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8 The Pittsburgh Experience HISTORY Pittsburgh is located in a region rich in coal and is also near where oil was first discovered in the United States. Pittsburgh has perhaps the longest docu- mented history of air pollution and of efforts to ameliorate air pollution of any city in the United States. With an abundant supply of coal, used for fuel since the mid-18th century, Pittsburgh established itself as the âsmokiestâ city in the country, although this was not always considered unpleasant. One difficulty in addressing air pollution was that it was actually thought to be a sign of bountiful resources and industriousness. Presence of these natural energy supplies defined Pittsburghâs evolution. By the early 19th century heavy industry picked up rapidly as Pittsburgh suffered from competition in other sectors such as trade. In particular, the abun- dance of coal gave rise to the industry soon to be synonymous with Pittsburgh: steel production. Producing steel requires a great deal of energy, which at the time could readily be provided by coal. Further, coke, used in the smelting pro- cess and therefore an important resource for metal industries, is made from coal. Steel production in Pittsburgh started in the 1700s, and by 1820 had become the major industry in the city. The resultant air pollution was viewed as requisite to the cityâs economic survival. Soon, not only did the industry dominate the city, but also the city dominated the industry, taking advantage of the regionâs coal and also the ability to transport steel via its rivers and railroads. Myriad steel mills and coke ovens would soon line Pittsburghâs three rivers, particularly the Monongahela, stretching from below Pittsburgh, upstream past the smaller mill towns that developed near the plants and up the smaller valleys leading in to the larger river valley. By the turn of the century, some of the wealthiest individuals 229
230 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION in the world lived in Pittsburgh, including steel barons such as Andrew Carnegie and bankers such as Andrew Mellon, a major investor in the growth industries of coke, coal, and iron. Air pollution was a particular problem associated with steel production. As detailed below, smelting and refining iron using coal can and did produce significant amounts of soot. Sulfur in the coal and iron and zinc ores produce sulfur dioxide, and combustion can lead to NOx formation. Coking leads to large emissions of carbon monoxide and air toxics such as benzene. As steel production increased, so did air pollution. While the rivers were vital for transporting coal, the river valleys had a negative impact on air quality, and during periods of atmo- spheric stagnation, the factoriesâ emissions were trapped. Office workers would take two shirts to work as one would get discolored during the day. Because of the dark polluted air, Pittsburgh famously used its streetlights from morning right on through the night; photographers capturing downtown in the early 20th century noted the time of day to illustrate this point, as Figure 8-1 indicates. FIGURE 8-1â Photograph taken at 9:20 am in downtown Pittsburgh, 1946. SOURCE: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 231 Ordinances pertaining to chimney height date back to Pittsburghâs founding in 1816. Although they are linked to abating the unpleasantness of air pollution, it was not until the 1860s and 1870s that air pollution became a worrisome issue (Mershon and Tarr, 2003). While lawsuits were filed seeking redress for damage caused by air pollution, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court continually ruled in favor of industry. It was not until the 1880s that air quality temporarily improved. From 1884 to 1892, the city enjoyed a brief respite from the smoke, while natural gas replaced coal as the cityâs major fuel. By the end of the 19th century, however, the gas reserves were depleted. It was during this period that the Ladies Health Protective Association was formed to combat smoke, among other health-related environmental issues; and newspapers began targeting air pollution as not just an unpleasant circumstance but as an all-out health risk. In 1911, the Mellon family founded an institute of industrial research at the University of Pittsburgh, which carried out a number of smoke studies. In October of 1948, a particularly severe stagnation episode occurred, lasting 4 days (Lipfert, 1994a). While the impact was more widespread, it had a particular effect on Donora, a mill town on the Monongahela River, 15 miles from Pitts- burgh. Zinc is an ingredient in some steels; Donora was home to about 14,000 inhabitants and the Donora Zinc Works. As the stagnation episode continued, pollution built up, and the impact on health became noticeable. People started to experience severe respiratory problems with some deaths. Doctors recommended evacuation of those with respiratory problems, though this was hampered by t Â raffic congestion and the severe smog. By the end of the episode, about 20 deaths occurred and about 7,000 additional individuals were ill. This episode became a catalyst for action. As a result of actions taken in the years prior to the incident, Pittsburgh was not so severely affected as Donora. Pittsburgh had gotten a jump on the problem. In 1945, the mayor of Pittsburgh, along with the city elite, had begun to identify actions to improve air quality. Actions included reducing the use of bituminous coal as part of a 1941 smoke ordinance (Tarr, 1981). Natural gas was piped into homes for heating. Diesel engines began replacing coal-fired engines in locomo- tives and riverboats. Socially and economically, Pittsburgh grew up as a steel town, and in the 1800s attracted European immigrants to work in the mines and mills. Initially, such jobs did not pay well, leading to attempts at unionization and resulting in strikes, and deadly conflict (Tarr, 2002). As unionization took hold early in the 20th century, pay improved, and a rising middle class emerged. The regionâs economy suffered badly during the 1970s as steel prices plummeted. While some have suggested that the shuttering of the mills was related to the environmental regulations of the 1970s, in fact the mills used older technologies, and newer The most noteable was the Homestead Strike of 1892, one of the most serious disputes in U.S. labor history. Fighting broke out between union steelworkers and private security guards, resulting in deaths on both sides, severely tarnishing millowner Andrew Carnegieâs legacy.
