Pollution

Your Takeout Meal Might Be Harming The Great Lakes

Aug 16, 2018
Mafalada 2001 / Flickr

There’s a scene in the 1967 film The Graduate where a well-meaning friend of the family pulls Dustin Hoffman’s character aside at his graduation party, and gives him this advice:

Official: Pennsylvania 'Clearly Behind' In Pollution Goals

Aug 8, 2018
Brian Witte / AP

A senior environmental official in Pennsylvania said Tuesday that his state is "clearly behind" in reaching goals of cutting pollution that flows downstream into the Chesapeake Bay by 2025, weeks after heavy rains brought a stunning amount of debris into Maryland.

Patrick McDonnell, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, made the comment at a meeting in Baltimore of officials from six states in the bay watershed. Maryland officials last week had blasted Pennsylvania and other upstream states, accusing them of not doing more to stop pollution flow.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

It’s a hot July day and 86-year-old John Zavacky is chatting with friends in the South Side Market House’s Senior Center. In the background, an air conditioner hums while drawing the warm outside air into the cavernous main room.

Amy Sisk / WESA

New research from the University of Pittsburgh provides a tool for examining pollutants in farmed salmon.

Carla Ng, an assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, worked with Swiss researchers to look at the quality of water where salmon swim and the food they eat.

Courtesy of Allegheny CleanWays

Allegheny County has 1,404 tons of illegally dumped trash, according to a new survey from Allegheny CleanWays and the county board of health.

The Breathe Project

A new initiative aims to employ citizen scientists to monitor air pollution created at U.S. Steel Corporation plants located in the Mon Valley.

Andrew Harnik / AP

In this week’s episode of the Trump on Earth podcast, we explore a new rule that would throw out vast amounts of scientific research in the name of transparency.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In its yearly "State of the Air" report, the American Lung Association gave Allegheny County a failing grade for all levels of air pollution.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A new report reveals that industrial facilities in Pennsylvania are among the top polluters of United States rivers, including a chemical company just 16 miles outside of Pittsburgh.

Marc Levy / AP

A Pennsylvania judge is requiring the prison system to pay $1,500 over its response to a request for information about how a fly ash dump and possible water contamination may be affecting inmate health.

Ohio River Town Reacts To EPA Settlement To Reduce Manganese In The Air

Mar 27, 2018
EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently signed a consent decree with the Pittsburgh-based S.H. Bell Company to reduce manganese pollution from the company. 

Environmental Group: Methane Pollution Higher Than PA Thinks

Feb 23, 2018
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

An environmental group says that Pennsylvania’s gas drilling industry is releasing much more methane into the atmosphere than the state is reporting.

This Age Of Humans That We're Living In? It Has A Name: Anthropocene

Dec 7, 2017
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

As visitors enter a new exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, they’re asked for their opinion.

Lotzman Katzman / Flickr

High rates of asthma in Allegheny County are keeping kids out of schools and impacting learning, according to research by a local pediatrician. Pittsburgh has one of the highest rates of air pollution in the country, one of the strongest factors for childhood asthma.

The study by Deborah Gentile reveals more than 22 percent of children in some Pittsburgh schools have asthma, much higher than the national average of just more than 10 percent. Gentile says this high rate of childhood asthma is alarming.

Katie Colaneri / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Climate-damaging methane emissions, as well as volatile organic compounds from Pennsylvania’s shale gas industry are on the rise, while other harmful air pollutants have decreased, according to new data released Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Learning About Pollution Can Be Fun ... When You Get To Pick A Giant Nose

Aug 10, 2017
Rachel Filippini

Our region’s dirty air is a big problem. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it, right?

Pennsylvania Among States Suing EPA

Aug 2, 2017
Emma Lee / WHYY

At a news conference on the banks of the Schuylkill River, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday they're joining 14 other states — including Delaware — in suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to delay the implementation of new, tougher standards for ozone in the air.

National Energy Technology Laboratory

Researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory south of Pittsburgh are discovering valuable rare earth elements in coal waste.

Is Green Slime As Bad For Your Health As It Looks?

Jul 13, 2017
Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP

Algae blooms are expected to form again this summer on western Lake Erie, and people want to know whether the toxin in those blooms is making them sick.

Walter Stein / AP

In 1948, twenty people died when thick smog settled over the small town of Donora, just south of Pittsburgh. But is the city prepared if it happens again?

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

President Donald Trump may not think the Paris Climate Accord is beneficial for the U.S., but Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says the city is still committed to it.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Over the years, Pittsburgh's City Council has tried to encourage social change through legislation. That includes the executive order signed Friday by Mayor Bill Peduto committing the city to ideals set forth in the 195-nation Paris climate agreement, which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from on Thursday

EPA Won't Declare Lake Erie's Waters In Ohio Impaired

May 25, 2017
Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency won't declare Ohio's western end of Lake Erie impaired by toxic algae, siding with state regulators who say they are making progress in tackling the problem.

Chris Stalnaker / 90.5 WESA

Although the smokestacks are largely gone, Pittsburghers still breathe some of the sootiest air in the Eastern U.S., according to a report issued Thursday by a local environmental advocacy group.

 

The Effect Of The Ohio River’s Legacy Pollution

Dec 1, 2016
David Kidd / Flickr

Legacy pollution continues to be a big problem in the Ohio River. Things like PCBs and dioxin, which may have been discharged into the river decades ago, can still make the water unsafe for living things—including us. For example, there are advisories limiting how many fish you can eat from the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers because these toxins build up in fish. This week, we caught up with Judy Petersen, executive director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, to tell us more about how legacy pollution—and new pollution—affects our lives.

Tracking Diesel Pollution In Downtown Pittsburgh

Nov 17, 2016
wildcellist / Flickr

 

Trucks, buses and even river barges can create lots of diesel pollution. But a new study finds that just how much of that pollution you might be exposed to depends a lot on where you are and the time of day.

Why Reimagining The Ohio River Could Be Critical To The Region's Future

Nov 4, 2016
Jeremy stump / Flickr

Standing in downtown Pittsburgh, you can see where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet to form the headwaters of the Ohio River. 

Ohio River Communities Are Still Coping With Teflon's Toxic Legacy

Nov 3, 2016
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Fore more than half a century, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people along the Ohio River. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound—used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics and even some food wrappers.

A Bold New Vision For Restoring America's Most Polluted River

Oct 20, 2016
Shannon Tompkins / Flickr

In many ways, the Ohio River is an unsung resource for the region it serves. The Ohio’s near-thousand-mile course flows through Pennsylvania and five other states before emptying into the Mississippi. It’s a source of drinking water for more than 5 million people. But its long legacy as a “working river” has also made it the most polluted in the country. Today, many cities and towns along the Ohio are rethinking their relationship to the river—and seeing how a large-scale restoration effort could be critical to the region’s future. But just how do we get there?

This New Machine Can Recycle Plastic Ad Infinitum

Sep 29, 2016
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

 Plastic pollution is all around us. You can find it in everything from grocery bags blowing down the road to islands of plastic floating in the oceans. But new technology demonstrated at a recent green products expo in Pittsburgh is getting people to think differently about plastic’s lifecycle.

“So what we have here is a mobile plastic recycling installation,” says Dutch industrial designer Bart Bleijerveld, showing off the new gizmo. “We call it the Perpetual Plastic Project.”

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