Monday, August 15, 2022

Allegheny County Health Dept. Releases Air Quality Annual Review Covering 2021

On August 15, the
Allegheny County Health Department released an Air Quality Annual Review covering accomplishments in 2021.

Dr. Debra L. Bogen wrote this introduction to the report--

In 2021, ACHD expanded and implemented new technology and programs and completed some long-term studies that will inform our future. These initiatives appear in this report, and here are some of the accomplishments I am particularly proud of:

--  Conducted a study to identify the sources of hydrogen sulfide after noticing increased concentrations in certain communities. Portable hydrogen sulfide monitors were deployed around the impacted areas to provide important data.

-- Added a new section to the county’s Air Pollution Control Regulations, the Mon Valley Air Pollution Episode Rule. This regulation requires local industrial facilities to implement emission reduction plans when alerted to surface temperature inversions or any event that can cause high levels of PM2.5 to collect for at least 24 hours.

-- Created more accessible public hearing processes that enabled more public participation while COVID-19 restrictions were in effect.

-- Increased the number of asbestos demolition and renovation projects evaluated for compliance. This work has led to asbestos survey reporting being required in the City of Pittsburgh’s permitting process.

This work does not happen on its own. The ACHD relies on community engagement to improve the region’s air quality. We hope that you will join us in our efforts to improve the health of our current and future residents.

Additionally, I extend thanks to our staff, whose dedication, passion, and flexibility have been inspirational, particularly in the face of the unique and critical challenges we face today. 

The team works continuously to ensure that equipment is working efficiently, data are accurate, and that the Air Quality Program is always preparing for tomorrow’s challenges, while actively addressing today’s issues.

I am proud to present “2021 Air Quality Annual Review: The Process of Progress.” As is clear from this inaugural report, the Air Quality Program is working diligently to address air quality challenges in our county.

Click Here for a copy of the report.

Dr. Bogen became Director of the Allegheny County Health Department on March 4, 2020, less than two weeks before Pennsylvania’s schools were shut down at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

The Allegheny County Health Department not only is responsible for traditional public health programs, but is specifically delegated authority to regulate air pollution by state law.

[Posted: August 15, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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