232 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION mills in Japan, and elsewhere, used less labor and had a less expensive work- force. (Mills in Japan suffered a similar fate a couple of decades later, and were displaced by steel manufacturing in other countries with a less expensive work force and newer mills.) Unemployment skyrocketed and the region was forced to find alternatives. Today, while steel is still a component of the regionâs economy, it is no longer so dominant. Coal continues to play a major role in the region as the primary fuel for producing electricity, and both the coal and electricity are used locally and exported. The rivers are still used for transport, but are not as central in that role. Oil production is virtually gone. Pittsburgh has developed a more diverse economy, in particular by making a push in high-technology areas such as robotics. Air pollution in Pittsburgh is not nearly as severe as it once was, and is more regional in scale (Bergin et al., 2005; Farrell and Keating, 2002; Millet et al., 2005; Polidori et aï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ l., 2006). ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Ozone and acid deposition are major concerns, along with particulate matter (including soot), though the composition and levels have changed. PHYSICAL, ECONOMIC, AND SOCIETAL SETTING Pittsburgh lies in southwestern Pennsylvania, where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers combine to form the Ohio River. Like many historically indus- trial cities in the United States, Pittsburgh developed in a river valley, surrounded by forests. The Allegheny Mountains lay to the east, and continue southward, with the Great Lakes to the north and west. Topography has had an effect on Pittsburghâs air quality: since the city sits at the confluence of the three rivers, the majority of the population resides in the valley or at the base of the slopes of the outlying hills and mountains. Weather patterns sometimes cause polluted air from Pittsburgh and from power plants in the Midwest or industrial centers on the East Coast to hover over the region. While coal is no longer mined within the city, mining operations are still quite active in the region, particularly in West Virginia to the south. Pittsburgh still suffers from severe atmospheric inversions, though emissions are not so high that these episodes raise major alarms (this is not to say that there are no health impacts), nor are street lights needed during the day. The fact that the region lies in an air pollution transport corridor causes greater problems today. Winds typically blow from west to east (approximately), leading Pittsburgh to be impacted by emissions from states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and beyond, and emissions are transported from the region to the heavily populated Atlantic coast. In particular, a relatively frequent occurrence during the summer is a âBermuda highâ leading to warm temperatures in the north-central to north-eastern states, with air masses slowly moving over the region towards the coast. High tempera- tures can increase emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particularly
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 233 from trees. Along with NOx and SOx emissions from automobiles and power plants, the resulting air mass is not only warm, but laden with ozone and sulfate. As it moves slowly eastward, these pollutants can build up. Summer smog has replaced winter stagnation episodes as the major concern. In comparison with its historical focus on the steel industry, Pittsburgh now has a more diverse economy. Steel is not gone, as a few plants have modernized and now produce specialty steels. Approximately 10 percent of the regionâs work- force is still employed in manufacturing. But health services and education now employ about 20 percent of the workforce. High-tech industries such as robotics and informatics have developed from research activities at the local universities. The Wall Street Journal nicknamed the Pittsburgh region âRobo-burghâ in 1999, and in recent years the area has embraced that distinction, with more than 100 firms specializing in robotics (Kara, 2006). Pittsburghâs strong industrial and engi- neering heritage helped it become a leader in the field, with the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University providing much of the talent. Nevertheless, house- hold income remains somewhat depressed; Pittsburghâs median annual household income was $31,910 in 2005, compared to a national median of $44,400. While much of the early growth in Pittsburgh was fueled by immigrants dur- ing the 1800s, the region added to the immigrant-based population by an influx of residents after the Civil War and World War II. The population now remains rather stable with relatively little emigration. Today, Pittsburgh has a population of nearly 340,000, down from a peak of more than 675,000 in 1950. Allegheny County has a population of 1.24 million, down somewhat from its peak of 1.45 million in 1980. There has been a shift in population from the urban core to the suburbs; in response the area recently started a limited subway service to comple- ment the existing bus service. While historically a large fraction of the population was employed as labor in the manufacturing sector, there was also a significant amount of local wealth. The families of the company owners and financiers lived in the area, most notably Andrew Carnegie of US Steel and Andrew Mellon of the Mellon Bank. Their wealth and influence has had a major, continuously evolving impact on the city. They started universities (Carnegie Institute of Technology and the Mellon Insti- tute), headquartered their companies in the city (Pittsburgh, until the 1980s, was the headquarters of a large number of Fortune 500 companies), and they supported efforts to improve air quality. This, as mentioned earlier, may have helped save Pittsburgh from the same catastrophe that hit Donora. SOURCES AND LEVELS OF AIR POLLUTION Air pollution in the Pittsburgh area has changed in character over the last century, evolving from the localized smog plaguing coal-dependent industrial According to the U.S. Census Bureau, and American Community Survey, 2005.
