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Mon Valley residents told to limit outdoor activities due to air quality concerns

PITTSBURGH — Residents of the Mon Valley are being encouraged to limit outdoor activities until further notice because of air quality concerns, officials said Wednesday.

Following a Dec. 24 fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works that damaged two gas dispatcher stations, there have been several exceedances of the federal standards for hourly sulfur dioxide emissions, officials said.

Allegheny County Health Department officials are having ongoing conversations with plant officials about efforts to address the situation.

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“We have been closely monitoring this issue since we were first notified of the fire on December 24th. While the plant has substituted natural gas for coke oven gas and extended coking time, there have been four exceedances,” Jim Kelly, deputy director for Environmental Health, said in a news release.

Mon Valley residents in particular who should limit outdoor activities include people with existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, children and the elderly, officials said.

This recommendation applies to residents of Braddock, Clairton, Dravosburg, Duquesne, East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Elizabeth Borough, Elizabeth Township, Forward, Glassport, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln, McKeesport, North Braddock, North Versailles, Pleasant Hills, Port Vue, Versailles, Wall, West Elizabeth and West Mifflin.