Our photojournalists experience the city and the Greater Pittsburgh region in a unique way. They're regularly sent out on assignments to take portraits, cover protests, document public meetings and envision people and places we talk about in our stories. But they see so much more. That's why we're launching The Glimpse. Each week, we'll present our best feature photos of the week.
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.
Teen Screen, a program of Film Pittsburgh, has been in operation since 2005. Founded as an offshoot of the Jewish Film Festival, the program shows films and documentaries that center global struggles for human rights and genocide. The showings include international, subtitled films featuring many languages, including Polish, German, Russian, Yiddish and Turkish.
Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. I live in a third-generation family home. It sits on a ridge at the top of the hill overlooking U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works. My father worked hard on this house; he added onto it, extended it out, lacing it with gorgeous stained glass windows that he procured from local churches or schools when they were being torn down in our area. As long as the curtains are drawn back, I can see the smoke billowing from the stacks.
Mercury, which damages young brains, is flowing through industrial wastewater into the Ohio River. But the multi-state agency tasked with keeping the waterway clean hasn’t tightened controls on this pollution because it doesn’t have the authority to do so.
PublicSource will report here about notable actions and conversations from the meetings of the City of Pittsburgh’s Planning Commission. The meetings are held at 2 p.m. on every other Tuesday on the 1st floor of the Civic Building at 200 Ross Street.
Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. Pittsburgh is cheap, but it stinks. Or so says Google engineer Dennis Towne, whose recent PublicSource essay laments the city’s noxious pollution problem and urges tech workers to stay away. So bad is the smell, Towne observes, that he and a number of his colleagues are “transferring” elsewhere, even if it means they can no longer afford to walk to work. My reaction to Towne’s essay was equal parts recognition and outrage.
Editor's note, Jan. 11: Google issued a statement in response to this first-person essay. Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. In 2017, I was working for Google in the Bay Area of California, lamenting the ever-rising cost of housing, when a co-worker mentioned he was moving to Pittsburgh. I talked it over with my partner, and we did some basic research.