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Living Downwind
In 2017, ACCAN published the booklet, Living Downwind, to present 21 personal stories about the impact that the Shenango Coke Plant had on residents' lives, and their experiences after the plant shut down. The booklet has been shared with elected officials and community members to serve as a case study and validation for ACCAN's efforts to advocate for a non-polluting use of the Shenango site in the future. To read these stories visit the Stories tab above.

Allegheny County Clean Air Now - Current Projects

Retrospective Health Studies
ACCAN is advocating for the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and medical researchers to document health impacts resulting from the operation of the Shenango Coke Plant. Dr. Deborah Gentile of the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is currently completing retrospective studies of asthma among students in the Northgate School District, the school downwind from Shenango, and hospital admissions to AHN facilities and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, before and after the closure of the Shenango plant.

DTE Shenango Site Remediation and Reuse
ACCAN is advocating for remediation of the Shenango site to eliminate all pollutants and toxins from continuing to foul the air and water in the community.

ACCAN is also promoting reuse of the Shenango property to support a solar array. (DTE has installed solar arrays in its home state of Michigan.) ACCAN members have delivered petitions, with 800 signatures, for solar arrays to DTE Shareholders Meetings. ACCAN has also begun discussions with elected officials and other environmental groups to promote the solar array, and continues to press DTE to proceed with this project. Members have introduced resolutions in North Borough municipalities requesting endorsement of the solar array. Bellevue, Ben Avon, and Emsworth have already passed resolutions in support of this project. Sign the petition in support of a solar array here.

Proposed Forfeiture of All Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) by DTE
During the operation of the DTE Shenango Coke Plant, the facility operated with a permit that allowed the plant to emit more than 100 tons of pollutants annually. Once the plant permanently shut down, DTE had the opportunity to apply for emission reduction credits (ERCs) for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds, based on the quantity and type of pollutant the plant had emitted while operating. DTE can sell these credits to new pollution sources in the county or region. The advancement toward cleaner air since the closure of the coke plant will be erased if DTE sells the ERCs and allows another facility to resume emitting dangerous pollutants. ACCAN is now adding signatures to a letter to DTE demanding the forfeiture of all ERCs.

Allegheny County Clean Air Now - Current Projects

Other Neville Island Polluters
While DTE Shenango was the largest source of industrial pollution on Neville Island, three facilities which are major sources of pollution and several smaller facilities remain. ACCAN is conducting research on the pollution from those remaining industries, identifying the applicable regulations, and determining how well the Allegheny County Health Department is monitoring the facilities. The permits can be viewed on the GASP Website. See "Air Permits Clearinghouse" under "Projects."

Monitoring Efforts
To monitor pollution from the Shenango Coke Plant, ACCAN worked with Carnegie Mellon University CREATE (Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment) Lab to install a camera in the Avalon attic of an ACCAN member. Photos were taken every few seconds to create a video that documented continuous pollution from the plant. The CREATE Lab and ACCAN also deployed particulate monitors throughout the community. Using the video and monitored information, along with "smell" reports and weather conditions, the CREATE Lab developed and launched The Shenango Channel in 2014. The Shenango Channel provided evidence of pollution from the coke plant and the impact on the surrounding communities to regulators, including the ACHD and EPA. It substantiated residents' complaints and proof of non-compliance by DTE. For more information visit The Shenango Channel website.

ACCAN is undertaking new air monitoring projects in the community. We are in the process of purchasing AWAIR air monitors to identify volatile organic compounds from the remaining Neville Island facilities. ACCAN also expects to place RAMP (Real-time Affordable Multi-Pollutant) sensors throughout the community as part of a regional CMU monitoring program. The sensors identify carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and particulate matter in localized areas.

Support for Air Quality Groups in the Region
ACCAN supports other groups in their advocacy for cleaner air. Members have met with and supported Clairton residents in their fight against ongoing pollution from U. S. Steel Clairton Coke Plant, testified at ACHD and Board of Health meetings regarding the Clairton Coke Plant, McConway and Torley Steel Foundry in Lawrenceville, and the Cheswick Power Plant in Springdale. ACCAN members are also active with Beaver County groups concerned with the substantial air quality threat posed by the Shell Ethane Cracker Plant.