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BREATHE EASY MILLVALE AIR QUALITY PLANNING

BREATHE EASY MILLVALE AIR QUALITY PLANNING A deep dive into the Air Quality issue area of the Millvale Pivot 2.0 Plan

powered by

evolveEA

with support from The Heinz Endowments December 2016


BREATHE EASY MILLVALE AIR QUALITY PLANNING


Advisory Committee Zaheen Hussain, Millvale Sustainability Coordinator Brian Wolovich, Millvale Borough Councilman Norman Anderson, Environmental Public Health Consultant to the Heinz Endowments Jamin Bogi, GASP Beatrice Dias, Carnegie Mellon University Neil Donahue, Carnegie Mellon University Randy Francisco, Sierra Club Don Fugler, ROCIS Barbara Granito, National Academy of Sciences Chelsea Holmes, Women for a Healthy Environment Kirk Jalbert, FracTracker Linda Wigington, ROCIS

Report Prepared By Christine Mondor, Principal, evolveEA Anna Rosenblum, Project Manager, evolveEA Chris Guignon, evolveEA

with support from The Heinz Endowments through the Millvale Community Library December 2016


CONTENTS pg 07

BREATHING EASY IN MILLVALE [EXECUTIVE SUMMARY]

pg 11

OUR JOURNEY SO FAR

pg 13

OUR PROCESS

pg 17

BACKGROUND sources of air pollution effects of air pollution testing results survey results

pg 29

AIR QUALITY ACTION PLAN

pg 53

PLACEMAKING PROJECTS

pg 61

WORKPLAN

pg 65

ADVISORY COMMITTEE RESOURCES

pg 66

SOURCES

pg 68

APPENDIX

strategies and projects theory of change


future project Millvale pocket park 6 | evolveEA

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BREATHING EASY IN MILLVALE

[EXECUTIVE SUMMARY]

The Breathe Easy project recommends future actions and projects to catalyze change at the individual scale, in the borough, and in the region. Pollution does not respect municipal boundaries or jurisdictions, and improvements are outside the control of Millvale or any single community. As a result of the Breathe Easy project, we have developed principles that could structure a formal theory of change where municipal or neighborhood efforts can be scaled up to leverage regional change.

Change is created through a multi-tiered approach that connects the individual to the greater whole. Future efforts should tap into individual values and lived experiences, create citizen cohorts who are enabled to act in their communities, and build networks of concerned communities to advocate for broader change.

build broader networks by connecting SHARED VALUES create community by validating SHARED EXPERIENCE empower action by building upon LIVED EXPERIENCE

This model is based on observations made through the course of this project:

We are more likely to act when we have first-hand experience. We are more likely to act when we understand that we are part of a larger community with shared experiences. We are more likely to act when we are part of defining the problem. We are more likely to act when place is part of the pedagogy. MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   7


STRATEGY WORKPLAN & PROJECTS BEFORE 2017

1

MEASURE IMPACT Understand the sources of pollution that affect Millvale’s air quality and gather in-depth data on the various pollutants that they emit.

2

MINIMIZE SOURCES & EXPOSURE

2017

2018

2019

1c. Encourage participation in ROCIS. 1d. Make speck sensors available to rent at the Library. 1g. Partner with Universities to increase testing points.

1A. MILLVALE AIR QUALITY DASHBOARD

2h. Continue non-profit partnership for home and business weatherization. 1d. Make speck sensors available to rent at the Library. 3f. Hold indoor air quality events. 3i. Start a Millvale Air Quality Action Team. 2k. Revise municipal building and zoning codes. Develop ecodistrict plaque program.

Minimize the production of and contact with air pollutants inside and outside of the borough.

1a. Millvale air quality dashboard

3A. LIBRARY CLEAN AIR HUB

1

INFORMED & ACTIVATED CULTURE Create an informed culture that advocates for and acts upon air quality issues.

3b. Work with artists on air quality installations. 3c. Village green air monitoring station. 2d. Construct green walls and green roofs. 2f. Building technology that mitigates pollution.

AIR QUALITY SHOWCASE PARK AIR QUALITY BEACONS

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AIR QUALITY DASHBOARD

A window air quality dashboard displays realtime information about Millvale’s air quality and educates visitors about ongoing air quality efforts in Millvale.

CLEAN AIR HUB

A community space with indoor air quality improvements that lends air monitoring equipment and educates visitors about ongoing air quality efforts in Millvale.

AIR QUALITY SHOWCASE PARK

A public park that doubles as an outdoor exhibition space for air quality art installations and air pollution mitigation strategies.

WATER TOWER BEACON

A beacon that displays real-time monitoring data and acts as a landmark for Millvale’s network of hillside hiking trails.

BUFFER PARK

A vegetated buffer and interactive air quality light installation at Millvale’s southern gateway. The Buffer Park connects Grant Ave. to Millvale’s riverfront.

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   9


AIR

Millvale is a clean air community where people breathe easy indoors and outdoors.

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Image: static.panoramio.com


OUR JOURNEY SO FAR In 2016, the community revised Millvale’s 2030 goals for Food, Energy and Water, and created new goals for Mobility, Air Quality, and Equity. Having accomplished 70% of the goals within Millvale’s EcoDistrict checklist, the community entered a second round of planning in the fall of 2015. Alongside Mobility and Equity, joining Food, Water, and Energy, Air became one of the six priority areas within the Millvale EcoDistrict Pivot Plan 2.0. Within the EcoDistrict Pivot Plan 2.0, Millvale has established the goal of becoming a “clean air community where people can breathe easy indoors and outdoors.” The plan identifies air quality actions, metrics, and projects to help the community achieve its goal. With a mission and next steps laid out, in 2016, the Millvale Community Library partnered with evolveEA with support from the Heinz Endowments to incorporate a comprehensive

air quality component into the Ecodistrict Plan. The goals of the plan were to develop a monitoring and data acquisition process to collect baseline data on point and non-point air pollution sources, analyze data and develop recommendations to unite placemaking and performance through the lens of public and environmental health. Leading up to this project, the borough had already implemented several projects related to air quality. This includes the solarization of the Millvale Library and Millvale Community Center, Library and resident participation in the Reducing Outdoor Pollutants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS) initiative, as well as energy efficiency and home performance outreach in partnership with GTECH Strategies.

MILLVALE ECODISTRICT PIVOT 2.0 powered by powered by evolveEA

evolveEA

with support from Henry L. Hillman Foundation April 2016

Millvale Pivot 2.0 Plan (2016)

“Stagnant air brings an odor of rotten eggs to Pittsburgh suburbs”

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 08/2015

“Pittsburgh’s air pollution ranking shows an unhealthy situation for our communities” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 03/2015

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   11


SCOPE OF THIS PROJECT

FUTURE WORK

IDENTIFY SOURCES OF POLLUTION 1. Catalog and map

2. Share with committee and community 3. Revise

IDENTIFY EFFECTS OF POLLUTION 1. Catalog and issue community perception survey 3. Revise 4. Launch survey 5. Analyze results

ESTABLISH TESTING METHODOLOGY 1. Research testing methodologies 2. Determine testing locations + methodology 3. Conduct testing 4. Analyze results 5. Share with committee

DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Develop recommendations 2. Research existing support 3. Identify synergies with other Pivot 2.0 categories 4. Calculate potential impact 5. Share with committee

DEVELOP TRACKING METHODS

1. Develop methodology to implement Recommendations, track results, and quantify benefits

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IMPLEMENT PROJECTS, POLICIES, & PROGRAMS!

2. Share with committee and community


The project team worked with an Advisory Committee of air quality experts to ensure accuracy, as well as the Millvale community to build capacity for implementation. The methodology for this project consisted of five stages. The first stage involved research and investigation into the sources of air pollution that affect Millvale. This information was compiled into maps and graphics that were discussed at an Advisory Committee meeting. The next stage involved research into the effects of poor air quality and how this relates to Millvale, specifically. This stage also included a survey, where Millvale residents shared their perceptions about local air quality, what they value, and how they can activate for change. The information about sources and effects of poor air quality were shared during a community meeting, and attendees were asked to report back on how their perspective of air quality had changed as a result of the meeting. The third stage of this project consisted of air quality testing. Several sensors were placed in the borough to gain an understanding of how time of day, and proximity to roads, trees, and valleys affect the air quality in different portions of the borough. The locations of these sensors were agreed upon during the second

2016

OUR PROCESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING 24 MAY 2016 june

Advisory Committee meeting. The information gathered and analyzed from the source, effects, and testing components of the project informed the fourth stage: development of action plan recommendations and placemaking projects. These recommendations were shared in a second community meeting, where residents also had the opportunity to play an educational “air quality game” and made pledges to contribute to the effort. In the final stage, Millvale will work to implement the recommendations, prioritizing recommendations that have an appropriate cost, impact, and timeline given the funding available. The sources of air pollution, effects of air pollution, and testing should be reevaluated on an annual basis to understand the impact that this project and the recommended initiatives have had on the community. This process can be replicated in any community, however, it should produce a unique set of recommendations in other communities.

may

ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING 23 JUNE 2016 july

COMMUNITY MEETING ONE 20 JULY 2016 aug AIR QUALITY MONITORS START AUGUST 2016 sept

oct

COMMUNITY MEETING TWO

nov

16 NOVEMBER 2016 ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING 29 NOVEMBER 2016

dec

REPORT LAUNCH! 16 DECEMBER 2016

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   13


Results of Community Meeting 1 Pre/Post Form

COMMUNITY MEETING RESULTS

Most Notable Change

Through a series of meetings, Millvale engaged over 100 residents, business owners, city and regional stakeholders, community partners and subject matter experts to share ideas and discuss Millvale’s air quality. The first community meeting took place on July 20, 2016, where the project team presented findings on local, regional, and indoor sources of air pollution, effects of air pollution, and updates on Millvale’s air quality testing. Those in attendance completed a form, indicating three of nine values statements that are most important to them. Attendees completed the same form prior to the presentation, and at the conclusion. Two of the value statements experienced the most notable change. The two statements, “Millvale contains the greatest number of trees...” and “I learn best practices to improve indoor air quality...” refer to two topics described during the presentation. The second community meeting took place on November 16, 2016, where the project team presented the air quality perception survey, testing results and analysis, and recommended strategies to accomplish Millvale’s air quality goals. Halfway through the meeting there was a pause for attendees to play the “Source/ Strategy Air Quality Game”, developed by evolveEA. The game is both educational and enjoyable, and is meant to teach players about sources of air pollution and strategies to improve air quality. The game places values to these sources and strategies to help players understand the magnitude of their behavior.

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GREEN ROOFS & WALLS

HOME IMPROVEMENTS

Your local community center has installed a living wall. Neat!

You’ve sealed up your flood prone basement, weather-stripped your doors, and upgraded your furnace filter to a MERV 13! Your hard work will pay off!

Living walls can capture airborne pollutants and filter noxious gases.

Home improvements can prevent building enevelope-related air quality issues and decrease your energy consumption.

Earn 2 points.

Earn 1 point.

CARS

TRUCKS

CLEAN The City is repaving some roads in a AIR POLICY

neighboring community and the detour runs right through your community’s mainchild’s street.school has implemented a Win! Your no idling policy for school buses. Cars are major pollution contributors, creating 50% of the carbon monoxide and 23% of thein wasted fuel and poor air quality. Idling results nitrogen oxides in Allegheny County. Earn 2 points. Lose 1 point UNLESS you have the “Walk & Bike” card.

POWER PLANTS You and your family have decided to watch the sunset over the city skyline. Unfortunately, the sky is so hazy from power plant emissions that it’s difficult to see! Your community has planted a tree buffer These plants are the nations topnext source of carbon to the highway. dioxide emissions, and are also the leading cause of Trees can remove ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and smog and acid rain. to a lesser extent, particulate matter from the All communities lose 3 points, UNLESS the atmosphere. community has the Renewable Energy card. Earn 2 points.

TREES

My Mycommunity communityisiscalled... called...

INDOOR COMBUSTION [COOKING, FIREPLACE, ETC.] ADVOCACY GROUP GAME CHANGER!

REAL-TIME MONITORING

Yikes! You get stuck behind a truck on the highway. Time to roll the windows up! have conducted a long-term radon test These vehicles produce particulate You matter and contribute in your home. You are under the EPA action to the production of ozone. level. Thank goodness! Lose 2 points unless you have the Clean Air Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer Policy card. after smoking. Earn 1 point.

INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES [STEEL MILLS, CHEMICAL PLANTS, OIL WALKING & BIKING REFINERIES, ETC.] Your municipal complete streets policy The steel mill down the street has increased prioritizes pedestrians and bikers in production threefold! addition to cars. Way to go! These plants can produce harmful emissions. Making the choice to walk, bike, skate, or kayak All communities lose 3 points, UNLESS the instead of drive reduces pollution. community has the HVAC Filter card to limit emissions. Earn 2 points. The community to your right saw what you were doing and implemented a complete streets policy too! They also earn 2 points.

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OUTDOOR COMBUSTION [GRILLING, BONFIRES, ETC.] RENEWABLE ENERGY GAME CHANGER!

