Letter to the editor: We need clean air in Pittsburgh
Our community wants and needs clean air.
Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Erika Strassburger held a listening session on air quality in Pittsburgh June 26 in East Liberty. I was impressed with the meeting and proud of my fellow Pittsburghers for speaking out about their knowledge of and experience with our poor air quality.
One of my main takeaways was that, yes, Pittsburgh’s air 50 years ago was horrible. The smog and soot would coat clothing and make it difficult to see. However, that does not mean our air quality is good enough now.
Air pollution still kills several hundred Pittsburghers annually. Pollution from US Steel’s Clairton plant is being swept into our neighborhoods. People spoke about developing asthma and other terrible conditions since moving to Pittsburgh, after being healthy their entire lives.
We are in a canyon full of industrial pollution, and this affects us all. Clean, breathable air needs to be a priority because dirty air does not discriminate. The sickening effects of dirty air harm us all, especially our children.
I want to thank Strassburger for the eye-opening event and call on all of Pittsburgh’s elected officials to value the health of their constituents over industrial interests.
The writer is an intern with PennEnvironment (pennenvironment.org).