234 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION citiesÂ to a more regional problem. Americaâs post-war prosperity led to a tremen- dous increase in demand for electricity, with coal as a major fuel. Power plants sprang up in the region, again benefiting from the local coal reserves. While pulverized-coal power plants tend to emit relatively smaller amounts of soot (per kilogram of fuel burned) than other types of combustion, the high temperatures lead to NOx formation. The sulfur in the coal also comes out of the stack as SO2. Emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides from power plants grew throughout the latter part of the 20th century, though opacity regulations limited the amount of soot (EPA, 1991). Coal, particularly soft coal, when burned inefficiently (e.g., for heating), led to significant emissions of soot, blackening the atmosphere. This was accom- panied by less visible emissions of SO2 and toxics. Coke production produced air toxics, in particular benzene. Smelting led to metal emissions. As the region cleaned up the industries, and when foreign competition shuttered many as well, such emissions dropped (Figure 8-2). While factory emissions may have been decreasing, automobile use was increasing. Although generally not as visible, automotive emissions led to an 300 0.06 250 TSP ug/m3 (Downtown) 0.05 200 SO2 ppm (Hazelwood) 0.04 TSP ug/m3 SO2 ppm 150 0.03 100 0.02 SO2 ppm (Downtown) 50 0.01 0 0 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 Year FIGURE 8-2â Annual arithmetic average concentrations of total suspended particles (TSP) and SO2 in or near downtown Pittsburgh. The TSP measurements were made with high- volume samplers at two downtown locations: the County Office Building (1957â1982) and Flag Plaza (1983-1997), as part of the National Air Sampling Network and the Air 8-2 Quality Program of the Allegheny County Health Department. Reliable data are not available for 1967, 1968, and 1980. The SO2 measurements were made with continuous monitors at Flag Plaza downtown (1980-1998) and in the Hazelwood section of the city (1978-1998). SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from Davidson et al., 2000.
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 235 increase in nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and VOCs. Automobile use in the United States grew faster than the population, as did automotive emissions (TablesÂ 8-1 and 8-2), leading to a new concern for air pollution control in the Pittsburgh region and in many other metropolitan areas. Controls on automobiles and power plants have had a dramatic effect on emissions, and further reductions are planned. The regulations resulting from the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990 were especially important for the Pittsburgh region. Title IV targeted acid deposition, and required significant reductions in sulfur dioxide. Title II required stricter automotive controls and TitleÂ I focused on ozone-forming emissions, although NOx emissions were under- emphasized as research was just coming out to suggest the importance of NO x to regional ozone formation (Chameides et al., 1992; Milford et al., 1989, 1994; NRC, 1991; Sillman and Logan, 1987). It was not only Pittsburghâs local air quality problem (though it was in non- attainment of the ozone standard), but also problems in the large cities along the eastern seaboard that led to greater consideration of the regionâs emissions. In the TABLE 8-1â U.S. Population and Vehicle Use Trends, 1960-1980 Year Percent Increase 1960 1970 1980 1960-1970 1970-1980 Populationa 178.6 203.3 226.5 13.8 11.4 (millions) Passenger carsb 61,671 89,244 121,601 44.7 36.3 (thousands) Vehicle miles traveledb 587,000 917,000 1,112,000 56.2 21.3 (millions) Fuel consumedb 41,171 67,819 69,982 64.7 3.2 (million gallons) aU.S. Census Bureau, based on resident population. bU.S. Department of Transportation. TABLE 8-2â Key Vehicular Emissions in the United States, 1970 Highway Vehicles United States Total Percent of Total (1970) (1970) Emissions CO emissions 163,231 204,043 80.0 (thousand short tons) NOx emissions 12,624 26,883 47.0 (thousand short tons) VOC emissions 16,910 34,659 48.8 (thousand short tons) SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Emissions Inventory 1970-2002.
236 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION 1980s, virtually all of the major coastal cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston had ozone levels above the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and they pointed the finger upwind, not only at the other coastal cities, but inland to the Midwest. Given the emerging research that showed that biogenic VOC emis- sions led to relatively rapid oxidation of NOx, and that the upwind cities also had ozone problems, the claim was made that much of the ozone was being transported into their citiesâtherefore upwind sources needed to be controlled, whether the upwind areas were in attainment or not. Controversy around this issue led to the creation of a large ozone analysis program: the Ozone Transport Assessment Group (OTAG), with representatives from the affected states, industries, research organizations, and the U.S. and Canadian governments. OTAG (Bergin et al., 2005; Farrell and Keating, 2002) and groups they funded analyzed available air quality data, conducting a major air quality assessment effort to understand ozone formation and transport in the eastern United States. They also assessed available emissions control options for the region. This effort also motivated other stakeholders to perform their own analyses. Via graphical and modeling results (Figure 8-3), OTAG convinced policy makers of the role of regional NOx emissions, leading to what is commonly called the âNOx SIP Callâ in which EPA mandated state-by-state reductions in NOx (Farrell and Keating, 2002). Like the acid rain provisions of the 1990 CAAA, the NOx SIP Call used emissions trading to promote more efficient control choices than would be used under a traditional command-and-control policy. While aspects of how OTAG conducted parts of their studies were controversial, the program has led to emis- sions reductions throughout the eastern United States (Table 8-3), including the power plants around Pittsburgh, which installed low-NOx burners and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) control devices, or switched fuels (e.g., to natural gas and cleaner coal). Both the NOx SIP Call and the acid rain controls led to reduc- tions not only locally, but upwind as wellâthus the regionâs air quality has ben- efited, with reduced ozone, particulate matter, and acid deposition (Figure 8-4). While concentrations have been coming down, Pittsburgh, like most of the region, still violates the new, stricter ozone standard (Figure 8-5), and the annual PM2.5 standard. Recent data suggest that the area would not meet the new 24-hour standard as well (EPA, 2005, 2006). Recognizing that further regional controls are needed, the U.S. EPA proposed the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which calls for further reductions in SO2 and NOx emissions from power plants. These controls are expected to bring the area into attainment with the ozone NAAQS, but not with the annual PM2.5 standard (EPA, 2005). In January 2006, the Allegheny Board of Health approved an expenditure of up to $840,000 to develop a SIP for PM2.5. The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is responsible for developing the SIP, which is due in April 2008 (ACHD, 2006b).
