Bellevue joins ACCAN project

Bellevue Council member Linda Woshner has been named to an advisory board with Allegheny County Clean Air Now (ACCAN) as the nonprofit group hopes to influence what happens at the former Shenango Coke Works site on Neville Island.

Shenango was closed by its parent company, DTE, in 2016, following years of battles over the air pollution being emitted, with the North Boroughs directly in its path. ACCAN volunteers monitored the emissions and encouraged enforcement of anti-pollution laws by the Allegheny County Health Department.

Angelo Taranto of ACCAN told Bellevue Council Tuesday that DTE plans to begin marketing the property in 2020. The organization wants to make sure that, at the very least, another major polluter will not take over the plant. The group has encouraged DTE to build an environmentally-friendly solar energy facility.

ACCAN recently hired a consultant to lead stakeholders through a “visioning” process that hopefully will influence DTE. The advisory board that will work with the consultant will be comprised of residents and elected officials from local communities, Taranto said, adding that DTE has been invited to be part of the process. The group will meet in Ben Avon between June and September, he said, with public input sought during meetings in late summer or early fall.