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EPA Releases Final Reports on Air Toxics near Four Western Pennsylvania Schools

Release Date: 11/10/2011
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543. smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 10, 2011) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made available today two final reports on monitoring of outdoor air toxics around four western Pennsylvania schools: one report for Sto-Rox Elementary and Middle schools in McKees Rocks in Allegheny County, and a second report for Clairton Educational Center in Clairton and South Allegheny Middle/High School in McKeesport. Both reports are posted on the agency’s website at http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/schools.html.

EPA’s report on the Sto-Rox schools concludes that the levels monitored outside of the schools do not pose a health concern for school-age children and school staff for long-term exposure. Therefore, air monitoring at the school has been discontinued. Allegheny County Health Department had recommended the Sto-Rox schools for air monitoring due to their proximity to a coke oven and two chemical manufacturing facilities that emit air toxics, and based on computer modeling.

Emissions from coke ovens were detected in the air near both the Clairton Educational Center and South Allegheny Middle/High School. Monitoring at the Clairton school has been discontinued because the toxics monitored are below levels of significant concern. EPA is currently conducting more monitoring at the South Allegheny school to better characterize the potential for health concerns from long-term exposure to coke oven emissions. The data from this additional monitoring will also be posted to this website as it becomes available.

EPA monitored outdoor air at 63 schools in 22 states as part of the agency’s Schools Air Toxics Monitoring initiative, designed to help EPA and state environmental agencies understand whether long-term exposure to air toxics poses health concerns for children and staff at the schools.

To see a listing of all of the schools monitored in this initiative: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/schools.html