Each week, we share some of our favorite sustainability, climate, local, and whatever else – related stories. This week’s Punchlist features more exciting local and national news about the environment!
Clean up Jobs
Two studies conducted by the Ohio River Valley Institute researched un-reclaimed coal mines and abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The research identified hundreds of thousands of acres of coal mines and more than a half-million oil and gas wells. Plugging abandoned wells and cleaning up coal mines would not only help combat climate change, but also create jobs. Research shows that thousands of jobs could be created.
Increased Electronic Recycling
Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) will begin holding weekday e-waste-only recycling collections. Previously only held on Saturdays, PRC hosts events at Michael Brothers Hauling & Recycling North Hills and South Hills locations and collects hard-to-recycle items like computers, TVs, game consoles, and appliances. Properly disposing of these items keeps toxic heavy metals like cadmium and mercury from leaching into soil and groundwater.
F for Air Quality
Although Pittsburgh has seen improvements to air quality in recent years, it still has some of the worst air pollution in the country. In a report by the National Lung Association, Pittsburgh received an F in ozone and particulate matter and ranked 9th worst in the country for long-term particle pollution. Although the are received an F in all three measures, it has improved for a second straight year.
Divesting in Fossil Fuels
The city of Pittsburgh’s pension fund has almost completely divested from fossil fuel companies. Less than 1% of the current pension plan is tied to fossil fuels and by 2022 it will be down to zero. The city plans to align their future investments with environmental and social priorities. Using a method called “ESG investing,” the city will measure environmental, social, and corporate governance outcomes and financial results in order to gauge the strength of an investment.