Statement: PennEnvironment applauds U.S. EPA decision to penalize Neville Island polluter for dangerous air pollution

Media Contacts
Ashleigh Deemer

Former Deputy Director, PennEnvironment

Ashleigh Deemer

Former Deputy Director, PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment calls on EPA to finalize unissued pollution permits languishing at ACHD and hold other lawbreakers accountable

PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

PITTSBURGH —  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a notice of violation to Metalico, Inc for air pollution from the company’s metal-grinding facility on Neville Island. This legal action comes after years of public outcry from local residents about pollution being released by the plant, including large spikes in particulate matter following a serious fire at the facility earlier this year. A notice of violation is a formal step in the Clean Air Act enforcement process that can lead to further action, including a fine.

Zachary Barber, the clean air advocate with PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, released the following statement: 

“It’s good to see the EPA standing up for local Pittsburgh residents who want concrete action to rein in air pollution in the region. For too long, polluters like Metalico have been able to break the law with impunity. This notice is just a first step that hopefully will lead to a meaningful penalty against the company, along with corrective action to fix these problems moving forward.

“Unfortunately, Allegheny County’s problem with chronic air polluters stretches far beyond Metalico. Five local polluters still don’t have up-to-date pollution permits that are required under the federal Clean AIr Act  Among these are U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works and the ATI Flatrolled Products plant in Brackenridge, which topped this year’s Toxic Ten ranking of most-toxic industrial facilities in Allegheny County. Local officials have not approved ATI Flatrolled Products’s required air pollution permits, which were proposed  20 years ago. Elsewhere in Allegheny County, U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson mill in Braddock hasn’t been penalized for illegal air pollution dating back to 2017. The EPA should  use their legal authority to take similar steps against these facilities in the face of inaction by Allegheny County officials. 

“To ensure everyone in Allegheny County has clean, healthy air to breathe, the EPA should build on this action against Metalico by reining in the Toxic Ten. That means making sure local industrial polluters have the legally required  permits under the Clean Air Act; setting strong, health-based emissions limits; and taking meaningful enforcement action against companies that choose to break the law and jeopardize public health.”


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