DTE Shenango Channel

Introduction by Allegheny County Clean Air Now

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The People of Allegheny County and our children have the right to breathe clean air. However, Allegheny County continuously ranks in the top 2% of counties in the United States for cancer risk from toxic air pollution. Just ten facilities in Allegheny County represent the bulk of cancer risk for the region. The Shenango Coke Works was one of these facilities until it baked its last batch of metallurgical coke in early January 2016 after intense pressure from surrounding boroughs. This channel serves as an archive documenting Shenango’s emissions as well as a place for continued monitoring of the legacy of this site on Neville Island.

DTE Shenango Coke exceeded permitted emissions limits every 5 of 7 days.  Find out about its health impact, and watch and measure emissions, on Shenango Channel.

June 11:  Despite promises to install power backup equipment, DTE Shenango lost power yet again, triggering emergency venting and flaring for 53 minutes.  Avalon, Bellevue, the North Side, Lawrenceville, O'Hara and Fox Chapel were downwind and bore the brunt of the toxic and carcinogenic emissions.  Leah Andrascik of Avalon: "We could smell the noxious odors filling the air.  I’m appalled that my two young children and many others in our community were exposed to raw coke oven gas and the many other unprocessed emissions that were released into the air that evening."

Brown, orange, yellow, blue and black emissions:  Toxic organics condense into various colors when battery is allowed to vent directly to the air.  These heavy organics are carcinogenic at minute levels, and include high levels of PAHs, which recent studies associate with autism.  Black smoke can come from burning raw coke oven gas, and other black and grey emissions can be escaping coal or coke.  All are toxic when inhaled.

Residents discuss health impacts from being exposed to DTE Shenango's pollution.

Shenango Channel Tour

Learn how to see polluted emissions from Shenango, pollution sensor readings, and reported smells from residents using Shenango Channel. Explore for yourself by clicking the ‘Shenango Channel’ tab at the top of this page.