"I just want to protect it, and it is here for everybody", says garage owner Ian Lewis Plaid Cymru councillor for Aberavon, Nigel Thomas Hunt said the whole town had been "buzzing" with speculation that the work was by Banksy.
The work by the anonymous world-famous street artist appeared in the Taibach area of town last night.
The father-of-one said: "At first I didn't really think much of it".
In May of this year, the World Health Organization published a study that accidentally claimed Port Talbot was the most polluted town in the U.K. Just a few months later, locals complained after their houses and cars were covered in black dust from the town's steelworks.
The secretive street artist, believed to be based in Bristol, usually posts new work to his website or social media, but the Port Talbot piece has yet to make an appearance.
Rachel Honey-Jones, who lives in The Mumbles on the other side of Swansea Bay, described the graffiti as an "incredible addition to Port Talbot" and noted that it held a strong political message.
It hasn't been confirmed whether the new work is that of Banksy, but it does bear a striking resemblance to a sketch that appeared in a documentary about the artist previous year, The Alternativity.
She warned that attempts had already been made to damage it.
'It will bring visitors and trade and tourism to the county so it really does need to be protected, ' said Ms Honey-Jones.
In May the World Heath Organisation had to apologise after it admitted figures identifying Port Talbot as the most polluted town in the United Kingdom were wrong.
'It is a fantastic image never mind who has done it'. You can look at the painting and see the furnaces in the background.
Neath Port Talbot councilor Scott Bamsey told CNN that he applauds the work.
A representative for the elusive artist has been asked to comment on the latest piece.