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Air Pollution Rates Remain Steady in Pittsburgh Despite Less Driving During the Pandemic

Many people largely associate air pollution with emissions from cars. However, if this was the case wouldn’t fewer cars on the road drastically decrease air pollution? As seen in Pittsburgh, PA, driving has largely decreased due to Covid-19 but air pollution rates have not. In contrast to driving, many industrial activities have continued at similar rates as before the pandemic. NPR and Pittsburgh’s Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) largely tie steady air pollution rates to the continuation of coal-fired power plants and coke production in Western Pennsylvania. According to a senior scientist at the Clean Air Task Force, John Graham, cars only contribute about 5-10% of emissions in Western PA. Therefore, in order for Pittsburgh to have significantly cleaner air, emissions from industrial plants must be curbed. Read More