What Pittsburgh Looked Like When It Decided It Had a Pollution Problem Photographs from the 1940s of the Steel City as it began to address its notoriously smoky air. The river is 981 miles long and flows northwest out of Pittsburgh and through or borders six states. Gas lamps sometimes had to be lit during the day. Three rivers, the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio, cross through Pittsburgh's metropolitan area. The results are part of the fourth year of the Three Rivers Quest (3RQ) study, one of the most comprehensive surveys in the region The Three Rivers Pollution Response Council, Inc. is located in the Pittsburgh Port of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Eighth District and EPA’s Region III. To help, conservationists spent years working on rebuilding habitats and cleaning the rivers before finally reintroducing river otters to the Pittsburgh area in 1982. The Pittsburgh Water & … Photos Of Pittsburgh's Air Pollution: 1940s Vs. Today. Back to table of contents. Because the Ohio River flows west, Pittsburgh became the debarkation point for pioneers heading for the frontier, earning the city the nickname “The Gateway to the West”. As a result, the Ohio River is the source of drinking water for more than three million people. Eastman Chemical Resins, Inc., located upriver from Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River in Allegheny County, exceeded its permitted pollution limits 72 times in 21 months. Because of pollution and environmental destruction, the river otter population in Western Pennsylvania was almost extinct in the 1900s. On 10 of those occasions, they poured more than 500 percent of their permitted limits for zinc, aluminum, nitrites, styrene, and xylene into the Monongahela River. Boat Building and the Port of Pittsburgh. Annually, combined sewage overflows affect Pittsburgh’s three rivers between 40-70 days during the boating season (May 15-Oct. 1) making the water quality unacceptable for recreational contact. Consequently, one of the city’s earliest industries was boatbuilding. WATER POLLUTION Pittsburgh agency admits pumping sludge into Allegheny River Published: Thursday, November 19, 2020. Water quality on the Allegheny River continues to be good but pollution concerns persist on Blacklick Creek in Indiana County and Pine Creek in Allegheny County. By The Pittsburgh Water and Sewage Authority (PWSA) pleaded guilty Wednesday to eight federal charges for violating the Clean Water Act. In 1811 the first steamboat was built in Pittsburgh. Coal fumes in the 1940s blotted out the sun. The charges include one count of violating the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System by discharging sludge into the Allegheny River, one of three major American rivers that meet at Pittsburgh.. 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