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PghUSA

ReadersDigest just did a "Forbes"

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So Reader's Digest comes out and calls Pittsburgh the 3rd dirtest city in America!?!

I concede that Pittsburgh will take a lot of work to crack the top 5 (we do have legacy conditions here to take care of) but Pittsburgh should always be in the top 10. Seems that a lot of people are up in arms about this given that the data was compiled from ONLY two reading stations one that is on the Ohio Line (getting all the pollution that blows in from Akron, Youngstown etc.) and the other is right above the Clairton works in Liberty! Hmm let me put a reading station for a WHOLE region right above their landfill dump and then that determines the air quality for ALL the region! What a load of crap, plus they punish Allegheny County for a few incidents in Butler and Washington counties in their water purity rankings, yes those are in the metroplex but if a mine has leakage in some farmers field in Burgettstown, 98.9% of the metro population has no impact on them (ok if it goes downstream, but for every mile it goes downstream it is addressed more by the EPA and DEP and counties etc.) Just another nerd in an office in NYC or Silicon Valley crunching abstract numbers to justify his stereotypes!

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05168/523084.stm

Kathryn Klaber, a vice president with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development who spends a lot of time on air quality issues, said it gets tiresome trying to refute air pollution information.

She said she would prefer that Reader's Digest and others look at 10-year projections that the EPA released earlier this year that show the region's air is expected to improve steadily.

"It really does cost us a lot of time and money to combat this kind of thing," Klaber said.

McGrath said he's become convinced over the years that the only way to dispel negative images of Pittsburgh is to get people to come here. Thousands attending the Senior Olympics will leave with a far more favorable impression of the city than they had before, he predicted.

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Oh man that sucks. I am tired of these skewed air quality readings. People always take them to heart.

Bloody heck. Think of all the people who read Readers Digest! Sigh :(

Edit to add: I am considering writing Readers Digest a thoughtful letter about this. Maybe some of you could do the same? Then perhaps at least one of them will get printed! We could point out that the city is much much cleaner than it used to be, those air quality readings tend to be skewed, and that our rivers are clean enough that we are hosting the Bass Master Classic this summer. And that we are viewed by other former industrial cities as a model for how to clean up.

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Oh man that sucks. I am tired of these skewed air quality readings. People always take them to heart.

I don't know of that many people who would even pay attention to these surveys. Plus, Chicago was rated as being the dirtiest and NYC as the second dirtiest and I don't think they're sweating it.

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I don't know of that many people who would even pay attention to these surveys.  Plus, Chicago was rated as being the dirtiest and NYC as the second dirtiest and I don't think they're sweating it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

They don't need to sweat it. They have good reputations. They aren't known to some as "the smoggy city" either.

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Just the fact that Chicago and NYC which yes aren't the cleanest cities around but not by a long shot the dirtiest, tells you how "accurate" this survey is. But I disagree Urban I think a to some crowds these rankings will be taken all too seriously :(

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Just the fact that Chicago and NYC which yes aren't the cleanest cities around but not by a long shot the dirtiest, tells you how "accurate" this survey is.  But I disagree Urban I think a to some crowds these rankings will be taken all too seriously :(

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You know, I have been to Chicago and NYC. Both seem more polluted than Pittsburgh. You can see the smog in the air in NYC sometimes. Well I guess you can in Pgh too, but I do think NYC is much dirtier.

Still, the average person who looks at that list will know that NYC and Chicago are not filthy. So if Pgh is above those two place, hopefully most readers will not think too badly of us.

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It also goes to relevance, Chicago is seen largely in American pop culture as the capital of the mid-west Ameicana apple pie America, and the home of that always wholesome Oprah, NYC is seen as the "IT" city, the capital of the American Economy, the 500 sq. mile set for the Apprentice etc., if a survey comes out ranking those two iconic places of things that define what it is to be "American" as the two worst places in America, what America should fight not to be, then the survey itself losses relevance. It would be similar to accusing Oprah of being a Nazi Axe Murderer and Donald Trump as being a no account bum, anyone making those statements loses credibility and relevance. :)

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I just got back to a trip in the pacific northwest (Eureka, CA and Portland amd Seattle). In my opinion, Portland is the cleanest city. I was very impressed with the city center.

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Never been there, from what I've heard it is very clean along with the rest of the Pacific NW, but you have to remember that whole region with the exception of a small urban core of Seattle never had any industrialization or even much civilization until just recently (last generation or so) and today the old Carnegie Mills or GM Plants spewing out unregulated and without-the-benefit-of-environmental-technologies pollution do not make the same lasting environmental damage that the NE and Industrial MW have suffered through.

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One of the differences is that Pittsburgh has been getting cleaner and healthier for a long time while the Pacific North-West is slowly coming to a crisis with population growth. There is increased development of sprawl on top of what was previously pristine forrest, increased pollution in their rivers, and constant pressure from the logging industry. Undoubtedly it's still a very nice place to be. But that doesn't tell us much about their government's level of organization and its ability to deal with the environmental issues facing their area.

We also don't know just from looking at it what those regions do with their garbage, where their air pollution goes, etc. Funny how Pittsburgh can make great strides even while dealing with uncontrolable externalities but building new suburbs minutes away from treasures like Olympic National Park is somehow more laudable on someone's rankings.

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