A tale of two fires: Allegheny County health officials change approach after second fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton plant

After a Dec. 24 fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works, Allegheny County Health Department officials discussed internally how to respond. The department considered issuing an emergency order to require U.S. Steel to take steps to reduce its emissions, email records show. Officials went as far as drafting such an order, they said. But they didn’t issue it because the company was already voluntarily taking many of the steps the county believed would keep residents safe.

Low-Wage Living: An illustrated look at data on labor and poverty in Pittsburgh and beyond

To show the trends impacting low-wage workers, we’ve assembled data from government agencies and academic sources tracking measures like unemployment, union membership and racial inequality. Because of geographic limitations in some data sets, the graphs below display a mix of information from the nation, state, Allegheny County, City of Pittsbur

Ann Bristow protested outside the Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference in Morgantown on April 9, 2019. Bristow held a branch wrapped in plastic bags to represent pollution from the petrochemical industry. (Photo by Kat Procyk/PublicSource)

Industry officials, protesters confront Appalachia’s future as a possible petrochemical hub

Attendees at an industry conference in West Virginia on Tuesday cheered projections for increased petrochemical production in the next 40 years, while protesters outside held up withered single-use plastic bags to show the environmental harm of petroleum products. Both groups, however, shared a common view that the economic hype and resulting environmental impact predicted for the region may not pan out. It's how they feel about the prospect that diverges.

“The lesson I learned is you don’t have to go anywhere to travel,” said Ariam Ford, the keynote speaker for the third annual student sustainability conference at Chatham, Seeds of Change, in front of a picture of her current home in Pittsburgh “It’s daunting, but the best thing you can do is to start at home.” (Photo by Oliver Morrison/PublicSource)

Students across Pittsburgh learn lesson in sustainability: It’s hard to create public spaces for everyone

More than 100 students of all ages, from public, private and charter schools, traveled across the Pittsburgh region to Chatham University’s bucolic Eden Hall campus 20 miles north of the city. They were presenting sustainability projects they had implemented in their schools and communities for the third annual Seeds of Change: Igniting Student Action for Sustainable Community Conference.