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Use Usethis thiscard cardatatany anypoint pointininthe thegame gametototake take22points points Use from Usethis thiscard cardatatany anypoint pointininthe thegame gametotoprevent preventlosing losingpoints points fromone oneofofthe theother othercommunities. communities.Save Savethis thiscard cardfor forlater later from one of the air quality source cards! Save this card for later because it can only be used once! Air pollution can impact the economy, the environment, and our Pittsburgh is the 8th most polluted city in the United States. from one of the air quality Save thiscity cardinfor because it can only be used once! Air pollution can impact the economy, the environment, and our Pittsburgh issource the 8thcards! most polluted thelater United States. because health. becauseititcan canonly onlybe beused usedonce! once! health. 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Your neighbor is mowing their lawn with a planned to manage the dust by sealing the The dry cleaners down the street is switching to Healthy Ride is opening a bike share station in your is that? diesel powered lawn mower while you are roomrelease or ducts off. friendly processes and will no longer community. Score! You no longer have to rely on drivingUse to get this card at any point in the game to take 2 points enjoying a relaxing afternoon onenvironmentally your porch! harmful chemicals! work. Usedebris this card any point can intothe game to prevent losing points from one of the other communities. Save this card for later Dust and from at construction become Diesel powered vehicles and equipment create from one of the air quality source cards! Save this card for later because it can only be used once! airborne and exacerbate respiratory Use illnesses. 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GAME CHANGER!

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|   15


“A clean state is a competitive state... we’re not going to build the jobs and the income we want by trashing our air.”

16 | evolveEA

John Hanger, PennFuture

Image: The Breathe Project


BACKGROUND Pittsburgh’s air quality has made great strides, but still has much work to do. Pittsburgh’s reputation as a city with poor air quality is not a new association. In the days when the city’s economy depended on steel mills, the color of the sky was an indicator of how much money was being made. Smog, chronic illness and soot-covered surfaces were unavoidable and became part of the urban identity. Many present-day Pittsburghers will tell you that the city has cleaned up its act since those times. While this is true to an extent, the current levels of pollution still place the city in the dirtiest 15% in the country (for PM2.5). The impacts of this pollution is felt regionally, including within Millvale. Of all of the top ten lists Pittsburgh has made in the past few years, this is not one to be proud of. (Breathe Project; American Lung Association 2016) Awareness of Pittsburgh’s air pollution problem is difficult for many to grasp because air pollution is largely an invisible problem that we don’t think

about on a daily basis. Unlike a major storm event that brings catastrophic flooding, air pollution is most harmful with long-term exposure and is not easily defined by a single event. Just because we don’t see it does not mean that we are immune. Our health and environment are severely impacted by air pollution, affecting the health of our families, our neighbors, and our economy. Luckily, studies have shown that there are dramatic reductions in health risk when people are removed from heavy pollution zones. Pittsburgh is fortunate enough to have several groups in the region who are working towards this goal, including The Breathe Project and the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP). By working together, Millvale and other communities in the region can help to improve air quality, health, and protect the environment. (Brauer, 2016)

PITTSBURGH’S PM2.5 LEVELS RANK AMONG THE WORST 15% IN THE COUNTRY (The Breathe Project; Clean Air Task Force 2015)

#1 most livable city

#1 best place to live in the Northeast

2nd most walkable city

11th most affordable place to live

8th most polluted city for PM2.5

26th most polluted city for ozone

Sources (listed from top to bottom): The Economist, 2014; American Lung Association “State of the Air Report”; Smart Growth America, 2014; US News 2016; Money, 2015.

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SOURCES OF OUTDOOR AIR POLLUTION The EPA has identified six hazardous air pollutants (particulate matter, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and lead) called the National Ambient Air Quality Criteria Pollutants (NAAQS) that are widespread and able to cause severe human and environmental harm. National air quality standards have been established for these criteria pollutants that define allowable concentrations of these substances in the ambient air. Allegheny County is currently failing to meet these standards for PM2.5, ozone, and sulfur dioxide. This is of particular concern because PM2.5 and ozone are the most widespread and harmful of the criteria pollutants. (Fabisiak April 30, 2015)

facilities (e.g. dry cleaners, gas stations, auto body, and paint shops). The mobile sources include off-road sources (e.g. construction equipment, lawn and garden equipment, trains, and boats) and vehicles (cars, trucks, and buses). (EPA 2016)

Sources of outdoor air pollution affecting the Pittsburgh area can be categorized into point sources and mobile sources. Point sources include industrial processes (such as chemical plants, steel mills, and oil refineries), largescale fuel combustion (e.g. coal fired power plants), small-scale fuel combustion (e.g. trash and wood burning), and commercial

It is impossible to know what percent each of these sources contributes to Millvale’s air quality, specifically; however, it is estimated that regional point sources (such as the Clairton Coke Works) contribute up to 50% of Millvale’s air pollution, and cars, trucks, and buses contribute significantly to the remaining 50%. Local point sources (such as burning trash) have a large impact on the air quality in the immediate vicinity, but do not contribute greatly to the overall air quality of the borough. This does not mean that local point and mobile sources do not have an impact and should not be targeted for improvement. Environmental conditions such as wind direction and speed, proximity to vegetation, location within the floodplain, in a valley, and/or along the river all contribute to the borough’s air quality as well. (EPA 2011) (PennEnvironment and Frontier Group 2015)

LOCAL POINT SOURCES

HIGHLY TRAVELED ROADS

Auto Body/Paint Shop Gas Station Industrial Process Commercial Facility

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NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY CRITERIA POLLUTANTS (NAAQS) PM Particulate Matter (2.5 * and 10) O3 Ground-level Ozone * CO Carbon Monoxide SO2 Sulfur Dioxide * NOX Nitrogen Oxides Pb Lead * indicates Allegheny County non-compliance


Millvalians can control these indoor sources of pollution through decisions about the building envelope, behavior, consumer choices, and building legacy issues. Due to the age of homes in Millvale, as well as proximity to the floodplain, Millvalians are more likely to have building envelope and moisture issues, which lead to radon and mold problems. Resident behavior, such as cooking or use of fireplaces without ventilation, can lead to increased levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in the home. Consumer choices regarding pest control, building materials, paints, and more can lead to increased levels of formaldehyde and pesticides in the home. Lastly, building legacy issues, such as asbestos and lead, must be considered and abated during renovation projects to protect the health of the inhabitants.

SOURCES OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION The air pollution that Millvalians have the most direct and immediate control over is their indoor air quality. Air within buildings can contain more pollution than the outdoor air, and because people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors the health effects can be greater. Sources of indoor air pollution include indoor combustion (such as gas stoves and fireplaces); materials and furnishings (e.g. insulation, carpeting, upholstery, etc.); and cleaning, maintenance, and personal care products. Cracks and gaps in the walls and floor, water leaks, and poor ventilation can also contribute to bad indoor air quality. Additionally, outdoor pollution levels can also contribute to negative indoor air quality. (EPA 2016)

MAJOR INDOOR AIR POLLUTANTS Building Envelope R MOLD

Radon Mold

Resident Behavior CO Carbon Monoxide NOX Nitrogen Oxides PM Particulate Matter Consumer Choices CH2O

Formaldehyde

PEST

Pesticides

VOCs

Volatile Organic Compounds

Building Legacy ASB Asbestos Pb Lead

SOURCES OF OUTDOOR AIR POLLUTION Vehicles (cars, trucks, busses)

O3

CO

NOX

Industrial Processes

PM

SO2

NOX

Pb

Fuel Combustion (large-scale)

PM

SO2

NOX

Pb

Fuel Combustion (small-scale)

PM

CO

NOX

CO

NOX

PM

CO

NOX

PM

CO

Commercial Facilities

O3

Off-Road Mobile Sources SOURCES OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION Indoor Combustion Materials and Furnishings

ASB

VOCs

Cleaning, Maintenance, and Personal Care Products R

Water leaks and sewage

R

Poor ventilation

Pb

CH2O

VOCs

Cracks and gaps in the walls and floors

NOX

CH2O

PEST

MOLD CH2O

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EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION Air pollution is the 4th highestranking risk factor for death globally, responsible for 5.5 million premature deaths a year (Brauer, Poor air quality kills 5.5 million worldwide annually 2016). While a disproportionate number of those deaths occur in rapidly-developing countries like China and India, air pollution carries a heavy health burden on communities at home as well. In the United States, air pollution ranks 10th in leading risk factors for death, accounting for 90,000 deaths a year. Unlike behavioral risks like smoking (ranked 2nd) and drug and alcohol abuse (ranked 7th), air pollution can be a more abstract problem, without clear actionable solutions for people affected. (IHME 2016) That’s concerning for residents in and around cities like Pittsburgh that have high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone in the air. PM2.5 and ozone are Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) that have been linked to a number of negative health effects, including cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, respiratory disease, asthma, and negative reproductive and developmental outcomes. Otherwise healthy residents subjected to ambient air pollution may suffer from mild symptoms on a day to day basis, like watery eyes or wheezing, and never realize the potential connection to air quality. For more sensitive groups—including children, the elderly, and those with existing health conditions— high levels of HAPs can have not only significant long-term health consequences, but acute effects as well.

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Cardiovascular disease Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and air pollution has been shown to aggravate cardiovascular conditions. While long-term exposure to HAPs can exacerbate or contribute to heart disease, recent studies show that even short-term exposure to elevated levels of pollutants can trigger heart attacks and ischemic stroke. Lung cancer In 2013 the World Health Organization added air pollution to its list of carcinogens, meaning that under certain conditions the air we breathe becomes a risk factor for cancer. Radon, high levels of which are prevalent in southwestern PA, is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. Importantly, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths and is the cancer most associated with air pollution. Asthma and respiratory disease PM2.5 and ozone have been shown to inhibit lung function. This can be especially hazardous to people who suffer from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bad air quality and Ozone Action Days can also discourage children and people with reduced lung function from engaging in healthy outdoor activity which can in turn exacerbate health conditions like obesity. Obesity in children has been linked to increased risk of asthma. Reproductive and developmental outcomes Pre-term births, miscarriages, pre-eclampsia, and low-birth weight in babies have all been

linked to air pollution. Toxic metals like chromium, found in the emissions of some industrial plants, have been shown to negatively affect lung development in babies and contribute to the risk of asthma. Recent studies have even exposed disturbing links between bad ambient air quality and autism spectrum disorder and mental illness.

#1 environmental risk factor in the U.S.

10th leading risk factor for death in the U.S.

90k deaths a year in the U.S., from air pollution

4th leading risk factor for death, globally

5.5mil deaths a year globally from air pollution

Source: IHME, “GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators”


As previously mentioned, despite recent improvements, Pittsburgh ranks in the top ten most polluted cities in the U.S. for fine particulate air pollution. Millvale shares that air, and in a 2010 study presented by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette called “Mapping Mortality” the borough was shown to have rates of health-related premature death higher than the national average. Between 2000-2008 heart disease deaths in Millvale were 68% above the national average. Lung cancer deaths were 62% above the national average, and respiratory disease deaths were 30% higher than the national average. Similarly, rates of lowbirth weight were elevated and childhood asthma is considerably more prevalent in the region than nationally. It is important to note that most epidemiological studies that examine the link between air pollution and negative health outcomes cannot attribute causality; however, the evidence of the relationship between the two is mounting. (Hopey and Templeton 2010) There is reason to be optimistic. While studies have shown acute health risks of air pollution, recent studies have shown dramatic reductions in health risk when people are removed from heavy pollution zones, or the pollution is removed from them (e.g. traffic is rerouted or a local point source disappears). The improvement of health through reduction of air pollution has been measured and there does not seem to be a limit to improvement of lung function when people are in environments of good air quality. (Brauer, 2016)

HEART DISEASE DEATHS IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY [image courtesy Pittsburgh Post Gazette]

Millvale borough: 68% above national average

LUNG CANCER DEATHS IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY [image courtesy Pittsburgh Post Gazette]

Millvale borough: 62% above national average

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Mapping Mortality Special Report,” 2010

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   21


TESTING RESULTS This project included real-time air quality monitoring to help residents and the team better understand the air pollution levels in Millvale, collect baseline data for future comparison, educate residents, and activate the community. The monitoring approach taken is understood as “citizen science”, or participatory monitoring conducted by nonprofessional scientists. As Millvale continues to collect air quality data, the process should become more refined, achieve higher granularity of data, and therefore approach more scientific accuracy than the citizen science approach employed by this project. Purpose The primary purpose of this study was to test an implementation procedure for air quality monitoring, and in doing so, collect baseline data regarding concentrations of five of the six NAAQS criteria pollutants (ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxides - lead was excluded) in Millvale. The secondary purpose of this study was to see if correlations could be made between the data and environmental conditions, such as proximity to heavily traveled roads, wooded hillsides, and valleys. Daily and weekly trends were also analyzed, in addition to comparing Millvale’s air quality to Lawrenceville’s (using data collected by the Allegheny County Health Department). Testing Equipment and Locations Four different types of monitors were used through the course of the study to capture data for

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CITIZEN SCIENCE VS. SCIENTIFIC ACCURACY

MONITORS SET UP IN THE MILLVALE COMMUNITY LIBRARY

CO2 MONITOR

DYLOS

five of the criteria pollutants (no single type of monitor tests for all six). Monitoring equipment included low-cost monitors available for personal use in homes (such as Speck monitors), as well as research-level sensors currently being developed at Carnegie Mellon University (e.g. RAMP monitors). Speck Sensors: These monitors are relatively low-cost and are available for loan through the Millvale Community Library. Residents also have access to Speck monitors through participation in the ROCIS initiative. Specks count small particles between

SPECK

CO RADON MONITOR DETECTOR

2 and 5 microns in size. These monitors were placed in four locations throughout Millvale (see map on opposite page). Dylos Sensors: These monitors are moderately low-cost and are also available through participation in the ROCIS initiative. They count particles as small as 0.5 microns as well as larger particles of 2.5-10 microns in size (by comparison, a human hair is approximately 50 microns). These monitors were placed in the Millvale Community Library’s backyard as well as indoors to measure indoor vs. outdoor dynamics.


