The town of Clairton, an epicenter of concern about continuing poor air quality in the region, is the site of Breathless: An Air Quality Expo
, to be staged by three environmental groups.
The event will include information, resources and speakers on air pollution (and also refreshments). Speakers include Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner, environmental-justice activist Knowledge Murphy (of Black Man, Green Plan
), and Deborah Gentile, a researcher who has recently studied asthma in Clairton.
Other speakers include Ana Tsuhlares, of Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab, who will demonstrate how to use a Speck
air-pollution monitor and the free Smell PGH app, and representatives of the Clean Air Council, the Group Against Smog and Pollution, and the Allegheny County Health Department's Air Quality Program.
Allegheny County has received a failing grade for year-round particle pollution from the American Lung Association. One big reason is U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works, which for years has been one of the largest polluters in the county.
"Mon Valley residents are more susceptible to health issues, including asthma or cancer, because of this fact," said Annie Rega, Southwest PA outreach coordinator for PennFuture
, in a statement. PennFuture says it has uncovered about 6,700 air-pollution violations at the Coke Works between Jan. 1, 2012, and May 31, 2015.
The presentation by the county's Health Department will include an update on attempts to enforce air-pollution rules at the plant.
The expo is sponsored by PennFuture, Clean Water Action and the Clean Air Council.
Breathless: An Air Quality Expo, runs from 2-6 p.m. this Sun., March 26, at the Community Economic Development Corporation Center
, 282 St. Clair Ave., in Clairton.