L.A. Chokes, Pittsburgh Coughs to the Top
Pittsburgh has surpassed Los Angeles as the sootiest city in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association’s recent State of the Air report. While L.A. still dominates two other categories of air pollution, efforts to reduce short-term particle pollution have resulted in a significant drop in the amount of airborne soot, ash, exhaust, chemicals, metals, and aerosols in the California city.
Pittsburgh’s high pollution rating is likely connected to U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works, the largest plant of its kind, which is located in a river valley where pollution can be trapped by weather fronts. The coke works plans to complete a series of pollution-reducing measures by 2014.