Realtime Affordable MultiPollutant (RAMP) Sensors: RAMP monitors are researchlevel monitors and are not publicly available at this time. They were developed by Carnegie Mellon University and are being tested throughout the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. RAMP sensors measure particulate matter (PM2.5 - micrograms/ m3), carbon monoxide (CO - parts per billion), carbon dioxide (CO2 parts per million), ozone (O3 - parts per million), nitrogen oxides (NOx - parts per billion), and sulfur dioxides (SO2 - parts per billion). Two monitors were placed on the southern and northern ends of Grant Avenue (“Grant South” and “Grant North”)—chosen for their proximity to major roadways, Route 28, businesses, and elevation. An additional monitor was placed in the northern portion of Millvale in the backyard of a private

PHOTO OF RAMP INSTALLATION

residence, which is high in elevation and far from Route 28 (“Forest Street”). Corentium Home Radon Gas Detector: These monitors are relatively high-cost radon gas detectors, which will be available for loan at the Millvale Community Library, as well as through the ROCIS initiative. These monitors measure 1-day, 7-day, and long-term radon gas prevalence (R - picoCuries per Liter of air. These monitors were placed on the Library first floor and in the basement. Hypothesis At the beginning of the study, the project team hypothesized that average levels of the five criteria pollutants would be highest at the monitoring location closest to Route 28, second highest on Grant street (in the valley), and would be lowest in Millvale’s wooded hillside.

Summary of Findings Preliminary analysis of the data indicates a strong local trend in upward and downward movement of air pollution concentrations, as evidenced by the correlation between the four Millvale Speck monitoring locations, as well as the correlation between Millvale’s RAMP sensors and the Allegheny County Health Department sensor located across the river, in Lawrenceville. This is seen across all five of the six criteria pollutants that were measured by all monitoring equipment types. The testing results did not confirm the hypothesis, and the results proved to be inconclusive for many of the criteria pollutants with variability between pollutant types. Counter to the hypothesis, average PM2.5 levels observed by the Speck monitors in Millvale showed the highest concentrations at the “Forest Street” location, far from Route 28 and close to the hillside, but within the range of drift and

PLACEMENT OF SPECK MONITORS

Upper Millvale Hillside

North Avenue Borough Building Millvale Community Library

To see an animation of the Speck monitor testing results, please click HERE.

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   23


equipment calibration. Average PM2.5 levels observed by the RAMP sensors were similar and showed a negligible difference in concentration between the two monitors. The hypothesis was proven to be correct for CO levels, with the monitor located in the hillside demonstrating the lowest average CO levels, and the monitor closest to Route 28 demonstrating the highest average CO levels. These results match expectations given that vehicular emissions are the biggest contributor to carbon monoxide pollution in the United States. As for ozone, the results showed that while other pollutants most often peaked during the night due to mixing heights and the formation of inversion layers,

ozone most often peaked during the day. This trend was expected because sunlight mixed with NOx and VOCs are a key ingredient in the formation of ozone. This is important for planning purposes as it shows that overnight pollution spikes can translate to daytime ozone hazards. The NOx, SOx, and CO2 testing results showed that each of the monitoring locations trended together, but demonstrated a negligible difference between them, providing inconclusive results. Compared to the ACHD monitor located in Lawrenceville, Millvale’s criteria pollutant concentrations trended with Lawrenceville’s levels, indicating the effect of regional sources, mixing heights, and inversion

AIRNOW HOURLY AQI

ACCORDING TO AIRNOW AND REGIONAL MONITORING DATA, THE PITTSBURGH REGION EXPERIENCED ELEVATED LEVELS OF PM2.5 AND OZONE ON NOVEMBER 16, 2016

Graph notes: Monitoring shows close tracking between Millvale locations and Lawrenceville; Average Readings: Grant South: 7.3, Grant North: 6.5, Forest: 6.8, Lawrenceville: 11.0

The results of the RAMP monitors are similar to those of the speck monitors, showing a negligible difference between the three monitored locations. While running all three RAMP 24 | evolveEA monitors in Millvale was a challenge due to technical issues, when comparing the time periods


layers on regional air quality. However, average concentrations of these pollutants were sometimes observed to be higher or lower than Lawrenceville’s, depending on the pollutant. Millvale’s average PM2.5 and NOx levels were consistently lower than in Lawrenceville, whereas Millvale’s average ozone levels were consistently higher. Millvale’s CO and SOx levels also trended with Lawrenceville’s monitor, but average concentrations were not consistently higher or lower than Lawrenceville’s. The take aways as seen within charted monitoring results in the appendix (p. 69-73) are that pollution levels across the five criteria pollutants that were measured trend together,

and that nighttime spikes in pollutants such as PM2.5 and NOx can translate to daytime health hazards related to ozone formation. This indicates that during periods of high pollution, there may be health risks both at night as well as during the day.

NOVEMBER 16, 2016

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

Graph notes: Shows consistent trend between measuring sites, and long term averages remaining below EPA standard of 53ppb

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   25


AIR QUALITY PERCEPTION SURVEY An air quality perception survey was issued during the month of October 2016. The 49 survey respondents represented a fairly even split of ages, genders, and geographic locations within Millvale. When asked what the greatest sources of air pollution are that affect the borough, Millvalians answered that mobile sources, industrial sources, and pollution from outside of the region are the largest contributors. This indicates that Millvalians’ see sources outside of their control and borough to be the largest contributors to Millvale’s air quality.

SOURCES OUTSIDE OF MILLVALIANS’ CONTROL ARE PERCEIVED TO BE THE LARGEST POLLUTION SOURCES Our research suggests this may be accurate

When asked how strongly they agree or disagree with various air quality-related questions, we found that Millvalians see air quality as a problem, albeit one that doesn’t affect them, but it is still important to them. Additionally, Millvalians agreed that if they knew what to do about the air quality issue they would act.

50% OF MILLVALIANS ARE NOT AWARE THAT PITTSBURGH’S AIR IS WORSE THAN OTHER CITIES

Our research cannot conclude if this is correct

MILLVALIANS EQUATE THE BOROUGH’S AIR QUALITY TO PITTSBURGH’S

Our research cannot conclude if this is correct

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MILLVALIANS SEE AIR QUALITY AS A PROBLEM THAT IS IMPORTANT TO THEM, BUT IT DOES NOT AFFECT THEIR MAJOR DECISIONS

38% of respondents did not know about or attend previous EcoDistrict meetings

90% of respondents have lived in Millvale for more than 1 year

82% of respondents have lived in the Pittsburgh area for 10+ years

These questions received the strongest responses AIR QUALITY DOES NOT AFFECT HOW MUCH TIME OR HOW MILLVALIANS SPEND THEIR TIME OUTDOORS

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   27


BOROUGH- SCALE

AIR QUALITY ACTION PLAN STRATEGIES

A F

N A

V

M

C

B

PROJECT COST

E T

I

D

G

D U

A L

M D

S

INDIVIDUAL SCALE

E

J

P

C

Q

F B

K

B E

H L

H

J

G

MINIMAL IMPACT

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C

O

I

H I K

G

J

R

F

PROJECT IMPACT

POTENTIAL FOR BIG IMPACT

action plan goals

types of strategies

1

MEASURE IMPACT

PLACE

POLICY

2

MINIMIZE SOURCES & EXPOSURE

PROGRAM

INDIVIDUAL ACTION

3

INFORMED & ACTIVATED CULTURE


ACTION PLAN The action plan provides tools and recommendations for the community to increase awareness and reduce pollution, working towards the community’s 2030 goal. The results of the source and effect research, perception survey, and air quality testing, in addition to recommendations from our peers around the world, all informed the following air quality action plan. The plan identifies recommendations that have varying levels of impact, cost to implement, and capacity requirements, to improve air quality in Millvale and the region. The recommendations are categorized into three guiding goals, and each goal

contains a series of objectives, indicators, and strategies to work towards goal achievement. Each recommendation is paired with detailed information about how to implement the recommendation, including cost, partner, and capacity recommendations. This document is meant to constantly evolve, and should expand and continually update based on what the community has accomplished and what it hopes to tackle next.

AIR

2030 goal

Millvale is a clean air community where people breathe easy indoors and outdoors.

1

2

3

MEASURE IMPACT

MINIMIZE SOURCES & EXPOSURE

INFORMED & ACTIVATED CULTURE

Minimize the production of and contact with air pollutants inside and outside of the borough.

Create an informed culture that advocates for and acts upon air quality issues.

Understand the sources of pollution that affect Millvale’s air quality and gather in-depth data on the various pollutants that they emit.

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   29


1 MEASURE IMPACT Most of the “measure impact” strategies are low cost and have a low impact. Measuring impact throughout the borough will help Millvalians gain an understanding of how proximity to local sources, environmental conditions, and weather patterns affect levels of pollution in different locations. Understanding this is the first step towards action, but monitoring alone will not have a positive impact on Millvale’s air quality.

M

PROJECT COST

E

D A

J

H

K

F

L

B

I

G

C

PROJECT IMPACT

2 MINIMIZE SOURCES & EXPOSURE A N F

PROJECT COST

V

T

C

O

I

G D

U M S

L

H B E

J

P Q

R

PROJECT IMPACT

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K

Many of the strategies for “minimize sources and exposure” are medium or low cost strategies with a medium impact. Minimizing sources is difficult to achieve at a large and impactful scale, but low and medium cost initiatives can be taken that have the potential for a big impact. Minimizing exposure can have an impact on individuals or small groups of people for a low or medium cost.


2 MINIMIZE SOURCES & EXPOSURE A N F

PROJECT COST

V

T

C

O

I

There are a handful of strategies that can be very impactful for varying costs. These strategies include placemaking, policy creation, and individual actions. Programs may influence action, but few were identified as very impactful.

G D

U L

M

H E

J

S

K

B

P Q

R

PROJECT IMPACT

3 INFORMED & ACTIVATED CULTURE Informing and activating Millvalians will lead to impactful change. However, an informed and activated culture does not directly influence air quality, which is why there is only one high impact strategy for this goal.

A C

PROJECT COST

B

H D

I

G

E J

F

PROJECT IMPACT

types of strategies PLACE PROGRAM POLICY INDIVIDUAL ACTION

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   31


GOAL

1

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MEASURE IMPACT

Understand the sources of pollution that affect Millvale’s air quality and gather in-depth data on the various pollutants that they emit.

Image: Albert Presto; Carnegie Mellon University; The Breathe Project


INDICATORS

OBJECTIVES 1. Understand/measure how regional point sources impact the air quality in Millvale.

# of monitors throughout the borough # of criteria pollutants measured years of data collected

2. Understand/measure how mobile sources impact the air quality in Millvale.

# of maps created modeling the impact of sources on Millvale

3. Understand/measure how local point sources impact the air quality in Millvale.

SYNERGIES

4. Understand/measure possible correlations or causalities with Millvale-specific health statistics.

TIME

COST

IMPACT

As the old saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. In order to make the biggest impact, Millvalians must understand the sources of pollution affecting the borough and prioritize strategies based on what will have the biggest

STRATEGIES

ENERGY MOBILITY EQUITY

impact. Monitoring various locations throughout the borough will provide an understanding of how proximity to pollution sources, topography, and weather patterns affect air quality within the borough.

YOU CAN’T MANAGE WHAT YOU DON’T MEASURE!

PLACE A. Install a real-time air quality dashboard (digital and/or physical). B. Update the map of local point sources of pollution annually.

PROGRAM C. Encourage participation in ROCIS. D. Make (more) SPECK and radon sensors available to rent from the Library. E. Implement a school air quality testing program. F. Work with healthcare providers to track health data. G. Partner with local universities to increase testing points in the borough.

INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS

hi gh

. ed

m

lo

w

H. Measure for radon in the basement. I. Participate in a ROCIS air quality monitoring group. J. Borrow a Speck sensor from the Library and measure PM levels in your home. K. Advocate for air quality testing in your child’s school and in public buildings. L. Use the Smell PGH app to log bad smells. M. Conduct a home energy audit.

