Pollution control: Allegheny County needs a local air regulator

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Allegheny County is Pennsylvania's second-most populated county, an urban center that surrounds the city of Pittsburgh and serves as home to 1.2 million people.

One service funded by county residents is a Department of Health, whose mission is, in part, "protecting the population from harmful effects of chemical, biological and physical hazards within the environment."

How could state Rep. Eli Evankovich have a problem with that?

The Murrysville Republican, who lives in Westmoreland County, is pushing a legislative proposal that would strip the Allegheny County health department of its power to monitor and regulate air pollution. He thinks county residents should just rely on the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The people of Allegheny County, who for generations have lived next to steel mills, coke plants and other polluters, deserve better. The quality of their air should get county-based oversight from a health department that is both professional and familiar with local industry. How else do you protect the public?

We wouldn't expect a lawmaker from Murrysville to get that. Mr. Evankovich should keep his hands off this health agency and save the crackpot ideas for his own county.

opinion_editorials


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