State Rep. Austin Davis introduced legislation raising fines for air pollution

State Rep. Austin Davis introduced legislation raising fines for air pollution

Eight months after the Clairton Coke Works fire that left Mon Valley air quality tainted, Rep. Austin Davis (D-Allegheny) announced legislation raising fines industrial sites that have exceeded pollution thresholds and mandating municipal warning systems. 

Believing that the Coke Works fire, which took place in his district, was caused in large part by negligence, Davis said he felt that legislative action was necessary to prevent further damage to the surrounding area. 
Wednesday, August 14, 2019/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: Pittsburgh
Allegheny County unveils record expungement and sealing program

Allegheny County unveils record expungement and sealing program

On the heels of Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate initiative, closer to home local public defenders and elected officials have decided to give Allegheny County residents who have had brushes with the law a shot at a fresh start. 

Realizing that an arrest can create barriers to housing and employment, former public defender now Judge Elliot Howsie, wanted to give his former clients second chances that wouldn’t be tainted by the stigma of a criminal record. To that end he decided to work with County-Executive, the Public Defender's office, and others to create the Project Reset program. 
Wednesday, August 7, 2019/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: Pittsburgh
Allegheny County DA draws challenger ahead of November election

Allegheny County DA draws challenger ahead of November election

Come November, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala will have an independent challenger in the form of longtime public defender Lisa Middleton.

Touting a progressive platform and a grassroots campaign, at her campaign kickoff Thursday night, Middleton told attendees that it was time for change in Allegheny County.
Friday, August 2, 2019/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: News and Views
Clairton residents and advocates have conflicted feelings on US Steel settlement

Clairton residents and advocates have conflicted feelings on US Steel settlement

At the end of June, the Allegheny County Health Department announced it had reached a $2.7 million settlement regarding the 2018 enforcement order levied against US Steel. In hopes of transparency as the agreement is finalized, the department and company allowed for a period of public comment. However, if a public hearing held this week was any indication, Clairton residents and clean air activists are torn about whether the agreement is what’s best for the community.
Thursday, August 1, 2019/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: Pittsburgh
PWSA reports lower lead levels thanks to chemical additive

PWSA reports lower lead levels thanks to chemical additive

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority announced Friday that thanks to orthophosphate, lead levels in drinking water have decreased.

Since April 2019, the water authority explained, an additive called orthophosphate was introduced to coat the pipes and prevent lead from seeping into the water. Months later, test results show it’s been successful in lowering lead levels however; lead levels still remain above the federal threshold. 
Monday, July 29, 2019/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: Pittsburgh
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