EPA To Continue Monitoring Air Around Schools

Nov 10, 2011

The results of a survey looking at the air quality outside several local schools by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection was released on Thursday.

Over the last two years, the EPA has been monitoring the air outside of schools in McKeesport, Mckees Rocks, and Clairton.

The air is fine outside three of them, they said on Thursday, but they will consider monitoring the air outside of South Allegheny Middle/High School in Liberty in an effort to determine if long-term exposure to the air pollutants released by the U.S. Steel Corporation's Clairton Coke Works pose any health hazards.

Allegheny County's Health Department had suggested monitoring these schools because of their proximity to the Shenango Coke Works and chemical manufacturing plants.

63 schools in 22 states were studied around the country. 15 of those, including the one in Liberty, will continue to be monitored.

"What we're saying is, we need additional information, additional monitoring, to better be able to characterize if there is a potential for health concerns. So we haven't made a final determination," said Bonnie Smith, a spokesperson for the EPA.