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 237 FIGURE 8-3â Ozone concentrations and wind vectors showing regionally high ozone l Âevels across the Midwest and Northeast, and transport from Texas northward and the Ohio River Valley to the east. This graphical representation suggests the build-up of ozone as the air masses moved from the Midwest to the âAmtrakâ corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston. 8-3 TABLE 8-3â Estimated Point-Source Criteria Air Emission Change in Allegheny fixed image County (tons per year emitted or percent of 1996/1999 baseline year) Pollutant 1996 CO NOx PM2.5 PM10 SO2 VOC Base Year (short tons/yr) 10,259 24,141 1,768 4,205 46,789 4,762 1997 â2.1% 2.3% â0.7% 7.6% 2.4% 1998 â9.2% â18.0% â16.2% â18.1% â20.2% 1999 â12.7% â20.2% â24.1% â8.0% â21.3% 2000 â9.6% â21.7% â12.5% â32.3% 7.3% â30.9% 2001 â15.2% â27.0% â31.1% â40.3% 16.0% â40.2% 2002 â16.7% â32.8% â21.2% â40.1% 0.9% â44.6% 2003 â14.3% â40.1% â12.2% â36.6% 8.7% â48.1% SOURCE: ACHD, 2004.
238 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION FIGURE 8-4â Ozone 8-hour design values, ACHD sites, 1997-2005. SOURCE: ACHD, 2006a. ENERGY RESOURCES AND USE As noted earlier, a major source of energy in the Pittsburgh region continues to be coal, which is used primarily for electricity production (Figure 8-6). Coal accounts for about two-thirds of the total electricity produced, but is also used for heating (e.g., combined heat and power plants) and is still essential in coking for steel production. Table 8-4 provides more detail on coal production and consumption in Penn- sylvania. In spite of the abundance of coal, electricity is also produced by nuclear power at the Beaver Valley I and II units (about one-fourth of the total production). Indeed, Pittsburgh was the first city to benefit from nuclear power for electricity production. Oil is no longer produced in the area. Hydropower and other renew- able forms of electricity production have been limited. Major uses of energy in Pennsylvania include transportation, domestic and commercial lighting, heating and cooling, and industrial production. Transportation relies on petroleum-based fuels, with limited use of alternatives (though gasoline does include some etha- nol). Heating relies largely on natural gas, though fuel oil, electricity, and district heating are used as well (see Box 8-1). Thus, except for coal, much of the energy
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 239 FIGURE 8-5â Areas in non-attainment in 2002, and projected non-attainment following implementation of CAIR. SOURCE: EPA, 2005. 8-5 Portrait view
240 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION Oil 0.9% Gas 5.6% Coal 66.6% Nuclear 25.2% Solid Waste 0.4% Hydro Wind 1.3% 0.1% FIGURE 8-6â Regional electricity generation by energy source, 2005. SOURCE: PPUC, 2006. 8-6 TABLE 8-4â Pennsylvania Coal Statistics Electrical Industrial Residential/ Generation Plants Commercial Productiona State Total, 2004 47,728 11,425 796 (thousand short tons) â By rail 23,761 718 53 â By water 14,968 940 29 â By tram, conveyor, 1,742 4,584 â ââ or slurry pipeline â By truck 7,257 5,183 715 Used within PA 24,796 9,906 612 Consumptionb State Total, 2005 54,464 2,937 623 State Total, 2004 51,698 3,337 680 aDistribution of U.S. coal by origin state (EIA, 2006). bU.S. coal consumption by end use sector, by census division and state (EIA, 2006).
