Allegheny County's Board of Health held their monthly meeting on Wednesday. Prevention Point Pittsburgh, the region's needle exchange program delivered their annual report. Rennee Cox, Executive Director of Prevention Point Pittsburgh said in 2009 there were 7,033 Needle Exchange Encounters and 765 injection drug users were served at the Oakland and Hill District sites. 400,200 needles were exchanged. Twenty one percent of their clients enrolled into drug treatment.
Also discussed were proposed revisions to a health department plan to bring air quality in the Liberty/Clairton area into compliance with national air quality standards that were set in place in 2005 by The United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Jim Thompson, the county's Air Quality Program Manager said the area should be in compliance by 2015. US Steel has plants in the area and are committed to updating equipment to meet the standards. This will cost them upwards of a billion dollars.
Environmental groups have criticized the health department for taking so long but Thompson says it is necessary to have all of that time to safely and effectively meet the federal guidelines.