History & Mission

History

The Group Against Smog and Pollution was founded in 1969 by a group of 43 volunteers concerned about air quality issues in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  Over the years, GASP has maintained a continuous program to educate the public on questions of pollution and its remediation.  Through public meetings, engagement with the press, educational events, permit reviews, and other means, GASP has worked tirelessly to explain and combat our air quality problems.

During these years, GASP has participated actively on various county, state, and national boards, with stakeholder groups, and on committees involved with environmental policy.  Occasionally GASP presses its goals with litigation.  In the 1970s, GASP went to Federal District Court to require Allegheny County to adopt standards based on the Clean Air Act.  In the 1980s, GASP cooperated with the EPA in bringing about enforcement of air quality standards at the Clairton Coke Works.  In the 1990s, GASP joined a successful EPA suit against LTV Corporation to enforce air quality standards at the firm’s Hazelwood plant, which subsequently closed.  A GASP notice in 1998 of its intent to file suit against Shenango for long-standing air quality infractions at its Neville Island coke plant was preempted by a successful EPA suit on the same issue.  In each case the court action resulted in substantial fines and/or remedial actions being imposed on the defendant.

For the above work, GASP has received many awards and has been mentioned in magazines, local and national television and radio, and newspapers throughout the country.

Mission Statement

The Group Against Smog and Pollution works to improve air quality to ensure human, environmental, and economic health.

Methods of Achieving Mission

  • GASP focuses on air quality issues affecting Southwestern Pennsylvania and the surrounding region. When pertinent to these concerns, we participate in state and national environmental decisions.
  • We will deliver accurate and thorough information to the public and encourage active participation in the decision-making process.
  • We will advocate, educate, serve as an environmental watchdog, mobilize action, and litigate when necessary.
  • We will work both independently and in cooperation with like-minded individuals and groups, as determined by the Board of Directors.
  • We will operate with scientific integrity, honesty, and measured judgment.