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 241 BOX 8-1 District Heating and the Bellefield Boiler Plant The Bellefield Boiler Plant was built by Andrew Carnegie in 1907. Located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it supplies steam for heating and refrigeration to the University of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Medical Center, C Â arnegie Mellon University, The Carnegie Library, the Pittsburgh Board of Educa- tion, and other institutional sites (PDEP, 2006; CLP, 2003). The plant has six boilers that release exhaust to one of two stacks, which heat fuel oil, coal, natural gas, or a combination of coal/natural gas. The Bellefield Boiler Plant meets air pollution standards by using a mixture of 80 percent coal and 20 percent natural gas (CLP, 2003). Some of the boilers do not have emissionsâ controls in place, yet others have burners that are designed to lower the nitrogen oxide in natural gas production. The facility is a major source of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide emissions, as well as a minor source of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and volatile organic compounds (ACHD 2004). Annually, over 60,000 tons of low- sulfur Kentucky coal is brought in daily during the winter months (CLP, 2003). is imported to the region, and electricity is exported. Although renewables do not make up a large contribution of the Pittsburgh areaâs energy portfolio, the bulk of new power plants under consideration in Pennsylvania are wind-power plants (43 percent of total additional MW), while new coal plants would account for approximately 26 percent of additional MW (PPUC, 2006). There currently is very limited city-wide data on energy consumption. As will be described shortly, a task force in 2006 was formed to compile much of this data, in order to help the city develop recommendations on reducing energy use and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions. However, the region is served almost exclusively by one energy company, Duquesne Light Company (Duquesne), and therefore Duquesneâs data may serve as a proxy for residential, commercial, and industrial energy consumption (the notable omission is transportation). Total demand increased by 1.2 percent annually from 1990 to 2005, with projected increases through 2010 (Figure 8-7). Although no longer a power station opera- tor, Duquesne was instrumental in the 1970s in implementing some of the first full-scale, plant-wide scrubber systems, as well as in putting fly ash to use as fill for highway embankments in and around Pittsburgh (Duquesne, 2006). FirstEnergy is a major electric utility providing power in the region. The Bruce Mansfield Plant, located in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, is approximately 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Although it does not supply much electricity to the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, it is nonetheless an important source of regional emissions. It is the largest coal-fired power plant in North America, with three
242 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION FIGURE 8-7â Duquesne Light Company historic and forecast energy demand. SOURCE: PPUC, 2006. boilers producing 2,360 MW of electricity by burning more than 7 million tons of coal annually (FirstEnergy, 2004). The plant is equipped with a suite of envi- ronmental control technologies; all units are equipped with SCR to remove NOx, along with scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) to remove virtually all particulate matter and 92 percent of SO2 (more than 400,000 short tons annu- ally), with planned upgrades to increase this removal to 95 percent Â(FirstEnergy, 2005). This emphasis on environmental control technologies has not come without a cost, though. More than one out of every three dollars spent to build the $1.4 billion facility was spent on environmental protection, and similarly, one out of every three employees operates pollution-control equipment (FirstEnergy, 2004). However, the plant has devised a unique way to recover some of those costs, while continuing its efforts in environmental protection. FirstEnergy developed a process to convert its scrubber by-product, cal- cium sulfite, into gypsum, a common ingredient in wallboard. Dubbed âNorth A Â mericaâs largest recycling project,â the Forced Oxidation Gypsum plant was launched in 1999 and is able to provide nearly a half a million tons of Âgypsum each year, which is converted into enough drywall for 70,000 new homes Â(FirstEnergy, 2005). National Gypsum, the other half of this partnership, built a facility adjacent to the power plant, in order to take advantage of the steady supply of a low-cost raw material to manufacture its drywall. FirstEnergy benefits from the additional
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 243 Industrial 7% Commercial Transportation 36% 39% Residential 18% FIGURE 8-8â Pittsburghâs energy consumption by sector, 2003. SOURCE: Heinz School Research Team, 2006. 8-8 revenue that its former âwaste productâ generates, as well as from the decreased need for waste disposal. As mentioned earlier, Pittsburgh decided to establish a task force in order to better address issues such as energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. In October 2006, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl initiated the Green Government Task Force, a 30-member panel charged with studying the cityâs energy use and devel- oping recommendations for a local action plan (Heinz School Research Team, 2006). In order to identify appropriate policies for reducing consumption and emissions, the city must first be able to recognize where there are opportunities to increase efficiency and/or reduce consumption. Thus, led by a group of students at Carnegie Mellon University, the Task Forceâs initial activity was to assemble an inventory of the cityâs energy consumption (Figure 8-8). This represents the first comprehensive look at energy consumption for the region and will serve as a useful tool in guiding future decisions. POLLUTION AND ENERGY POLICIES AND THE APPROACH TO AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT Early in the 20th century, efforts to reduce smoke in Pittsburgh met with only marginal success. This changed in the 1940s due to local political pressure on
