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Article understates pollution

"Despite New $500M Battery, Clairton Plant Over Emission Limit," Feb. 28, leads readers to believe that US Steel and the Allegheny County Health Department are doing everything they can to correct violations at the new coke oven battery in Clairton.

The article never mentions what emission limits are being exceeded.

This is a "new source" in one of the worst non-attainment areas in the entire country.

One of the bedrock principles of the Federal Clean Air Act involves improving air quality by replacing old, more heavily emitting sources with new state-of-the-art sources. The new battery has now been in operation for 15 months and apparently has been and will continue to be, in violation for quite some time.

The article attempts to understate the problem, saying that "emissions include coal dust and small amounts of hazardous pollutants such as benzene and other fine particulates". If that were true would it take a "complex innovative" fix?

It goes on to say that "some of the excess emissions are being offset by improvements" at another Clairton battery. This is not a legal approach. Compliance is established on a source-by-source basis and to hint that excess emissions can be offset is obfuscation.

It is past time for ACHD to take to a very hard line. They should deny the new battery's permit to operate. They should assess substantial civil penalties. They should demand compliance.

If ever there were a situation that warranted draconian action on the part of the ACHD, this is it. We all live downwind.

Bill Charlton

Troy Hill

Startups here growing

Startups, Advocates May Risk ‘Accelerator Fatigue’,” March 9, inaccurately skews the level of activity in Pittsburgh. The truth is that there are a myriad of options, including incubators and accelerators, to support entrepreneurship. How can this be a bad thing?

Pittsburgh is called out nationally for being one of the lowest scoring regions for startups; now that we are getting our act together, and have active programs in support of startups, why not point out that this is a good thing? To reach critical mass in entrepreneurship, it is important to have many programs. This is proven by other regions, including Silicon Valley, Boston, Austin and other areas where startups thrive.

Pittsburgh is hot. Our graduating students want to stay here to build their companies. Startups are flourishing here, and we are finally on the national radar as a cool place to live and work!

Why not celebrate this new coolness rather than denigrate it? We don’t have too many incubators or accelerators. We are just getting started!

Babs Carryer

Director of Education and Outreach for the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute.


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