News & Resources
On November 10, 2023, the energy company Invenergy announced that it “will not develop and construct the proposed Allegheny Energy Center,” a 639 MW fracked gas-fired power plant the company had planned to build in Elizabeth Township.
As a result, it officially withdrew its Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) air permit. This marks the culmination of years-long opposition from Allegheny and Westmoreland County residents who, with the Council’s support, raised their voices to counter this plant and raise concerns about air and health impacts. The power plant faced strong community opposition since it was first announced in 2016, including hundreds of speakers at a public hearing opposing Invenergy’s air pollution permit in 2021. In addition, Council staff, along with our partners, have been in litigation for the last two years to challenge the air permit that the ACHD had issued. Invenergy’s announcement follows the company’s request for the trial to be paused for three months.
The power plant, proposed to be built less than a mile from residents’ homes, would have been one of the largest emitters of air pollution in the state. This would have been in an area already impacted by air pollution and its dangers to public health. Area residents can breathe easier now knowing that this dirty, polluting power plant will NOT be built in their community.
“The Great Allegheny Passage not only connects Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Md., but also connects businesses and governments along the entire 150-mile trail with tens of millions of dollars per year.”
“A new study that Pittsburgh consulting firm Fourth Economy did with the Great Allegheny Passage Conservancy reports that tourism along the trail created an economic impact in 2019 of more than $121 million. That figure “translates to over $800,000 per mile,” Fourth Economy senior consultant Mickey McGlasson stated in a news release. “It looks like a scenic trail, but for the communities along the way, that’s an economic highway.” “Previously sleepy places such as West Newton bloomed with bicyclists buzzing through but not without stopping for a burger and a craft beer or an overnight stay.”
“The far-reaching Great Allegheny Passage has been a key factor in towns in both states’ progression from manufacturing economies to healthier, more diversified economies.”
“Of the hundreds of trail riders and residents in the nearby towns surveyed, an overwhelming 93% said the GAP is a boon to the communities it passes through.” “In addition to the economic figures, the trail is also a scenic introduction to the beauty and majesty of this part of the country, including some spectacular vistas at the Eastern Continental Divide in Meyersdale, Somerset County. Other towns impacted in Pennsylvania include Pittsburgh, Homestead, McKeesport, West Newton, Connellsville and others.”