McConway and Torley air quality permit finalized

Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) released the final operating permit for McConway and Torley on Friday, October 26th. Please see below for the relevant documents:
Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation had requested during the public comment period that fenceline monitoring of toxic metals continue, that the emissions testing be conducted more often than every 5 years, that odor complaints need to be addressed, and that further communication/study should be conducted about the impacts of air quality on the health of Lawrenceville residents, especially our most vulnerable. ACHD created a provision in the final operating permit requiring McConway and Torley to do a traverse around the site daily to monitor, record, and address odors. ACHD disagreed with other LU’s other comments or deemed them inapplicable to the operating permit.
LU and LC created a joint letter outlining our disappointment with that result and again reiterating the need for ACHD to continue fenceline monitoring, address odor complaints, and dedicate resources to do further study of epidemiological trends in Lawrenceville. LU presented that letter (see HERE) at the Allegheny County Board of Health meeting on Wednesday, November 7th. A couple Lawrenceville residents also spoke who have recently started a small group of residents to meet monthly with a goal of raising more attention to air quality issues in the neighborhood. If you’re interested in getting involved with that group, please contact info@LUnited.org for more information.

Notes from Community Meeting on McConway and Torley’s Draft Operating Permit

A new draft operating permit has been issued by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for McConway and Torley, a steel foundry in Central Lawrenceville. The public comment period began on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 and ends on Monday, December 4th.

On November 16th, Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation hosted a community meeting with ACHD to provide information on the specifics of the draft operating permit. Please see below for meeting notes and the presentations from ACHD and Lawrenceville United:

For a quick 1-page summary of the draft operating permit and the community meeting, please also check out this summary document that LU compiled with key information.

For additional information about the air quality permit and the public process, please see below:

How can the community have a voice in this process? ACHD is currently accepting comments from the public through December 4, 2017 in one of the following ways

  1. Speak at the public hearing on Monday 12/4 at 6 p.m. at Arsenal Middle School (220 40th Street). Must register with Karen Sagel at 412-578-8115 no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, 12/1.
  2. Email to aqpermits@alleghenycounty.us
  3. Mail to 301 39th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

If you want help preparing your testimony/comments, PennEnvironment has offered to be a resource. Contact Zach Barber at 412-521-0943 or zach@pennenvironment.org.

Lawrenceville United also encourages residents to reach out to us with comments or questions at 412-802-7220 or info@LUnited.org.

Recap from Health Dept. presentation on the air quality permit process

In advance of Allegheny County Health Department’s upcoming release of the draft operating permit for McConway and Torley, Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation hosted a community meeting with ACHD on 10/4/2017 regarding the air quality permit process, what to look for, and how the public can engage.

Please see below for materials from the meeting:

    • Powerpoint from ACHD
    • Full video of the presentation and Q&A:

According to ACHD, the draft operating permit for McConway and Torley will be released at the end of October or at the beginning of November. A minimum 30-day public comment period will ensue, during which community members can provide input on the draft operating permit.

LU and LC will schedule a community meeting with ACHD specific to the McConway and Torley operating draft within that period, and are also working with ACHD around scheduling a public hearing in Lawrenceville.

For any questions, please contact LU at 412-802-7220 or info@LUnited.org.

Why air quality matters:

  • Current levels of pollution still place the City of Pittsburgh in the dirtiest 15% in the country for particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5)
  • Pittsburgh is the 8th most polluted city in America for PM 2.5, and the 26th most polluted city for ozone.
  • Air pollution is the 4th highest-ranking risk factor for death globally, and the 10th highest-ranking risk factor in the United States.
  • The health effects of air pollution include increased risks of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, asthma & respiratory disease, reproductive and developmental outcomes.