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   33


TIME

COST

IMPACT

PLACE

A. Install a real-time air quality dashboard (digital and/or physical). A real-time air quality dashboard would make air quality data collected throughout the borough readily accessible and easy to understand. Accessing air quality data over a period of time will raise awareness in the community and provide a baseline for Millvale to measure against moving forward. The dashboard could be highly visible (a billboard at the buffer park) or available online or through a smartphone app.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Universities, the Heinz Endowments, The Breathe Project COST Cost varies depending how the dashboard is implemented and the number of sensors. CAPACITY Requires assistance from consultants/ experts, with limited maintenance.

B. Update the map of local point sources of pollution annually. As part of this process, a local point source map was created to help Millvalians understand the types of businesses that may contribute negatively to air quality and where they are located. Currently, the number and scale of these businesses is not of major concern. However, Millvalians should update this map annually to understand how the placement of new businesses may contribute to local air quality.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Business owners COST This is a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY Updating the map could be the annual responsibility of one individual.

PROGRAM

C. Encourage participation in ROCIS. Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS) is an organization which collects indoor and outdoor air quality data from homes located throughout the Pittsburgh region to inform research about reducing the impact of outdoor air pollution in indoor environments. ROCIS engages groups of individuals for 3-week periods. Participants place monitors inside and outside of their homes. Encouraging Millvalians to participate in a ROCIS cohort will provide a dataset of information about the indoor air quality within Millvalians’ homes and raise awareness. (Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces 2014)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS ROCIS COST This is a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY The more people that participate, the better!

D. Make (more) SPECK and radon sensors available to rent from the Library. The Millvale Community Library (MCL) has SPECK sensors (portable air quality monitors) available for members to borrow. Making these sensors readily available to Millvalians will raise awareness and educate residents about air quality (particularly indoor air quality). The information collected will add to a growing dataset, which will contribute to Millvale’s baseline. The MCL should work towards acquiring more monitors in the future.

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POTENTIAL PARTNERS Millvale Community Library, Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab COST A classic SPECK monitor costs $150 per unit. (CREATE Lab, Carnegie Mellon University 2016) CAPACITY The monitors will require some maintenance to re-calibrate them.


TIME

COST

IMPACT

F. Implement a school air quality testing program. Air quality testing programs engage the next generation of air quality advocates in data collection and experimentation. Students can monitor the indoor and outdoor air quality surrounding their school, they can experiment with different types of filters, they can learn about indoor air quality issues and more. A monitoring and exploration program can also be launched at a daycare, community center, church, or other location. Students exploring air quality issues can make an impact on their home and community as well.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Schools, EPA IAQ in schools COST Varies depending on the materials required and the curriculum followed. CAPACITY Teachers can work with local air quality experts to develop this curriculum.

F. Work with healthcare providers to track health data. Poor air quality can have a big impact on our health. As Millvale continues to implement programs, policies, and projects to improve air quality and raise awareness, Millvale should track boroughspecific health data to understand how it evolves over time in relation to these initiatives. It is very difficult to correlate changes in health with air quality at this scale, but working with healthcare providers to track the data is a good start.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Renaissance Family Practice, UPMC, Highmark, Women for a Healthy Environment, Universities, public health institutions COST This is a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY The success of this initiative depends on collaboration between Millvale and partner health-related organizations.

G. Partner with local universities to increase testing points in the borough. Millvale is currently working with Carnegie Mellon University to install RAMP monitors for air quality data collection. Millvale should continue to partner with area universities to conduct further monitoring and education efforts.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh COST This is a low/no cost initiative, unless the borough is purchasing the RAMP monitors themselves, which cost about $4,500 each. CAPACITY The success of this initiative depends on collaboration between Millvale’s Sustainability Coordinator and area universities.

MILLVALE PIVOT AIR QUALITY PLANNING  |   35


TIME

COST

IMPACT

INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS

H. Measure for radon in your basement. Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that is not detectable by smell or taste. Radon can enter your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Due to their age, the basements of Millvale homes are particularly susceptible to elevated radon levels. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and Surgeon General recommend testing schools and homes below the third floor for radon. ROCIS provides homes with realtime ongoing radon monitoring for program participants.(EPA 2012)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Non-profits such as the American Lung Association (ALA), ROCIS, Millvale Library COST The Millvale Community Library has radon monitors available for loan, which requires no cost to the individual.

I. Participate in a ROCIS air quality monitoring group. Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS) is an organization which collects indoor and outdoor air quality data from homes located throughout the Pittsburgh area to inform research about reducing the impact of outdoor air pollution in indoor environments. ROCIS engages groups of individuals for 3-week periods, who place monitors inside and outside of their homes. Encouraging Millvalians to participate in a ROCIS cohort will provide a dataset of information about the indoor air quality within Millvalians’ homes and raise awareness. (Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces 2014)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS ROCIS COST The program is free.

J. Borrow a Speck sensor from the Library and measure PM levels in your home. Speck sensors detect fine particulate matter in indoor environments and inform you about changes and trends in particle concentration. Understanding levels of PM in your home will help you make informed decisions about how to improve your personal air quality. You may choose to test whether your vacuum exudes particles, whether your cleaning products are making your family cough, or whether your kitchen range hood is affecting indoor air quality. Education and awareness leads to action, and using a speck sensor can help. Radon monitors will soon be available to borrow as well.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Millvale Library COST Renting a Speck sensor from the Library is free. Purchasing a new one costs $150 each.

K. Advocate for air quality testing in your child’s school and in public buildings. Air quality testing programs engage the next generation of air quality advocates in data collection and experimentation. Students can monitor the indoor and outdoor air quality surrounding their school, they can experiment with different types of filters, they can learn about indoor air quality issues and more. Students exploring air quality issues can make an impact on their home and community as well.

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POTENTIAL PARTNERS Millvale Library, EPA IAQ in Schools COST The cost of a program like this varies depending on the materials required and the curriculum followed.


TIME

COST

IMPACT

L. Use the Smell PGH app to log bad smells. Smell Pittsburgh is a smartphone app designed to engage Pittsburgh residents in tracking pollution odors across the region. The app also includes a map-view showing smell reports submitted in the area on a given date. This allows residents to track where odors are frequently concentrated, and link those smell events to poor air quality in, or upwind from, those areas. Tracking this information provides education and awareness, and helps to build a data set which can analyze regional air quality trends. Additionally, once bad smells are logged in the app, it automatically reports a complaint with the ACHD, which allows them to make better policy decisions thanks to citizen participation and input. (Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab 2016)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Smell PGH app COST The app is free to download and use.

M. Conduct a home energy audit. A home energy audit helps you pinpoint where your house is losing energy and what you can do to improve your homes energy performance to save money. In addition, an audit can identify mold and moisture issues, CO, and natural gas leaks, all of which impact our indoor air quality and health. A home energy auditor will first conduct a home assessment and then perform an analysis to determine the most effective and efficient improvements for your home. On average, you can save 5-30% on your energy bill by making efficiency upgrades identified in your home energy audit. (Energy.gov 2013)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Conservation Consultants Inc. (CCI), various private service providers, utility companies COST Some non-profits may perform free energy audits. Private service providers and utility companies offer energy audits for $350+ depending on the level of detail requested.

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GOAL

2

MINIMIZE SOURCES & EXPOSURE Minimize the production of and contact with air pollutants inside and outside of the borough.

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Image: https://storify.com/saenpremium/addressing-traffic-issues-on-i-10-and-281


OBJECTIVES 1. Minimize mobile sources of pollution by reducing reliance on air polluting vehicles and improving streets for all modes of transportation. 2. Reduce contact with air pollutants and protect sensitive populations. 3. Reduce air quality impacts with mitigation measures.

TIME

COST

IMPACT

4. Improve building performance to minimize production of and contact with air pollution.

INDICATORS Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs) Miles traveled by walking, biking, or bussing Walk Score PennDot traffic counts # of weatherized + high filtration buildings # of air pollution-related illnesses

SYNERGIES

ENERGY MOBILITY WATER EQUITY

STRATEGIES

PLACE

A. Designate truck-free streets and upgrade borough vehicles to low-emission vehicles. B. Hold open street events. C. Develop a complete streets and development density policy. D. Construct green walls and green roofs. E. Formally designate and protect Millvale’s hillside as a park. F. Encourage building technology that mitigates pollution (titanium, algae, etc.).

PROGRAM G. Continue and enhance wood burning stove and lawn mower trade-in programs. H. Continue non-profit partnership for home and business weatherization consultations and kits. I. Continue holding tree planting events.

POLICY J. Update municipal building code and zoning code to protect sensitive populations. K. Advocate for a pollution cap and trade system. L. Revise construction, restaurant and local point source pollution regulations. M. Implement and enforce a borough-wide no idling policy. N. Advocate for natural gas and other cleaner burning school and Port Authority buses.

INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS

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O. Install a radon mitigation system. P. Do not burn garbage, wood, and yard clippings. Q. Change your HVAC filter every 3-6 months or seasonally. R. Walk, bike, or take the bus at least once per week. Don’t drive on Air Action Days. S. Buy local products and green cleaning products T. Buy renewable energy offsets. U. Install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. V. Upgrade house duct and filtration system.

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TIME

COST

IMPACT

PLACE

A. Designate truck-free streets and upgrade borough vehicles to low-emission vehicles. Trucks produce particulate matter and contribute to the production of ozone, affecting the health of those who live near truck routes. Dense residential areas and zones with a high proportion of sensitive populations should be designated as “truck-free” streets to improve air quality and health. Additionally, the borough should upgrade all existing borough vehicles to low-emission vehicles, and develop a policy indicating this standard for future purchases. (Environmental Protection Agency 2016)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS --COST Depends on how many vehicles will be upgraded or replaced. CAPACITY The borough will need to work with trucking companies to determine acceptable alternative routes.

B. Hold open street events. Open Street events occur when a group of businesses, neighbors, non-profits, and others work with the borough to close down a major street in town and allow residents to take back the streets, by biking, walking, dancing, and playing. A study conducted by the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) found that pollution levels can be up to four times lower during these events due to the absence of cars. (Turning Bikes Into Smog-Sensing Machines 2015)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS GASP, OpenStreetsPGH COST This is a low cost initiative. CAPACITY The borough will need to work with local businesses and non-profits for a successful event.

C. Develop a complete streets and development density policy. Complete streets are designed with pedestrians, bikers, and bus riders in mind, in addition to the car. Complete streets encourage travel through alternative modes of transportation because they are safer and more enjoyable for all. Millvale should develop a complete streets policy, prioritizing the Grant/North corridor initially. This policy should be supported with a development density policy that encourages or requires new construction in the Town Center to have a certain floor area ratio (FAR).

POTENTIAL PARTNERS BikePGH, Millvale borough Bicycle/ Pedestrian Committee COST Policy creation is a low/no cost initiative. Implementation is a multi-year process that can be costly. CAPACITY The borough should hire a consultant for the design and implementation.

D. Construct green walls and green roofs. Green roofs and walls are not only aesthetically pleasing, but can capture airborne pollutants and filter noxious gases, in addition to improving the urban heat island effect, managing stormwater, and more. (Green Roofs for Healthy Cities 2016)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Grow Pittsburgh COST The average cost of green roofs is between $15 -$20 psf. The average cost of living walls is $95 -$165 psf. (Urban Design Tools for Low Impact Development) (Architer) CAPACITY A consultant should be hired for the design and implementation.

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TIME

COST

IMPACT

E. Formally designate and protect Millvale’s hillside as a park. Millvale’s hillsides are a valuable asset that are both enjoyable to explore and can capture and remove pollution. A study conducted in New York City in 1994 found that trees can remove particulate matter, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide from the atmosphere. Millvale should officially protect its hillsides from future development and designate them as official greenways or parks. (Nowak 2002)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Tree Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Landforce COST Depends on the quantity and scale of land acquisition required. CAPACITY The borough will need to work with regional partners and landowners for acquisition.

F. Encourage building technology that mitigates pollution (titanium, algae, etc.). New building technologies are emerging that have been shown to capture hazardous air pollutants and convert them to harmless byproducts. Titanium dioxide is a photo-catalyst that, when used as a coating on roofs and wall panels, can neutralize NOx and VOCs in the air. Architects and engineers have also begun to look at ways in which algae can be incorporated into building envelope systems to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and pull NOx and SOx out of the air for use as nutrients. Millvale could become a leader in the region for emerging air pollution-mitigation technologies.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS --COST Because these are emerging technologies, costs are currently moderate to high, but could be expected to drop in coming years. CAPACITY The borough should hire a consultant for design and implementation or could partner with a local university research center.

PROGRAM G. Continue and enhance wood burning stove and lawn mower trade-in programs. The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) collects uncertified wood stoves from County residents and provides those residents with a $200 gift card to purchase a stove manufactured to EPA-approved specifications which reduces smoke production, increases heat output, and increases efficiency, resulting in less fuel used. In the past the ACHD has held a similar program for residents to upgrade their lawnmowers. Millvalians should participate in this program and should advocate for the return of the lawnmower trade-in program. (Allegheny County Health Department n.d.)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Allegheny County Health Department COST This is a no cost initiative for the borough. CAPACITY This initiative requires limited capacity to promote the program(s).

