Allegheny County Controller Corey O’Connor announced that his office will begin an audit of the Clean Air Fund derived from fines on polluting industries in the county.
Administered by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), the Clean Air Fund is established in law “to support activities related to the improvement of air quality within Allegheny County and to support activities which will increase or improve knowledge concerning air pollution, its causes, its effects, and the control thereof.” The audit will examine whether uses of the fund have complied with the purposes for which it was established, the process by which community organizations apply for and are awarded grants from the fund, the extent to which ACHD has obtained input from affected communities regarding use of the Fund’s resources, and other topics.
The Health Department expended $884,766 from the Clean Air Fund in 2022, and the Fund currently contains nearly $10 million.
“Our aim with this audit is to ensure that uses of the Clean Air Fund are in compliance with the law and these funds are available for projects designed to improve air quality and public health,” O’Connor said. “We must ensure there is transparency and accountability for how our County distributes these funds — it’s why I included an examination of the Clean Air Fund in my Climate Action Recommendations for Allegheny County.”
For more information on the Clean Air Fund, see https://www.alleghenycounty.us/Health-Department/Resources/About/Board-of-Health/Clean-Air-Fund.aspx.