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'I Simply Cannot Justify Staying Here': Google Engineer Encourages Workers To Avoid Pittsburgh Over Air Quality Concerns

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- An article written by a local Google engineer is encouraging other workers to avoid Pittsburgh because of the air quality.

The engineer, Dennis Towne, said he thought Pittsburgh would be a great place to live until he started breathing the air.

When the abandoned Nabisco plant was turned into office and condo development, it was viewed as a turning point for Pittsburgh.

Google moved in and Pittsburgh went high tech.

But Towne blasted the city's pollution in an article for the digital non-profit, Public Source.

He wrote, "shortly after we arrived, we started noticing an obnoxious stench".

Mayor Bill Peduto has been sounding the alarm about pollution for quite a while.

"As we look at our economic development strategy, for Southwestern Pennsylvania, it has to based around clean air and clean water," Peduto said. "If we can't provide that to our people, we're not going to have people who want to come here to work."

Towne lives blocks from the Google offices in East Liberty.

He endures what he says are "smells so bad we couldn't sleep."

He says it's "industrial air pollution," "that thing that we used to have in the 1960s," and "a stench that burns the lungs and turns the stomach."

"I simply cannot justify staying here," he added.

Mayor Peduto said we have to clean up the air and water, and he's come under criticism for speaking out against the new cracker plant in Beaver County.

Towe declined to go on camera.

He said he's afraid because he's getting hate mail about his article.

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