• New report ranks Allegheny County's top 10 air polluters

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    ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. - PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center released a new report Monday that highlights the 10 facilities in Allegheny County that are emitting the most toxic pollutants into the air.

    Below is a list of the facilities identified in the report as the county’s “toxic 10" air polluters:

    1. Carpenter Powder Products in Bridgeville
    2. Cheswick Power Plant in Springdale
    3. U.S. Steel Clairton Plant in Clairton
    4. Allegheny Ludlum in Brackenridge
    5. ATI Powder Metals in Oakdale
    6. HOltec Manufacturing in Turtle Creek
    7. Universal Stainless and Alloy Products in Bridgeville
    8. McConway & Torley Foundry in Pittsburgh
    9. Shenango Coke Plant in Neville Island
    10. Harsco Metals in Natrona Heights

    According to the report, the facilities are a major source of pollutants known to cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and nervous system damage.

    "Allegheny County in particular still has some of the worst air quality in the nation,” Police and Outreach Coordinator for the Group against Smog and Pollution Jamin Bogi said. "Almost any negative health outcome you can think of can be linked to some sort of air pollution."

    In a statement to Channel 11 News, NRG, which owns the Cheswick Power Plant in Springdale, said “the plant is meeting or actually improving on the requirement of its air permit in all aspects.

    Meanwhile, ATI, which has two facilities on the list, issued a statement, saying, it’s “committed to improving sustainability” and has reduced air pollutants by more than 30 percent.

    Clear air advocates said they want to see the Allegheny County Health Department to step in and do more.

    “The Allegheny County Health Department can help ensure that (clean up) happens by setting clean air permits that protect public health by reducing toxic emissions, instituting higher fines for violations and increasing monitoring,” said Stephen Riccardi, field associate for PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center.

    Shenango Incorporated and United Steelworkers District 10 issued a joint statement concerning the PennEnvironment report, saying:

    "This new report by Penn Environment is designed to alarm rather than inform. It is their job to advocate for their viewpoint; however, we prefer to focus on the facts. The report relies on outdated data and statistics to advocate for viewpoints that are not supported by the facts. Additionally, the report ignores documented independent evidence that air quality in the county is improving. This is an attack on the steel industry, which produces the stainless steel appliances, hybrid electric cars and even pollution control devices that consumers and our communities rely on."

    A spokesperson for Harsco Metal and Minerals, which is also included in the “Toxic Ten” said:

    “The figures cited in PennEnvironment’s so-called “Toxic Ten” report are in no way reflective of the full facts, and we take very serious issue with both their methodology and their motives.  The Harsco Metals site referenced in PE’s report has – in fact – decreased emissions by fifty percent in the cited period.  Far from being willful polluters, Harsco Metals is – at core – an environmental solutions company that takes products otherwise destined to be landfilled and repurposes them into commercially-viable products.”

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