H. Continue non-profit partnership for home and business weatherization consultations and kits. Millvalians have participated in GTECH’s ReEnergize Program, where residents are trained to assist other residents in weatherizing their homes and learning about energy efficiency. Millvale businesses are soon kicking off a similar program, where they will work with CCI to make energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits. Millvale should continue participating in programs such as these and encourage wider participation.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS CCI COST Depends on the improvements made. CAPACITY Limited to promote the program(s).

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TIME

COST

IMPACT

I. Continue holding tree planting events. Millvalians have worked with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to hold tree planting events throughout the borough. Millvale should continue implementing tree planting events, and should strategically prioritize locations of poor air quality, such as near major roads and highways. Additionally, holding Tree Tender and Tree pruning workshops would teach residents how to maintain trees. This should be joined with a borough policy to protect and maintain trees that have been planted.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Western PA Conservancy, Tree PGH COST Depends on the scale, but can be hosted for a low cost. CAPACITY Partner with an air quality education service provider(s).

POLICY

J. Revise municipal building code and zoning code to protect sensitive populations. The borough should revise the municipal building codes to require proper levels of air exchange and filtration in buildings for sensitive populations, and recommend healthy building practices, such as items with low or no VOCs. The borough should create a sensitive populations zoning code that restricts the quantity of air toxins that can be emitted in close proximity to institutions serving youth, seniors, and other sensitive populations.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Schools, Hospitals COST This a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY Millvale will need to partner with a consultant to construct these codes.

K. Advocate for a pollution cap and trade system. A cap and trade system is a means by which reductions in greenhouse gases or air toxins emissions can be implemented. It involves creating a market where air toxin allowances can be bought and sold by entities, to better facilitate an improvement in air quality. This is a long-term goal that would be most successful if Millvale sees an increase in significant local point sources of pollution. (IETA 2015)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Local businesses COST This is a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY Partner with an economic consultant to determine the best means to implement this program.

L. Update construction, restaurant and local point source pollution regulations. Millvale should revise and/or develop a borough construction dust management policy, restaurant emissions policy, and local point source policy. These policies should outline best practice procedures and requirements to minimize emissions and improve air quality, with the consequence of a fee.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Local businesses, Contractors COST This is a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY Partner with a consultant to develop the policies.

M. Implement and enforce a borough-wide no idling policy. Millvale should implement a borough-wide no idling policy and enforce it. An idling car can release as much pollution as a moving car and results in wasted fuel. Residents should be educated about the harmful impacts of idling, and should be fined when caught doing so. This fine should be doubled in areas with a high proportion of sensitive populations (schools, hospitals, etc.).

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POTENTIAL PARTNERS Schools, Hospitals, Millvale Police Dept. COST This is a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY This policy can be created independently or with a consultant.


TIME

COST

IMPACT

N. Advocate for natural gas and other cleaner burning school and Port Authority buses. School buses and Allegheny County Port Authority buses primarily run on diesel fuel, contributing 15 times more air pollutants than natural gas fueled buses. Millvalians should advocate to PAT and local schools to change the fuel type of the buses that run through the borough. (Yang 2012)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Port Authority of Allegheny County, local schools COST Depends on what new fuel is being used, and how many vehicles are being transitioned

INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS

O. Install a radon mitigation system. If your home has elevated radon levels, consider purchasing a radon mitigation system. These systems will prevent radon gas from building up in your home and may reduce soil moisture vapor from intruding into your home. Some systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%, and even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels. (Kansas State University n.d.) (EPA 2012)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Steel City Radon, various private service providers COST The cost of a mitigation system may vary according to the home’s design, size, foundation, construction materials and the local climate. Radon reduction systems cost on average from $800-$1,500 depending on the condition.

P. Do not burn garbage, wood, and yard clippings. Smoke resulting from burning garbage, wood, and yard clippings is composed of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles, which can produce a big health threat. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Fine particles can also aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases – and are even linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions. This action is currently prohibited in Allegheny County and should not be practiced. (EPA 2003)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS --COST Free!

Q. Change your HVAC filters every 3-6 months or seasonally. Dirt and dust build up in your HVAC filters over time. Replacing them periodically will not only make them more effective at removing particulate matter from the air stream and improving indoor air quality, but can also improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment, saving you money. When to change your filter can vary for each home. Check the filter every couple of months and replace it when visibly dirty. (Comfort Guard 2016)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS --COST On average, HVAC filters cost less than $20 each and can be found at Home Depot or any other home improvement store.

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TIME

COST

IMPACT

R. Walk, bike, or take the bus at least once per week. Don’t drive on Air Action Days. Vehicles emit VOCs, NOx, and other air pollutants that contribute to air pollution and negative health effects. Walking, biking, taking the bus, or using a different means of transportation that does not contribute to air pollution at least once per week can make a difference. Air Quality Action Days occur when the air quality reaches an unhealthy level. Choosing not to drive on these days is particularly impactful.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS --COST Free!

S. Buy local products and green cleaning products. Buying products produced locally reduces the amount of vehicle miles traveled to transport that product to Millvale. The fewer miles traveled, the fewer truck emissions there will be, which will improve air quality. Traditional cleaning products and other household products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to poor indoor air quality and numerous health effects. Using green cleaning products can be just as effective as traditional cleaning products, and do not affect indoor air quality. (EPA 2016)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS --COST These products are often the same price as traditional products, but can sometimes cost slightly more.

T. Buy renewable energy offsets. Power plants are the nations top source of carbon dioxide emissions, and are also the leading cause of smog and acid rain. Millvale is located downwind from several old and inefficient coal-fired power plants, which contribute significantly to the regions poor air quality. To support renewable energy generation, individuals and businesses can purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). You can purchase the same amount of RECs as your home consumes annually to balance out the energy your home is drawing from the grid, resulting in net zero (or net positive if your purchase exceeds consumption) impact on air quality. (Chris Lau and Jaineel Aga 2008)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS REC Suppliers COST The cost fluctuates depending on the market. As of November 2016, RECs can be purchased for as low as 2.4 cents per kWh.

U. Install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. Activities such as cooking create particulate matter, and water build-up in restrooms can lead to mold. Particulate matter and mold both contribute to poor indoor air quality and can have severe health effects. Installing exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors in restrooms and kitchens will remove PM and dry restrooms to prevent concentrations of these air toxins.

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POTENTIAL PARTNERS Local contractor COST The cost to install an exhaust fan varies based on the home, but on average can range from $200-$500.


TIME

COST

IMPACT

V. Upgrade house duct and filtration system. Upgrading or improving the ductwork and air filter in a home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system can yield significant reductions in PM2.5 and PM10 levels in a home. The interventions can range from the simple (e.g. upgrading to a MERV 13 filter), to the more involved (e.g. installing an ECM motor for continuous filtration, increasing the capacity for larger filter sizes, and optimizing ductwork for better air flow).

POTENTIAL PARTNERS ROCIS COST This can range from low cost purchasing of higher MERV-rated filters, to moderate cost of HVAC upgrades and optimization.

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GOAL

3

INFORMED & ACTIVATED CULTURE Create an informed culture that advocates for and acts upon air quality issues.

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Image: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CkayrRdWgAAmFC5.jpg


INDICATORS

OBJECTIVES 1. Educate Millvalians about Southwestern Pennsylvania’s air quality.

# of people attending air quality events or interacting with air quality efforts

2. Activate Millvalians to advocate for an improvement in the region’s air quality. 3. Understand community perceptions of air quality, target mis-perceptions, and track how perceptions changes over time.

# of people attending air quality meetings # of people participating in advocacy groups # of respondents to survey % change in survey results annually

SYNERGIES

EQUITY Air quality is an environmental justice issue, health issue, and a regional issue. Reducing local sources of air pollution will not solve the problem. Similar to watershed issues, Millvale needs to “punch above its weight”

in advocating for change at a regional level. This needs to be carried forward by a wellinformed community that frames a positive and proactive narrative while working towards environmental justice in Millvale.

TIME

COST

IMPACT

EDUCATE & ACTIVATE STRATEGIES PLACE A. Develop Clean Air Hubs. B. Work with artists to create air quality related installations. C. Construct a village green air monitoring station.

PROGRAM D. Encourage Millvalians to sign up for Air Quality Action Day notifications. E. Conduct annual air quality perception surveys. F. Hold indoor air quality education events with free HVAC filters. G. Encourage businesses to designate a shelf to “air quality friendly” products. H. Advocate for bike share stations in Millvale. I. Start a Millvale Air Quality Action team.

INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS

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J. Write a letter to your local representative to advocate for clean air.

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TIME

COST

IMPACT

PLACE

A. Develop a Clean Air Hub. Millvale should transform a portion of the Community Library and/ or Community Center into a Clean Air Hub. This hub would include information about indoor air quality best practices, resources, SPECK and radon monitors that can be borrowed, Millvale’s live outdoor air quality dashboard and other information to educate and activate Millvalians. Additionally, it should have a modern filtration system to provide clean air for sensitive populations on air quality action days.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Library, Community Center COST Depends on the scale and variety of resources that will be provided. CAPACITY Work with air quality education providers.

B. Work with artists to create air quality related installations. Millvale should develop an air quality artists residency program, where artists work with local experts to develop installations that educate the public about air quality issues and contribute to placemaking.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Universities and artist collaboratives COST Depends on the scale of the program and installations. CAPACITY Work with Universities and artist networks to recruit participants.

C. Construct a village green air monitoring station. The Village Green Project is a community-based activity that demonstrates the capabilities of new real-time monitoring technology. Village Green projects collect data and educate residents and citizen scientists about local air quality. The station consists of a solar and/or wind powered park bench structure, equipped with instruments that provide minute-to-minute air measurements for ozone, particulate pollution, and weather conditions. The stations measure PM2.5 and ozone and the data is provided online. (Environmental Protection Agency 2016)

POTENTIAL PARTNERS EPA Village Green, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and the National Academy of Sciences COST The EPA provides a list of components and the cost varies. CAPACITY The system requires technical skills to build. Once constructed, it will require occasional maintenance.

PROGRAM

D. Encourage Millvalians to sign up for Air Quality Action Day notifications. When the pollution in the air reaches unhealthy levels it is called an Air Quality Action Day. This information is tracked and provided by AirNow, and it is recommended that on these days residents should limit activities that contribute to poor air quality. The Millvale Library or Sustainability Coordinator should encourage residents to sign up for email lists or apps that notify them when Air Quality Action days are imminent. (AirNow 2016)

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POTENTIAL PARTNERS Millvale Community Library, AirNow COST This is a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY Once this app or email list is automated, it will require little to no maintenance.


TIME

COST

IMPACT

E. Conduct annual air quality perception surveys. In partnership with evolveEA, Millvale conducted a survey in October 2016 with almost 50 respondents to understand what Millvalians think about the borough’s air quality, what they value, and their opinion about how to take action. The borough should conduct this survey every three years to understand how the borough’s initiatives have influenced public opinion and action, using the 2016 survey results as a baseline.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Millvale Community Library COST This is a low/no cost initiative. CAPACITY Every three years, the survey will need to be promoted and the results analyzed.

F. Hold indoor air quality education events with free HVAC filters. Millvale should hold monthly or seasonal indoor air quality events to educate residents about sources of indoor air pollution and best practices to improve air quality. These events may include handson activities, or giveaways such as free HVAC filters. Millvale may also choose to have an annual air quality month with several events occurring during that time.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS GASP, The Breathe Project COST The cost depends on the scale of the initiative. CAPACITY Partner with air quality education service provider(s) to conduct these programs.

G. Encourage businesses to designate a shelf to “air quality friendly” products. The borough should encourage local businesses to designate a shelf in their stores as “air quality friendly” products, featuring products related to green cleaning, home weatherization, furnace filters, and more. These products should be highly visible and can be accompanied by brochures or “fun fact” signs.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Local businesses COST Promoting the program is a no/low cost initiative. CAPACITY Work with local businesses.

H. Advocate for bike share stations in Millvale. Biking is a fun and effective alternative to driving, and reduces air pollution. Millvale should advocate for bike share stations in the borough, which would be used to encourage residents to reduce their vehicle miles traveled and engage in a health alternative.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS Healthy Ride, Bike PGH. MBB{C COST Discussing the creating a new station is a low/no cost initiative. Creating an independent bike share system would be a larger expense. CAPACITY Work with Healthy Ride, Bike PGH, and other relevant organizations.

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TIME

COST

IMPACT

I. Start a Millvale Air Quality Action team. Similar to the energy ambassadors program that Millvalians have participated in, the Millvale Library should organize an “Air Ambassadors” or “Air Quality Action team” program. Millvale Air Ambassadors would provide education and awareness about indoor and outdoor air quality and best practices to residents, organize air quality events (such as tree plantings), and champion Millvale’s advocacy efforts to ensure that Millvalians’ concerns about air quality are heard.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS GASP, The Breathe Project COST Organizing the Ambassador’s program is a low/no cost initiative. The cost of implementing the actions involved varies based on scale and type. CAPACITY The Millvale Sustainability Coordinator will need to work with the Ambassadors at first. Once established, this program will require little maintenance from the Sustainability Coordinator.

INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS

J. Write a letter to your local representative to advocate for clean air. Millvale’s air quality is a regional problem, one that cannot be solved by Millvalians alone. Writing to your local government representative to advocate for clean air can have an impact on future regulations for large scale regional polluters, when enough support is shown.

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POTENTIAL PARTNERS GASP, The Breathe Project COST No cost. CAPACITY This can be an individual action or a borough-wide campaign.


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PEDESTRIAN PATH

TREE BUFFER

IMPROVED PUBLIC SPACE FOR PEDESTRIANS PRIORITIZES WALKING, BIKING, AND KAYAKING

A 65 FT VEGETATED BUFFER CAN REDUCE PARTICULATE POLLUTION BY 40 TO 75 PERCENT

BUFFER PARK

A vegetated buffer and interactive air quality light installation at Millvale’s southern gateway. The Buffer Park connects Grant Ave. to Millvale’s riverfront.

CLEAN AIR HUB DESIGNATES A PUBLIC BUILDING WITH CLEAN AIR DUE TO BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS AND AIR FILTRATION

AQ DASHBOARD RESIDENTS CAN REVIEW AIR QUALITY DATA FROM MILLVALE AND REGIONAL MONITORING EFFORTS

CLEAN AIR HUB

A community space with indoor air quality improvements that lends air monitoring equipment and educates visitors about ongoing air quality efforts in Millvale.

LIVING WALL PLANTED LIVING WALLS CAN FILTER SOME AIR-BORNE POLLUTANTS

AQ ART SHOWCASE AIR QUALITY-RELATED ART INSTALLATIONS FROM MONITOR LENDING LIB

LOCAL COMPETITIONS ARE SHOWCASED HERE THE LIBRARY CLEAN AIR HUB LENDS MON

EQUIPMENT AND AIR QUALITY REFERENC

MILLVALE BENCH MONITOR THIS PARK BENCH MONITORS AIR POLLUTANTS IN REAL-TIME AND MAKES DATA AVAILABLE ONLINE

AIR QUALITY SHOWCASE PARK

A public park that doubles as an outdoor exhibition space for air quality art installations and air pollution mitigation strategies.

AIR CLEANING PLAZA TITANIUM DIOXIDE COATED PAVING REMOVES THE POLLUTANT NITROGEN OXIDE FROM THE AIR

AIR Q

WATER TOWER BEACON

A beacon that displays real-time monitoring data and acts as a landmark for Millvale’s network of hillside hiking trails.

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THE MIL INTO AN REAL-TI MONITO


PLACEMAKING PROJECTS Projects that unite policies, programs, and placemaking, contributing to Millvale’s three air quality goals. The Placemaking Projects outlined in this report represent a series of proposals that prioritize placemaking and community awareness over measurable air pollution mitigation. Four projects make up nodes along a central “air quality corridor” that runs through the center of town. Capping each end

of the corridor are two “beacons” that offer real-time visualization of air quality in Millvale and act as landmarks for two of Millvale’s major assets: its riverfront and its wooded hillside. Along the spine are opportunities for more air quality projects, like the indoor Clean Air Hub and the outdoor Showcase Park.

The corridor itself prioritizes pedestrian and bicycle traffic and together with the placemaking projects offers a lasting investment in Millvale’s commitment to clean air for all.

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KAYAK LAUNCH AIR QUALITY BEACON

A NEW PUBLIC SPACE FOR WATERCRAFT ENCOURAGES ALTERNATIVE MODES OF TRANSPORTATION

A LARGE-SCALE ART INSTALLATION VIZUALIZES REAL-TIME AIR QUALITY DATA FROM LOCAL MONITORS

PEDESTRIAN PATH

TREE BUFFER

IMPROVED PUBLIC SPACE FOR PEDESTRIANS PRIORITIZES WALKING, BIKING, AND KAYAKING

A 65 FT VEGETATED BUFFER CAN REDUCE PARTICULATE POLLUTION BY 40 TO 75 PERCENT

© evolveEA

BUFFER PARK

The Buffer Park sits at the southern gateway to Millvale along a highly trafficked state route. This project proposes a vegetated buffer of evergreens, which can reduce noise and particulate pollution from traffic. An interactive, large-scale art installation vizualizes real-time air quality data from local monitors and provides a place for visitors to stop and sit. Additionally, the park acts as a pedestrian-centric connector between Grant St. and Millvale’s riverfront access.

Related Strategies 1a. Real-time air quality dashboard 2i. Hold tree planting events 3c. Work with artists to create air quality related installations 3d. Inform residents on Air Quality Action Days

Concepts and Precedents

Aviary by Howeler + Yoon Archtiecture

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Tree Buffers

Kayak Launch Docks


CLEAN AIR HUB AQ DASHBOARD

DESIGNATES A PUBLIC BUILDING WITH CLEAN AIR DUE TO BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS AND AIR FILTRATION

RESIDENTS CAN REVIEW AIR QUALITY DATA FROM MILLVALE AND REGIONAL MONITORING EFFORTS

MONITOR LENDING LIBRARY THE LIBRARY CLEAN AIR HUB LENDS MONITORING EQUIPMENT AND AIR QUALITY REFERENCE MATERIAL

CLEAN AIR HUB

A Clean Air hub is a public building or community space that has demonstrated good indoor air quality through building improvements and air filtration. The Millvale Library Clean Air Hub would additionally serve to increase awareness about local and regional air quality via an Air Quality Dashboard, where residents can access current and past air quality data gathering efforts, and access an air monitor lending library, available to the public.

Related Strategies 1a. Real-time air quality dashboard 1d. Make speck and radon sensors available for loan 3a. Clean Air Hubs 3f. Hold indoor air quality events

Concepts and Precedents

Data Dashboards

IAQ Improvements

Monitor Lending Library

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LIVING WALL PLANTED LIVING WALLS CAN FILTER SOME AIR-BORNE POLLUTANTS

AQ ART SHOWCASE AIR QUALITY-RELATED ART INSTALLATIONS FROM LOCAL COMPETITIONS ARE SHOWCASED HERE

MILLVALE BENCH MONITOR THIS PARK BENCH MONITORS AIR POLLUTANTS IN REAL-TIME AND MAKES DATA AVAILABLE ONLINE

AIR CLEANING PLAZA TITANIUM DIOXIDE COATED PAVING REMOVES THE POLLUTANT NITROGEN OXIDE FROM THE AIR

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AIR QUALITY SHOWCASE PARK

The Air Quality Showcase Park puts on display outdoor air pollution mitigation strategies with which the public can interact. These strategies might include titanium dioxide coated paving, living walls, monitoring and feedback stations like CityTree or the EPA’s Village Green project. It also provides an exhibition space for air-related art installations produced through local art competitions and initiatives.

Related Strategies 1a. Real-time air quality dashboard 2d. Green walls and roofs 2f. Building technology that mitigates pollution 3b. Work with artists to create air quality-related installations 3c. Village Green monitoring station

Concepts and Precedents

CityTree by Green City Solutions

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Living Walls

AirBare by Urban Matter Inc.


AIR QUALITY BEACON THE MILLVALE WATER TOWER IS REPURPOSED INTO AN ART INSTALLATION THAT VIZUALIZES REAL-TIME AIR QUALITY DATA FROM LOCAL MONITORS

CLEAN AIR TRAILS ACCESSIBLE TRAILS UTILIZE THE NATURAL ASSETS OF MILLVALE AND PUT RESIDENTS INTO THE WOODS AND AWAY FROM TRAFFIC

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WATER TOWER BEACON

This real-time air quality vizualization installation repurposes Millvale’s retired water tower structure and provides a visual landmark for the entrance to Millvale’s network of hiking trails—one of its hidden assets. It is also serves as a counterpoint to the Buffer Park beacon, allowing residents to see potential differences in air quality between the traffic-adjacent valley and the wooded hillsides.

Related Strategies 1a. Real time air quality dashboard 2e. Formally designate and protect Millvale’s hillside as a park 3b. Work with artists to create air quality related installations 3d. Inform residents about Air Quality Action days

Concepts and Precedents

Particle Falls by Andrea Polli

Nature Trails

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GREEN SPINE/COMPLETE STREETS

The four Millvale air quality projects are tied together by a “green spine” or complete street that contains safe and accessible pedestrian infrastructure, bus shelters, bike lanes, street buffers, bike parking, and more. Improved bicycle, pedestrian, bus, and kayaking infrastructure will encourage Millvalians to use modes of transportation that do not contribute air pollutants. Millvalians should begin with an assessment of sidewalks, crosswalks, and stairs, and work to repair the pedestrian infrastructure that connects Millvalians to Grant street and the riverfront. Please see the mobility section of the Millvale EcoDistrict Pivot 2.0 plan for more information about these recommendations. Concepts and Precedents

M

Kayak Crossing from EcoDistrict Pivot 2.0

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Complete Streets

Related Strategies 2a. Designate truck-free streets. 2b. Hold open street events. 2c. Develop a complete streets and development density policy.


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3 INFORMED &

ACTIVATED CULTURE

& EXPOSURE

2 MINIMIZE SOURCES

1 MEASURE IMPACT

BEFORE 2017

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2017

2018

2019

1c. Encourage participation in ROCIS. 1d. Make speck sensors available to rent at the Library. 1g. Partner with Universities to increase testing points.

1A. MILLVALE AIR QUALITY DASHBOARD

2h. Continue non-profit partnership for home and business weatherization. 1d. Make speck sensors available to rent at the Library. 3f. Hold indoor air quality events. 3i. Start a Millvale Air Quality Action Team. 2k. Revise municipal building and zoning codes. Develop ecodistrict plaque program. 1a. Millvale air quality dashboard

3A. LIBRARY CLEAN AIR HUB

3b. Work with artists on air quality installations. 3c. Village green air monitoring station. 2d. Construct green walls and green roofs. 2f. Building technology that mitigates pollution.

AIR QUALITY SHOWCASE PARK AIR QUALITY BEACONS


WORKPLAN The following three projects have been selected as priorities for the borough to work towards in the next three years. 1

MEASURE IMPACT

2

Participating in ROCIS and partnering with Universities will not cost money, but may save the borough money. Speck sensors cost $150 per sensor, many of which have already been acquired by the Library. The cost of a Millvale air quality dashboard will depend on the platform used and how it will be presented (online, in a window, billboard, etc.). Costs for the dashboard will include but are not limited to interface development, technological development, maintenance, physical materials for implementation, and app/web development.

MINIMIZE SOURCES & EXPOSURE

3

The cost to hold indoor air quality events depends on the scale of the event, which may include free give-aways and presentations/ workshops by partner organizations. Starting a Millvale air quality action team requires little cost but lots of capacity for recruiting, organizing, and managing the group. Similarly, revising the zoning and building codes to protect sensitive populations from air pollution is a low cost initative, but requires capacity to implement and enforce it. An ecodistrict plaque program will require funding to implement, as well as capacity. This program may rely on nonprofit partnerships to share development of the program. The physical plaques may be paid for by the borough or the individual businesses receiving the plaques. The Millvale Clean Air Hub may include a selection or all of the suggested recommendations. The cost to implement this project will depend on which strategies are implemented and at what scale.

INFORMED & ACTIVATED CULTURE Working with artists to develop air quality installations can be expensive. Funding must include the cost to pay the artists, the cost of installation materials, and in some cases, the cost of an air quality expert who will advise and work with the artists. The EPA provides a list of components needed to construct a village green monitoring station online. The cost of these components varies depending on the choices made regarding the station’s design and implementation. Green roofs cost about $15 -$20 psf and the cost of living walls are $95 -$165 psf. The borough may consider working with Universities or startup companies to acquire and experiment with building technology that mitigates pollution, which can be exhibited in the showcase park. The Air Quality Showcase Park and the Air Quality Beacons will require a large amount of funding. Again, the actual cost of these projects depends on the scale of implementation.

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THEORY OF CHANGE Pollution does not respect municipal boundaries or jurisdictions, and improvements are outside the control of Millvale or any single community. As a result of the Breathe Easy project, we have developed principles that could structure a formal theory of change where municipal or neighborhood efforts can be scaled up to leverage regional change. Change is created through a multi-tiered approach that connects the individual to the greater whole. Future efforts should tap into individual values and lived experiences, create citizen cohorts who are enabled to act in their communities, and build networks of concerned communities to advocate for broader change. This model is based on observations made through the course of this project: We are more likely to act when we have first-hand experience. Air quality advocacy often begins in one of three ways - a call for ethical action (ethos), an invitation to logic (logos), or an appeal to emotion or empathy (pathos). Of these, emotion and first hand experiences can be more effective than the once removed quality of what we “should do.” We recommend that future efforts discover how people experience air quality and make those issues the basis of outreach. Simplify communication and give people ways to act that are both manageable and meaningful. Documentation of their individual lived experiences give validity to concerns and helps them understand trends over time.