244 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION governmental agencies coupled with technological advances in combustion and changing fuels. In particular, âsmokelessâ fuels or combustion approaches were being developed and shown to be practical (Mershon and Tarr, 2003; Tarr et al., 1980; Tarr and Lamperes, 1981). In 1941, the mayor, who was up for reelection, appointed a Commission for the Elimination of Smoke, and noted that Pittsburgh must, in the interest of its economy, its reputation, and the health of its citizens, curb the smoke and smog. The Commission included industrial and civic Âleaders, the editor of a local newspaper, a doctor who headed the Pittsburgh Department of Public Health, members of civic clubs, and a member of the Board of Educa- tion, among others. In addition to the direct workings of the Commission, the newspapers provided support for anti-smoke regulations, and the Civic Club and League of Women Voters educated the community on the costs of smog, not only on health, but on welfare costs as well (e.g., increased soiling of clothes). Not surprisingly, the Commissionâs report calling for reduced use of bituminous coal was not fully supported by the local Coal Operators Association, which argued that it would cost jobs in the region. The Commission countered that it would enhance employment by increasing regional demand for the local coal. Furthermore, cleaner air would âbring about a new era of growth, prosperity and well being.â The city council adopted a proposed ordinance in July of 1941, with implementation to start in October. As part of the ordinance, the Bureau of Smoke Prevention was formed inside the Department of Health. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played a major role in promot- ing air quality improvement in Pittsburgh. The Civic Club, which was founded in 1895 and which had representation on the original Commission, created the United Smoke Council (USC) in 1945. At the county level, the Allegheny Con- ference on Community Development (ACCD), established in 1943, had the mis- sion of âoverall community improvement,â and took on smog as a concern. One sponsor of the organization was Richard K. Mellon, nephew of Andrew Mellon. USC merged into the ACCD in 1945; the combined group maintained pressure to continue reductions in smoke emissions. Recognizing that smog did not obey city boundaries, and that many of the larger mills were located outside the city, the USC, ACCD, and others pushed for a county-wide smoke ordinance. This raised more opposition than regulations limited to just the city, from the mills and also the railroads. It required additional regulatory action, and in 1947, the state of Pennsylvania enacted a bill to give Allegheny County legal authority to regulate all sources of smoke in the county, including those passing through (i.e., the railroads). (While the transfer of this authority from the state to the county may seem minor, it prevails today, and it is unique in the United States.) This led to the formation of the Allegheny County Smoke Abatement Advisory Committee, which was headed by the executive director of the Mellon Institute with representation from various stakeholders, particularly the affected industries. The Committee was charged with developing a plan to reduce smoke in the region. Given the strong representation of the indus-
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 245 trial stakeholders, the resulting plan was not as strict as the cityâs. Nonetheless, it did provide pressure to further improve air quality. Today, the ACHD continues to lead the local monitoring and regulation of air pollutants, while the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protectionâs Bureau of Air Quality regulates at the state level and maintains a regional office in Pittsburgh. The Health Department has more than 40 staff working on air q Â uality issues. Fifty percent of the departmentâs funding comes from federal funds, 40Â percent from emissions fees and about 10 percent from permit fees. The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), founded in 1969, is a leading NGO that now promotes cleaner air. GASP has had a number of influ- ential members, and also draws expertise from the local universities. Sustainable P Â ittsburgh is a newer area NGO that focuses on transportation and land-use plan- ning. Sustainable Pittsburgh has sponsored an annual smart growth conference since 2000, and has actively promoted the development of an integrated and advanced public transportation system for the metropolitan area. As discussed in Chapter 4, in the United States, the federal government sets NAAQS that state and local governments are charged with implementing. The fed- eral government also sets emissions standards for stationary sources and for new motor vehicles, oversees state and local air pollution control activities, and supports them through grant programs. State and local control agencies like the ACHD take the lead in planning for the attainment and for ongoing maintenance of air quality standards, conduct air quality monitoring, track emissions, and develop and enforce the construction and operating permits for sources. The ACHD operates 24 moni- toring sites across the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. State and local agencies also undertake their own initiatives, including special monitoring, research, and control initiatives. For example, the ACHD is supporting school bus retrofits to curtail diesel emissions and a trade-out program for wood stoves, and is enforcing a local ordinance that limits idling of diesel equipment. Source inspection and enforcement are critically important roles performed by state and local agencies. The ACHD has six inspectors who visit every major regional source of air pollution at least once per year. The U.S. Steelâs Clairton Coke Plant, a 2.5-mile-long facility on the Monongahela River that is a major source of toxic air pollution and fine particulate matter impacting the nearby Liberty neighborhood is inspected daily. The ACHD has police powers, mean- ing it can levy fines against non-complying polluters, and in cases of egregious violations, it can impose criminal sanctions. The ACHD works with the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources (PaDNR) on regional issues, and to develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs). The Clean Air Act mandates that states with areas found to be in violation of the NAAQS submit SIPs specifying how they will reach attainment, usually via local and regional control measures. Currently, the Pittsburgh area does not meet the NAAQS for ozone and PM2.5.
246 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION As part of the effort to address regional haze that impairs visual air Âquality across the United States, five regional planning organizations (RPOs) have been established by states, tribes, and federal agencies. These groups are staffed largely by members of the state and tribal air quality management agencies in each of the regions. Pennsylvania belongs to the Mid Atlantic, Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU) covering Maryland northward and Pennsylvania eastward. MANE-VU was formed to coordinate regional haze-planning activities, with the additional goal of reducing visibility impairment in national parks and wilder- ness areas (MANE-VU, 2006). MANE-VU provides technical assistance and a forum for discussion, and encourages coordination with other regions as well. Although the RPO encourages a coordinated approach, the individual states retain the authority to set regulations. Because of its geographic location, Pittsburgh must look beyond the PaDNR and MANE-VU to deal with ozone and PM non-attainment. Pittsburgh is just downwind of Ohio, which belongs to the Midwest Regional Planning Organiza- tion, and Ohio and other states further upwind have substantial emissions of nitro- gen oxides and sulfur oxides that produce ozone and particulate matter. Hence the area also relies on more widely applicable regulations enacted by the EPA (such as CAIR [EPA, 2005]) for providing the needed emissions reductions. Local universities have contributed significantly to air quality management in Pittsburgh by advancing scientific understanding of these problems. Pittsburgh has several colleges and universities, the