“For the first time in our history in Allegheny County, every single air monitoring station in Allegheny County has reached attainment under the PM 2.5 range,” he said. “We’ve never done that before.”

The county executive believes effort to improve air quality will help attract more people to the region.

“For people coming from the outside, they look at that,” Fitzgerald said. “They’re going to move their family, they’re going to move their children here, they want to make sure air quality is good.”

Fitzgerald also told the gathering that economic development is on the upswing in the county with 16,000 new jobs last year, while unemployment stands at under 6 percent.

He also said property taxes have not been raised for the third year and stressed the importance of a deal with Consol Energy Center to drill for natural gas near the airport.

“We’re going to see for the airport approximately $500 million in revenues come to the airport from the royalties over the next 20 years,” he said.

Despite, skepticism over a proposal for Shell Oil to build an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, Fitzgerald gives the company a vote of confidence.

Fitzgerald believes Allegheny County is no longer treading water as he says it has been for 30 years. He believes the county is now in a position to manage growth, bring in revenue and grow jobs without damaging the environment.

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