PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A new report just released says for months, people in Allegheny County were breathing in polluted air.
Environmental experts, supporters and doctors say that everyone in Allegheny County has a right to breathe cleaner air, and that’s why they want to boost funding for the Allegheny County Health Department in order to crack down on the biggest polluters.
“People here in Allegheny County are fed up and are ready to be able to breathe without putting their health at risk,” said Bethany Hallam, Allegheny Councilperson At-Large.
In a 2018 report from PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group, the Pittsburgh region had 90 days of unhealthy air quality.
“That means for about three months of the year, or at least one day a week, the air that we are breathing was putting our health at risk,” said Zachary Barber of PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center.
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The most vulnerable include the elderly, children and minorities.
“And it’s become a public health crisis here in Pittsburgh,” said Dr. Deborah Gentile, Pediatrician and asthma specialist.
The report points out various sources in Pittsburgh for the polluted air, one being industrial emissions coming from local facilities.
Councilperson At-Large, Bethany Hallam, calls out U.S. Steel for being one of them.
“The health department is supposed to have our backs in the fight against dangerous pollution. But all too often they are dramatically out-gunned by huge corporations like U.S. Steel who can afford teams of the fanciest lawyers,” said Hallam.
As for data from the 2019 report, that has not yet been released.