largest of which are the University of P Â ittsburgh, a state-related university with 34,000 students, and Carnegie ÂMellon University, a private university with 10,000 students. Researchers at both uni- versities have made significant contributions to understanding local, regional, and global air pollution issues. In particular, researchers at the University of Pittsburghâs School of Public Health and School of Medicine, including Herbert Needleman, Julian Andelman, and Bernard Goldberg, have made seminal contribu- tions to understanding the health effects of air pollution. Professor Lester Lave at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a pioneering study that demonstrated the association between premature mortality and particulate air pollution (Lave and Seskin, 1973). From 2000 through 2004, Carnegie Mellon University hosted the âPittsburgh Supersite,â an intensive air pollution field study conducted with fund- ing from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The objectives of the study were to better characterize the particulate air pollution in the Pittsburgh region, develop and evaluate new measurement methods, assess source contribu- tions to pollution concentrations, and investigate relationships between pollutant levels and health impacts. As mentioned earlier, GASP is a leading environmental advocacy organiza- tion active on air quality issues in southwestern Pennsylvania. GASP educates the public on air pollution issues and clean transportation and energy alternatives. The organization is currently working to help area school districts secure funding to retrofit school buses to reduce diesel engine emissions. GASP also has a successÂ
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 247 ful track record of litigation, including working to enforce pollution-control requirements at the Clairton Coke Works, LTV Corporationâs Hazelwood Works, and the Shenango Neville Island Coke Plant. Sustainable Pittsburgh is a more recently formed public policy advocacy organization working to advance relevant causes such as energy efficiency, support for public transporation, and smart growth. In addition to hosting convocations, Sustainable Pittsburgh compiles a regional biennial indicators report which incorporates indicators on air quality, energy consumption, and toxic emissions. Its 2004 report raised the issue of the need for comprehensive energy consumption data, and in general it highlights research needs and gaps (Sustainable Pittsburgh, 2004). Pittsburghâs Green Building Alliance is another organization promoting environmentally responsible practices, and thus having an impact on energy consumption and air quality. The Green Building Alliance is involved, along with the regional NGO Clean Air â Cool Planet, and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, in carrying out Pittsburghâs Climate Protec- tion Initiative. The Green Government Task Force mentioned earlier will also be instrumental in the early stages of this initiative. Together, these organizations will assist local leaders in shaping policy, obtaining available funds (statewide and federal) for energy efficiency projects, and taking advantage of state and federal tax incentives for doing so. LESSONS LEARNED Pittsburghâs evolution provides several lessons about energy use and air pollutionâsome positive, some negative. As a region, it was able to capitalize on its abundant resources, though the abundance and attractiveness of those resources have varied over the years. Local oil is no longer a major contributor to the regional economy. Coal remains abundant, but its desirability as a fuel has decreased, due to the recognition of its impact on air quality and climate change. Damage to the environment from coal mining, as well as the health and safety of mine workers, also continue to be issues of concern (NRC, 2005). The clean- ing up mines can be prohibitively expensive, leading to an environmental legacy lasting longer than the mineâs period of operation. Such impacts and costs need to be considered. One of Pittsburghâs initial successes in air quality management is the adoption of pollution-control measures in the 1940s, which may have helped the city avoid severe and acute episodes of pollution such as the episode that caused thousands of illnesses and numerous deaths in Donora, just a few kilometers away. As noted by the Monessen Daily Independent, âthe Zinc Works may have cost the valley more jobs than it ever supplied, and the cost to the Donora-Webster area in terms of general community welfare is probably incalculable.â The failure to control emissions from the Zinc Works may have delayed some costs, but a tremendous price was paid and the controls eventually were required anyway.
248 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION Individuals, often associated with NGOs, were critical in getting area gov- ernments to enact air quality regulations. In Pittsburgh, organizations such as the Civic Club and the League of Women Voters pushed for reducing smoke, bringing various stakeholders to join in the planning. It was through the efforts of such organizations that the city produced a report, which the Mine Workers and other coal industry and labor representatives signed, that said smoke elimination would âbring about a new era of growth, prosperity and well being,â with âlittle or no additional burden on low income groupsâ (Tarr, 2002), thus facilitating progress in improving air quality. Now, GASP is a driving force. Such NGOs, at the local and national levels, continue to pressure for decreased emissions of air pollutants, including carbon dioxide. Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon started two companies that had a tre- mendous impact on the region. As well, one of their more lasting contributions appears to be the two educational institutions that they foundedâthe Carnegie Institute of Technology and the Mellon Institute. While the steel industry contrib- uted to very prosperous periods, there were periods of significant hardship when that industry had downturns in the 1930s and 1980s. The most recent downturn in the steel industry appears final, as most of the mills have been razed and replaced by a diverse set of uses, including âhigh technologyâ companies. The regionâs economic transition has been tied to the research conducted at the local universities, leading to the diversification of the economy, with many of the new companies being relatively non-polluting. The region was very dependent upon steel through much of the 20th century. Consequently, the economic impacts were severe when Pittsburghâs steel mills were closed due to overseas competition. In part, Pittsburghâs mills were unable to compete due to the continued use of older technologies. It was not environmental controls that made the industry less competitive. The fate of Pittsburghâs steel industry suggests the need to continu- ally update the technologies being used in manufacturing. Indeed, more modern facilities can be both more cost competitive and less polluting. The regionâs coal-fired power plants are now required to retrofit their facilities to reduce emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides. These requirements are due in part to the regional nature of ozone and particulate matter pollution, as downwind areas have pushed for these reductions. As explained in Chapter 6, retrofitting is an expensive process and is generally brought about as a result of tight regulations and strict enforcement. In some cases, the need to retrofit leads to plant closures. The costs of retrofit controls argue strongly for taking more aggressive action to lower emissions as facilities are designed. Looking to the future, high levels of SOx and NOx reductions and measures to control mercury and CO2 should be targeted by new facilities. Pittsburgh has a unique regulatory structure for addressing air pollution problems, due in large part to the history of air pollution issues. Locally, the Allegheny Pollution Control Division takes charge. Having a local agency lead pollution-control efforts worked well for addressing pollution problems with a
