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Liberty Air Quality Monitor Documents Morning Of High Air Pollution

Clairton Coke Works

Clairton's Liberty monitor recorded a spike in poor air quality early this morning. The monitor went to “Code Orange,” meaning air quality is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Pollution levels increased at 3 a.m. and remained elevated until around 8 a.m., when they fell back down to more moderate levels.

During periods of poor air quality, young children, elderly people, and those with respiratory problems are encouraged to limit outdoor activities.

According to a forecast from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, air pollution levels at the Liberty monitor are expected to stay in the moderate range for the rest of the day.

The Liberty monitor is about two miles away from U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works, which has long been a major source of air pollution. It has some of the highest recorded fine particulate pollution readings in the region.

Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at jzenkevich@wesa.fm.