We are more likely to act when we understand that we are part of a larger community with shared experiences. The gathering of data is a good opportunity to help people build a communty based on shared experiences. Health data gathered from regional and national sources help to define the extent of the problem, but should be paired with activities or information that allows people to see themselves in that data. Local attitude or value surveys can bridge the gap between abstract sources to lived experience shared by individuals, their friends, families, and neighbors. In addition, people are likely to act within known networks, often related to their geographical community or

some other identity (church, school, etc.). Individual efforts can be multiplied within those communities and future projects should strategically map and build within established networks. However, air quality requires us to define new networks that relate to regional or air shed communities. By multiplying the community scale efforts across multiple communities, advocates can build regional networks who act from a place of self interest to leverage change that requires collaboration. A standardized process, educational materials, and robust data collection is important to create an effective regional cohort and thus define new advocacy networks.

build broader networks by connecting SHARED VALUES create community by validating SHARED EXPERIENCE empower action by building upon LIVED EXPERIENCE

MIT’s Senseable City Lab Project “One Country, Two Lungs” project visualized data from human sensors to demonstrate qualitative and quantitative sir quality phenomena.

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We are more likely to act when we are part of defining the problem.

creative placemaking, community members invest their time and values into improving and shaping their neighborhood.

citizen science and apps such as SmellPGH become an enabling technology. Apps, sensors, displays, and other technology can help people gather data, clearly display the information for quick consumption, and empower action by prompting behavior change or enabling action such as reporting conditions to the appropriate authorities.

Air quality data is often gathered through regional monitoring or at a scale that is not localized enough to be useful for community action. Citizen science is the collection and analysis of data by members of the general public, and can bridge the “expert-novice gap” We are more likely to act when between scientist and civilian. place is part of the pedagogy. Citizen science gathers important information and empowers a We are influenced by the places larger community to take action where we live and work and in by collectively gathering data. turn, we shape those places. Citizen science empowers people Shaping our environment gives to be informed contributors to us an opportunity to use place CLEAN AIR HUB a dataset and legitimizes lived as a learning tool where we DESIGNATES A PUBLIC BUILDING WITH CLEAN experience. AIR DUE TO BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS AND AIRprototype changes, gather can FILTRATION

data, and demonstrate tangible results. By taking an active role in

Technology is lowering the W AIR QUALITY DATA FROM barrier of participation in

RD

Art and the partcipation of artists can play a key role in placebased efforts. Installations and the process of creating them can demonstrate important concepts, be a physical commitment to progress, and can gather measurable data. The term “creative placemaking” describes both the role of place and process and captures the spirit of creative interventions that contribute to community development outcomes. Pleasant, interesting, or even challenging places can invite people to engage with the place and then with the pedagogy.

MONITOR LENDING LIBRARY “Breathe Easy” medallions show buildings that

EVERGREEN

LINCOLN

GRANT

AL MONITORING EFFORTS

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CMU Create Lab’s SmellPGH app captures user’s

Non-electronic, physical demonstration projects

air quality experiences, aggregates the data

are important to reach a diversity of people. The

to create a cohort who may be sharing similar

THE LIBRARY CLEAN AIR HUB LENDS MONITORING have AND updated building systems and verified EQUIPMENT AIR QUALITY REFERENCE MATERIAL

improved air quality.

Breathe Map creates a visual demonstration

experiences, and enables meaningful action

of particulate matter gathered from adhesive

by sending the information to the regulatory

papers posted around the community.

agency.

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ALLEGHENY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT (ACHD) The Allegheny County Health Department Air Quality Program is responsible for protecting the public’s health by regulating air pollutants within Allegheny County, enforcing federal pollution standards, and permitting industrial sources of air pollution.

The ACHD monitors air quality throughout the County, regulates permitting for sources that emit air pollution above a certain threshold, and enforces levies against polluters. Have an air quality compliant? Log it on the ACHD website.

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES & THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING The Science & Engineering Ambassadors Program, a Pittsburgh-based activity of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, was created to empower local communities to incorporate expert knowledge into local decision making. The program recruits and trains local scientists to become more effective communicators and connects them with local stakeholders to help inform community choices on science issues, including air quality.

Earlier this year, the Ambassadors Program co-hosted a workshop on air quality with the Western PA Regional Data Center, which aimed to increase public understanding of current air quality research. Out of that workshop grew the Village Green collaboration with the borough of Millvale, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh — an effort to develop a community-based participatory research project that uses Village Green systems to improve our understanding of regional air quality patterns.

NORM ANDERSON, ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH CONSULTANT TO THE HEINZ ENDOWMENTS Norman Anderson is an environmental public health consultant to the Heinz Endowments. Part of his responsibilities involve assisting the Endowments on matters related to air quality and public health concerns in southwestern Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Millvale

Ecodistrict’s Technical Advisory Group for air quality. His interests relative to the Millvale Ecodistrict also involve exploring air quality initiatives taking place in other US cities that will increase our understanding of ambient air quality and how to reduce its health impacts.

WOMEN FOR A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT Do Your Household Products Contain Harmful Chemicals? We can’t easily change our outdoor air, but indoor air is something that we do have control over. Is the air in your home pure and healthy or do you have allergy/asthma triggers coming from unexpected sources? In our busy lives, we must remember to put the health of ourselves and our family first, but it can be

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difficult to navigate which household products and personal care products might be harmful to our health and which are safe. Women for a Healthy Environment offers FREE workshops to help community members become educated consumers who will make the healthiest choices and create the safest homes possible.


ADVISORY COMMITTEE RESOURCES How the Advisory Committee and related programs can contribute to Millvale’s efforts moving forward. REDUCING OUTDOOR CONTAMINANTS IN INDOOR SPACES Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS) is an organization which collects indoor and outdoor air quality data from homes located throughout the Pittsburgh area to inform research about reducing the impact of outdoor air pollution in indoor environments. ROCIS engages groups of individuals for 3-week

periods, who place monitors inside and outside of their homes. Encouraging Millvalians to participate in a ROCIS cohort will provide a dataset of information about the indoor air quality within Millvalians’ homes and raise awareness.

GROUP AGAINST SMOG AND POLLUTION (GASP) GASP provides free Smoke Reading training every six months. Smoke Readers are volunteers who are trained and certified to recognize and understand visible emissions from smokestacks, what violations look like, and how to file reports. Smoke reading is an excellent way for citizens to take action in their own communities by reading the facilities that are of concern to them. GASP’s School Flag Program takes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) air

quality flag program into schools in the region. We train students check the air quality forecast each morning and raise a flag with a color that corresponds to the forecasted level of air pollution for that day. Students, teachers, and the community can tell at a glance how dirty the air is, and can take action to protect themselves. GASP also provides air quality lessons and activities for schools looking for more in-depth learning about air pollution.

FRACTRACKER FracTracker Alliance studies, maps, and communicates the risks of oil and gas development to protect our planet and support the renewable energy transformation. We collect data and analyze, interpret, and map the results. We offer maps of every US state with active drilling and have created hundreds of thematic maps and analyses.

We offer mapping and analytical services to nonprofit and academic partners working on all types of energy issues across the country and around the world. We provide more than technical expertise and online resources. We also work in communities collaborating with local stakeholders to document and learn more about the harms of extraction.

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SOURCES AirNow. Action Days. November 08, 2016. https://www.airnow.gov/index. cfm?action=airnow.actiondays (accessed November 08, 2016). Allegheny County Health Department. Air Quality. n.d. http://www.achd.net/air/bounty/ (accessed Novemebr 08, 2016). American Lung Association. “State of the Air Report.” 2016. http://www.lung.org/assets/ documents/healthy-air/state-of-the-air/sota-2016-full.pdf (accessed 11 09, 2016). Architer. Vertical Garden/Living Wall Overview. n.d. http://architek.com/products/ vertical-gardens (accessed November 08, 2016). Brauer, Michael. “Poor air quality kills 5.5 million worldwide annually.” IHME. February 12, 2016. http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/poor-air-quality-kills-55-millionworldwide-annually (accessed December 2, 2016). —. “Urban Design (Mobility) and Health.” 2016 Air We Breathe: A Regional Summit on Asthma in our Community. Pittsburgh, PA: Allegheny General Hospital, Allegheny Health Network, The Breathe Project, May 5, 2016. Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab. Smell Pittsburgh. 2016. http://cmucreatelab.org/projects/ Smell_Pittsburgh (accessed November 23, 2016). Chris Lau and Jaineel Aga, World Resources Institute. Bottom Line on Renewable Energy Certificates. November 2008. http://www.wri.org/publication/bottom-line-renewableenergy-certificates (accessed November 23, 2016). Comfort Guard. How Oftern Should I change My Air Filter? 2016. http://www. mycomfortguard.com/blog/often-change-air-filter/ (accessed November 23, 2016). CREATE Lab, Carnegie Mellon University. SPECK Air Quality Monitor. 2016. https://www. specksensor.com/ (accessed November 08, 2016). Energy.gov. Energy Saver 101. August 13, 2013. http://www.energy.gov/articles/energysaver-101-infographic-home-energy-audits (accessed November 23, 2016). Environmental Protection Agency. Transportation, Air Pollution, and Climate Change. November 04, 2016. https://www.epa.gov/air-pollution-transportation (accessed November 08, 2016). —. Village Green Project. October 18, 2016. https://www.epa.gov/air-research/villagegreen-project (accessed November 08, 2016). EPA. “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon.” https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-02/ documents/2012_a_citizens_guide_to_radon.pdf, 2012. —. Criteria Air Pollutants. October 19, 2016. https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants (accessed November 09, 2016). —. How Smoke from Fires Can Affect Your Health. May 1, 2003. https://www3.epa.gov/ airnow/smoke/Smoke2003final.pdf (accessed November 23, 2016). —. National Emissions Inventory (NEI). 2011. https://www.epa.gov/air-emissionsinventories/national-emissions-inventory-nei (accessed November 09, 2016). —. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Pollution. September 08, 2016. https://www.epa.gov/no2pollution/basic-information-about-no2 (accessed January 09, 2017). —. The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. May 31, 2016. https://www.epa.gov/ indoor-air-quality-iaq/inside-story-guide-indoor-air-quality (accessed Novemebr 09, 2016). —. Volatile Organic Compounds’ Impact on indoor Air Quality. September 7, 2016. https:// www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoorair-quality (accessed November 23, 2016). Fabisiak, Dr. James. “An Introduction to Air Quality and Health Effects in Southwestern Pennsylvania.” Making the Connection: Air Pollution and Heart Health. Pittsburgh, PA: Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), April 30, 2015. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Green Roof Benefits. 2016. http://www.greenroofs.org/ index.php/about/greenroofbenefits (accessed Novemebr 08, 2016).

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Hopey, Don, and David Templeton. “Mapping Mortality.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 12, 2010. IETA. Cap and Trade: The Basics. April 2015. http://www.ieta.org/Resources/ Resources/101s/cap-and-trade-the-basics-101-april15.pdf (accessed November 08, 2016). Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). Global Burden of Disease (GBD). October 6, 2016. http://www.healthdata.org/gbd (accessed July 20, 2016). Kansas State University. National Radon Program Services. n.d. http://sosradon.org/ reducing-radon-in-your-home (accessed November 23, 2016). Nowak, David J. The Effects of Urban Trees on Air Quality. http://www.ncufc.org/uploads/ nowak_trees.pdf, Syracuse, NY: USDA Forest Service, 2002. PennEnvironment and Frontier Group. Toxic Ten: The Allegheny COunty Polluters that are Fouling our Air and Threatening our health. Pittsburgh, PA, 2015. Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “Pittsburgh ranked No. 1 city to live in Northeast by Money magazine.” Pittsburgh Post Gazette. August 18, 2015. http://www.post-gazette.com/ local/region/2015/08/18/Pittsburgh-ranked-No-1-city-to-live-in-Northeast-byMoney-magazine/stories/201508180164 (accessed November 09, 2016). Raaschou-Nielson, Ole et al. “Air pollution and lung cancer incidence in 17 European cohorts.” The Lancet Oncology, Volume 14, issue 9, 813-822, 2013. Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces. ROCIS. 2014. http://rocis.org/ (accessed November 08, 2016). Smit, Deb. “The Economist names Pittsburgh the Most Livable City (on the mainland) again.” NEXT Pittsburgh. August 25, 2014. http://www.nextpittsburgh.com/businesstech-news/economist-names-pittsburgh-livable-city/ (accessed November 09, 2016). The Breathe Project; Clean Air Task Force. Breathe Meter. 2015. http://breatheproject.org/ learn/breathe-meter/ (accessed 11 09, 2016). Thornsby, Devon. “The 20 Best Affordable Places to Live in the U.S.” U.S. News Real Estate. May 12, 2016. http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/the-20-bestaffordable-places-to-live-in-the-us/ (accessed November 09, 2016). “Turning Bikes Into Smog-Sensing Machines.” The Allegheny Front. October 02, 2015. http://archive.alleghenyfront.org/story/turning-bikes-smog-sensing-machines.html (accessed November 2016, 2016). Urban Design Tools for Low Impact Development. Green Roofs. n.d. http://www.lidstormwater.net/greenroofs_cost.htm (accessed Novemebr 08, 2016). Wein, Matthew. “Pittsburgh is one of the country’s most walkable cities.” NEXT Pittsburgh. May 22, 2014. http://www.nextpittsburgh.com/pittsburgh-in-the-news/ pittsburgh-most-walkable-cities/ (accessed Novemeber 09, 2016). Western Pennsylvania Conservancy & GTECH Strategies. Green Toolbox Report: Hilltop Communities. Pittsburgh, PA, 2012. Yang, Sarah. Air pollution study clears the air on diesel versus gas emissions. October 22, 2012. http://news.berkeley.edu/2012/10/22/diesel-vs-gas-contributing-to-smog/ (accessed December 16, 2016).