THE PITTSBURGH EXPERIENCE 249 limited spatial scope. Local agencies were more intimately familiar with the types of sources, and were more responsive to local pressures. However, as the more local âsmokeâ problems were reduced, the need to address regional air pollu- tion grew. Ozone, secondary fine particulate matter, and acid deposition are not as effectively addressed by local agencies working in isolation. Pennsylvaniaâs Department of Natural Resources takes the lead in developing control strategies for ozone and particulate matter, and must develop plans and regulations to meet the NAAQS and regulations to deal with regional haze. However, current air pollu- tion problems extend well beyond state boundaries, as Pennsylvania both receives pollution from other eastern states and contributes to their pollution burdens. Rec- ognition of the regional character of current air pollution problems led to regional initiatives (e.g., OTAG), the establishment of RPOs, and federal requirements for region-wide controls. Regional programs are successfully reducing ozone and fine particulate matter in the eastern United States. Effective programs across states appear to benefit from organizations operating at similar scales, and which are given the appropriate authority. Most recent regulations in Pittsburgh and elsewhere have been the result of federal intervention, rather than resulting from cooperative actions at the local level (Davidson and Davis, 2005). Thus, multistakeholder groups such as OTAG are instrumental in addressing complex, multifaceted issues. Moreover, the regional nature of these challenges requires geographically broad standards (typically federally established), but also opens up the opportunity for regional emissions trading, which in many cases appears to be the most effective way to address specific issues (e.g., acid deposition). Even as local air quality improves, downwind areas may continue to demand reductions, again necessitating regional and perhaps federal standards and intervention. FUTURE DIRECTIONS In the future, it is reasonable to expect further reductions in emissions. In the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA), coke production was given added time to reduce emissions, and by 2015, controls on the coke batteries are to be in place to reduce air toxics such as benzene. While current trends suggest that coal will continue to be the most common fuel used for electricity generation, there will be continuing pressure to further reduce emissions. First, the CAA and other recent regulations require continuing reductions in sulfur and nitrogen oxides emissions (EPA, 1998, 2005). Further, downwind areas are not expected to come into attainment with the NAAQS, and regulatory mechanisms and political pressures allow them to look upwind (EPA, 2005). In November 2004, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell signed Act 213 into law, requiring electric distribution companies and suppliers to include a specific percentage of electricity from alternative resources in the generation that they sell to Pennsylvania customers. This Act, the Alternative Energy Portfolio
250 ENERGY FUTURES AND URBAN AIR POLLUTION Standards Act, without mandating specific resources or quantities, established a 15-year schedule of gradual increases, with minimum thresholds for Tier I, TierÂ II, and solar PV. By 2021, companies will be required to provide 8 percent of electricity from Tier I, 10 percent from Tier II, and a full 0.5 percent from solar PV (PPUC, 2006). The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission is tasked with implementing the act, and will work in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Depart- ment of Environmental Protection, which is primarily responsible for ensuring compliance. Although recent plans for future power plant construction indicate a shift toward increased wind power (likely to ensure compliance with the Act), a number of alternative sources (coal mine methane, waste coal, and IGCC) may also be employed, allowing area energy providers to meet the rising standards, while still utilizing coal. Pittsburgh is still undergoing a renaissance of sorts, as it positions itself to be a leader in green technologies. In keeping with the determination to shed itself of the image of a smoky steel city, Pittsburghâs city leaders see this as an opportunity to be an innovator, rather than merely following what other cities have done. Pittsburgh is among the top five cities nationwide in the number of certified green buildings, including the first certified green convention center in the world, as well as the largest mixed-use green building in the United States (built by PNC Bank), slated for completion in 2008 (Heinz School Research Team, 2006). Additional actions include purchasing hybrid vehicles for the cityâs fleet, using biofuels in the more than 1,000 city-owned vehicles (Mayorâs office press release, 2006), and training maintenance workers throughout the city to comply with the DOEâs EnergyStar program, which requires buildings to reduce power consumption (Boren, 2006). References ACHD (Allegheny County Health Department). 2004. Air Quality Program. Review of Application: Title V Operating Permit. June 17, 2004. ACHD. 2006a. 2005 Air Quality Annual Report. Pittsburgh, PA. ACHD. 2006b. Eco-Currents 6(1). Pittsburgh, PA. Bergin, M.S., J.J. West, T.J. Keating, and A.G. Russell, 2005. Regional atmospheric pollution and transboundary air quality management. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30:1-37. Boren, J. 2006. City conservation panel eyes savings. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. October 20. Chameides, W.L., F. Fehsenfeld, M.O. Rodgers, C. Cardelino, J. Martinez, D. Parrish, W. Lonneman, D.R. Lawson, R.A. Rasmussen, P. Zimmerman, J. Greenberg, P. Middleton, and T. Wang. 1992. Ozone precursor relationships in the ambient atmosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research- Atmospheres 97(D5):6037-6055. CLP (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh). 2003. Oakland: Bellefield Boiler Plant. Pittsburgh, PA. Tier I includes solar thermal energy, wind, low-impact hydro, geothermal, biomass, biologically derived methane gas, coal mine methane, and fuel cells. Tier II includes waste coal, distributed generation systems, demand-side management, large-scale hydro, municipal solid waste, pulp- ing process and wood manufacturing by-products, and coal integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology.
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