Regarding the column by Howard Rieger that appeared in the July 26, 2019, issue of the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle (“Pittsburgh’s dirty little secret”): People in Pittsburgh listen to the radio, watch the television news and read the newspaper, so people are aware of the air quality. Air quality is not a secret. Pittsburgh is one of the most livable cities in the country based on various criteria, one of which is not air quality.
By writing a column in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, does Rieger think that suddenly readers will be motivated to be pollution control activists? Does he think that young people will choose to speak out about pollution control for a bar or bat mitzvah project?
U.S. Steel Corp. may be the worst offender of pollution control in Allegheny County. It does seem that large manufacturing corporations all over the world do try to get away with what they can and for as long a period as they can. One reason is that protecting the environment costs money. Pollution control equipment is expensive. A large corporation such as U.S. Steel is constantly having to spend money. Pollution control equipment is probably put on the back burner or when they are forced to improve their relationship with the environment then they will do what is necessary.
Perhaps when they prepare to do something about air quality another crisis may spring up. Please remember United States Steel Corporation has a dozen or more locations. At any given time, their other locations outside of Pittsburgh have various issues to be solved. U.S. Steel Corp. has only so many thumbs and only so much money to plug all the holes. The offenders of the quality of the air in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County should make it a priority to do as much as possible to make improvements to air quality.
Mayor Peduto, City Council members, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and County Council members should know what is going on in their city and county. They certainly have the stage to speak out and take action.
It seems that the Allegheny County Health Department does the best it can when it comes to handling the challenge to keep various organizations in line concerning violations to air quality.