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APPENDIX Particle Monitoring (PM2.5)

Particle monitoring was conducted using several different types of monitors, ranging from low-cost Speck monitors (throughout Millvale) and Dylos monitors (at the Millvale Library only), to RAMP sensors (also placed throughout Millvale). The hypothesis was that monitors placed in close proximity to roadways and monitors located in valleys would have higher average particle counts than monitors placed far from busy roads and monitors located high in elevation along the hillsides. The testing results did not confirm the hypothesis, and the results proved to be inconclusive. The four speck monitors produced an average total particle count reading of 279 from mid-August to mid-November. The highest average reading of 378 over this time period occurred at the “Forest Street” location on a hillside in northern Millvale. This was followed by an average of 278 in southern Millvale (the Millvale Library backyard), and 182 in central Millvale (close to the municipal offices). Further monitoring and analysis is needed to come to a conclusion regarding our hypothesis, however, initial monitoring indicates that elevation does not have a significant impact on particle counts at this scale. Our monitoring efforts do have limitations, and one factor influencing the particle counts may be the proximity of a fast food restaurant’s exhaust air to the Forest Street monitor, in addition to yard work that occurred occasionally at this location over the course of the monitoring efforts.

Monitoring shows close tracking between Millvale locations and Lawrenceville; Average Readings: Grant South: 7.3, Grant North: 6.5, Forest: 6.8, Lawrenceville: 11.0

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The results of the RAMP monitors are similar to those of the speck monitors, showing a negligible difference between the three monitored locations. While running all three RAMP monitors in Millvale was a challenge due to technical issues, when comparing the time periods where at least two Millvale RAMP monitors were recording data to the Allegheny County Health Department’s air quality monitor located across the river in Lawrenceville, the two locations trend similarly, even though the Lawrenceville monitor’s levels consistently track slightly higher than Millvale’s. During the period of simultaneous monitoring, Millvale’s average readings are the highest at 7.3µg/m3, observed by the sensor on Grant Avenue closest to Route 28 in southern Millvale. This was followed by the northern Millvale hillside sensor at 6.8 µg/m3, and then 6.5 µg/m3, at the central business district sensor on Grant Avenue. All three locations read lower than the 11 µg/m3 observed on the rooftop of the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), located across the river in Lawrenceville (see the appendix for additional data for comparison). While the averages observed are below the EPA standard of 12 µg/m3 over 1 year and 35µg/m3 over 24 hours, sensitive populations should be informed if-and-when safe levels of PM are exceeded. Further research is recommended on the impact of changing seasons, air mixing heights and their impact on particle counts, and elevation related particle counts in other parts of the region. Both the Forest St. and ACHD monitoring sites are located slightly higher in elevation than the other monitoring locations with seemingly little impact on particle counts. There seems to be, however, some connection between proximity to major travel routes and particle counts. The Forest St. location is located vertically above a major intersection (Evergreen Avenue and North Avenue), that many commuters pass by and continue along Evergreen to access Route 28. Additionally as stated previously, the southern Millvale site is located very close to Route 28. By comparison, the ACHD site is located close to Penn Avenue, which is a major throughway between Downtown Pittsburgh and the East End. With studies that show a 36% increase in incidences of lung cancer per 10 unit concentration increase in PM2.5, further local and regional monitoring is recommended to better understand particle dynamics. (Raaschou-Nielson 2013) PM Health Impacts: “Premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.” EPA Standards: Primary: 12 µg/m3 over 1 year Secondary: 15 µg/m3 over 1 year Primary and Secondary: 35 µg/m3 over 24 hours Long Term Local Averages (during simultaneous data collection): Grant South: 7.5µg/m3 Grant North: 6.72µg/m3 Forest: 7.03µg/m3 Lawrenceville: 11.10µg/m3t

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Carbon Monoxide

Subset of data shows lowest readings at the hillside location, with average readings of 0.16ppm compared to 0.22ppm along Route 28, and 0.24ppm in the Millvale business district location. The Carbon Monoxide readings measured using the RAMP sensors showed that there is a strong correlation between all three Millvale monitoring locations and the ACHD monitoring location in Lawrenceville. The data from the hillside location on Forest Avenue is unreliable due to technical difficulties and the limitations mentioned earlier, but where available, it can be seen that proximity to major roadways did have an impact on CO levels, with the location closest to major roads having the highest readings, and the sensor located farthest away from roads on the hillside having the lowest readings. These results are unsurprising given that vehicular emissions are the biggest contributor to carbon monoxide readings. Overall, with 4-month averages below 0.30ppm, and with 6-Hour and 1-Hour averages never exceeding 1.4ppm for this testing period, Millvale’s Carbon Monoxide levels are far below the Clean Air Act’s Primary standards of 9ppm over 8 hours and 35ppm over 1 hour. Further monitoring over the course of the year will be required to gain a better understanding of seasonal differences in ambient Carbon Monoxide. CO Health Impacts: “Very high levels of CO are not likely to occur outdoors. However, when CO levels are elevated outdoors, they can be of particular concern for people with some types of heart disease. These people already have a reduced ability for getting oxygenated blood to their hearts in situations where the heart needs more oxygen than usual.” EPA Standards: Primary: 9ppm over 8 hours Primary: 35ppm over 1 hour Long Term Local Averages (during simultaneous data collection): Grant South: 0.22ppm Grant North: 0.24ppm Forest: 0.16ppm Lawrenceville: 0.29ppm

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Ozone (O3)

Chart shows 8-hour average readings over the duration of the study. Readings are all below the EPA standard of 0.07ppm

Figure shows ozone readings over the course of a work week with elevated numbers during the day, and lower readings in the evenings. Also observable is the impact of rain in lowering numbers at the end of the week. The RAMP sensors showed a link between increases in decreases in Ozone levels between Millvale and Lawrenceville, again pointing to a regional impact. Long term averages for the area during this monitoring period did not exceed the Environmental Protection Agency standard of 0.070ppm over an 8 hour average. Readings at both Grant Avenue sensors had long term as well as 8-hour averages over 0.011ppm over the course of the study, which is lower than the Lawrenceville average of 0.02, and below the EPA standard. Analysis also shows that while other pollutants in Millvale have night time peaks associated with mixing heights and the formation of inversion layers, ozone tends to peak during the day. This is expected as sunlight is a key ingredient in the formation of ozone. There seems to be a connection between higher pollution levels overnight leading to higher ozone levels during the following day. This indicates that an effort must be made to inform at-risk populations when ozone readings are above healthy levels to avoid acute as well as chronic respiratory health impacts. Further measurement and analysis is needed to understand the impact of general pollution on ozone levels, and the seasonal variability of ozone levels through the course of the year. Ozone Health Impacts: “High levels of ozone make it difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously, it causes shortness of breath and pain when taking a deep breath, it causes coughing and sore or scratchy throat, inflammation and damage to the airways, it aggravates lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, it increases the frequency of asthma attacks, makes the lungs more susceptible to infection, and causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).” EPA Standards: Primary & Secondary: 0.070ppm over 8 hours Long Term Local Averages: Grant South: 0.012ppm Grant North: 0.011ppm Lawrenceville: 0.02ppm

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Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

Shows consistent trend between measuring sites, and long term averages remaining below EPA standard of 53ppb.

Shows measurements remaining below EPA standard of 100ppb over 1 hour through the course of the study. Nitrogen Dioxide measurements using RAMP sensors, like other criteria pollutants, showed a regional connection between peak and non-peak hours. The readings within Millvale were much closer than the readings observed in Lawrenceville. Through the duration of the study, observed levels of NO2 never exceeded the EPA standard of 100ppb over 1-hour, remaining below 10ppb on average. Further monitoring is required to see if Millvale remains below the 1 year standard of 53ppb. Short term NOx exposure can aggravate respiratory issues, leading to coughing, wheezing, and asthma. Long term exposure to NOx can cause long term health impacts like the development of asthma. NO2 and other NOx can react with pollutants to form ozone and PM pollution, which have health impacts of their own. (EPA 2016) NOx Health Impacts: “Exposure over short periods can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, leading to respiratory symptoms (such as coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing), hospital admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Longer exposures to elevated concentrations of NO2 may contribute to the development of asthma and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections.” EPA Standards: Primary: 100ppb over 1 hour Primary & Secondary: 53ppb over 1 year Long Term Local Averages: Grant South: 9.42ppb Grant North: 9.37ppb Lawrenceville: 13.14ppb

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Sulfur Dioxide

The Sulfur Dioxide measurements in Millvale (collected with RAMP sensors) are much lower than the levels measured by the Allegheny County Health Department monitor in Lawrenceville. This could indicate either equipment malfunction, or that the SO2 plume that impacts Lawrenceville does not affect Millvale as severely. Further long-term monitoring using RAMP sensors is needed to better understand the SO2 dynamics in Millvale. Overall, in both Millvale and Lawrenceville, short-term and long-term SO2 averages remained well below the EPA standard of 75ppb over 1-hour and 500ppb over 3-hours, with spikes never exceeding 15ppb. Much like NOx, SO2 and other Sox can contribute to the formation of Particle Matter, highlighting the importance of continued monitoring to inform sensitive populations. SO2 Health Impacts: “Short-term exposure to SO2 can harm the human respiratory system and make breathing difficult. Children, the elderly, and those who suffer from asthma are particularly sensitive to the effects of SO2.” EPA Standards: Primary: 75ppb over 1 hour Secondary: 0.5ppm (500ppb) over 3 hours Long Term Local Averages: Lawrenceville: 0.80ppb

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Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide is one of the six criteria pollutants, and while it is a naturally occurring compound, it is also a greenhouse gas that is produced from the combustion of fossil fuels. Over time it has become the primary contributor to man-made climate change. In 2015, global CO2 levels exceeded 400ppm, a symbolic and irreversible milestone for our planet that CO2 levels have now exceeded what is considered to be a “stable level”. Observed ambient CO2 averages in Millvale over the course of the study fell just below 450ppm. While there are no direct health impacts of elevated CO2 levels, this pollutant is a major contributor to climate change, and the effects of climate change will severely impact human health. The measured spikes in Millvale’s CO2, measurements trend with spikes in the other criteria pollutants, therefore, it serves as an indicator of higher observable readings in other pollutants. With Millvale’s history of flooding, it should also be noted that long term increases in global CO2 will contribute to changes in long term weather patterns related to climate change, which may exacerbate historic flood events, as well as minor flood events that can contribute to basement flooding, a cause of bad indoor air quality. Long Term Local Averages: Grant South: 443ppm Grant North: 445ppm

General RAMP Analysis Preliminary analysis of multi-pollutant data indicates that there is a strong local connection in upward and downward trends in air pollution, as seen through side-by-side comparison of collected data. This is seen across several criteria pollutants as measured by RAMP sensors in Millvale and in Lawrenceville at the Allegheny County Health Department site. The data is broken into the three different time intervals of 1-hour averages, 6-hour averages, and 24-hour averages. The 1-hour averages help to visualize fine-grain data to understand volatility in air quality measurements as weather and human activity can impact air quality, and create acute health impacts for sensitive populations. Visualizing the data in 6-hour averages can reveal trends in air pollution level as it relates to the time of day, be it morning, afternoon, evening, or late night. This can help develop strategies to mitigate health impacts for specific at-risk populations based on their activities as it relates to the time of day. 24-hour averages help visualize how pollution levels may differ from day-to-day over the course of weeks and months. This can help create long term strategies to reduce negative health impacts with seasonally specific behavior and activity recommendations. Through the course of this study, it has been observed that most pollutants peak during night time hours as inversion layers with respect to air mixing heights can work to trap pollutants at ground level. Ozone, which requires sunlight in order to form, has observable delayed peaks, offset from peaks in other pollutants. This indicates that during periods of high pollution, while a PM, CO, NOx, and SOx may peak overnight, at-risk populations may still feel negative health impacts during the day due to the role some pollutants play in the formation of ozone. Please refer to the Appendix to view observations through the course of this study. It is highly recommended that continued efforts take place to measure local air quality, and support the formation of regional air quality monitoring initiatives to better understand air quality dynamics in Western Pennsylvania. (All EPA standards and health impacts from https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants/ naaqs-table)

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Breathe Easy Millvale Air Quality Planning  

The Breathe Easy project recommends future actions and projects to catalyze change at the individual scale, in the borough, and in the regio...

Breathe Easy Millvale Air Quality Planning  

The Breathe Easy project recommends future actions and projects to catalyze change at the individual scale, in the borough, and in the regio...

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