At the start of a new decade, the challenges of local air pollution enforcement are changing. It’s critical for regulators to respond to unexpected events as effectively as ongoing pollution. And climate change is making their job harder.
The air quality in the next decade will also be shaped by a regional economic debate about the expansion of the petrochemical industry and fracking, which could increase pollution in Allegheny County.
But some of the biggest changes may not be up to regulators: U.S. Steel recently put one of its coke oven batteries on “hot idle” for economic reasons, which reduces pollution, and has promised to build cleaner technology to reduce emissions even more. And whoever is running the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] could limit or enhance the county’s ability to take action in the future.