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GASP

Resources

GASP stays busy keeping you informed about the air quality issues we're working on. Here you can find presentations made at our educational events, comments made to the media and in public forums about air quality issues, our podcast, and links to government agencies and officials, area environmental groups we collaborate with, and more.

Air Quality FAQ's

What types of air pollutants do we normally worry about?

The Environmental Protection Agency sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for 6 criteria air pollutants. These pollutants were chosen because they are widespread, and pose significant harm to human health and the environment.

The criteria pollutants are ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) are another important group of pollutants. These are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects.

 

Where does air pollution come from?

There are several sources of air pollution.

  1. Natural sources include volcanoes and wildfires.
  2. Mobile sources are related to traffic and include vehicle emissions, as well as emissions from air traffic, trains, construction equipment, and ships.
  3. Stationary sources include factories, power plants, and industrial sources.

Major Sources are facilities that have the potential to emit pollutants in amounts equal to or greater than the corresponding major source threshold levels. These threshold levels vary by pollutant and/or source category. To find a map of nearby major sources and what pollutants they emit, check out our Air Permits Clearinghouse.

A minor source is a facility that emits pollutants in amounts less than the corresponding major source thresholds.

How can I protect myself from air pollution?

  1. Pre-plan outdoor activities. Choosing the right time of day and location can minimize pollution exposure. Try to avoid areas with heavy traffic, especially during peak traffic times.
  2. Check the Air Quality Index. The AQI gives you a forecast of what the air quality will be like, and what the associated health effects are for the day.
  3. Sign up for Allegheny Alerts. Choose what types of alerts you are interested in and if you want them to call, text, or email you.

How can I speak up against air pollution?

It’s important that regulators and administrators hear from the people, not just environmental groups. Making a complaint or filing a report is the first step if you suspect a violation, but there are many ways to make your voice heard. Writing letters to the editor, attending meetings, and writing to your representatives are all ways to show your commitment to cleaner, healthier air.

If you want to get more involved, but aren’t sure where to start, check out our section on becoming an air quality watchdog.

The Hotline

The Hotline is GASP’s biannual newsletter, where we go in-depth on some of the topics we work on daily.

Spring 2019

Show Topics

Fall 2018

  • Health Department Tracks Down Source of “Rotten Egg” Hydrogen Sulfide Emissions
  • Funds for Air Quality Improvements Should Not Be Used to Renovate Office Space
  • ACHD Commits to Clear Permit Backlog After EPA Scrutiny
  • Pittsburgh Sinusitis Research Team Shows that Sinus Disease is Associated with Exposure to Fine Particulate Air Pollution
  • GASP in Action Spotlight on a GASP Board Member: Dave Litton GASP’s 50th Anniversary
Show Topics

Spring 2018

  • Backlog Permit Problem Remains in Southwestern PA
  • Become an Air Ambassador
  • On The Air: GASP’s Monthly Podcast
  • GASP as Legal Watchdog
  • Rallying for Clean Air
  • A Successful GASP-toberfest
  • Join Our 50th Anniversary Planning Committee
  • GASP’s Second Annual Summer Camp
  • Spotlight on a GASP Staff Member: Emily Persico
  • Join us for a Potluck Picnic in the Park
Show Topics

Fall 2017

  • No Idling! Young Lungs at Work
  • A Connection Made: Physical Activity, Asthma, and Air Pollution
  • Athletes United for Healthy Air
  • Smelly Hydrogen Sulfide has a Legal Limit but that Standard is Frequently Violated
  • McConway & Torley and ATI Brackenridge Still Do Not Have Operating Permits
  • GASP for Clean Air! Sources, Symptoms, and Solutions: An Air Quality Exhibit at Assemble
  • GASP’s First Air Quality Summer Camp a Success
  • Idling: Myth vs. Fact
  • Spotlight on a GASP Board Member: Harold Rickenbacker
  • GASP in Action: Bicycle Air Monitor Tour
Show Topics

Spring 2017

  • Cuts to EPA Budget Will Significantly Impact Southwestern PA
  •  GASP’s 2016 Year in Review
  •  Pittsburgh Public School Buses Get Cleaner, But More Work Is Needed
  •  GASP Air Quality Camp
  •  Spotlight on a GASP Board Member: James Fabisiak
  •  Remembering Marilyn Skolnick
  •  Save the Date: Making the Connection and GASP-toberfest
Show Topics

Fall 2016

  • Almost One-Third of Major Sources of Air Pollution in Southwestern PA Do Not Have a Current Operating Permit
  • Will the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public Schools Enforce Cleaner Diesel Rules?
  • GASP in Action (Part 1)
  • To Burn or Not to Burn
  • GASP at the Aviary Event
  • Spotlight on a GASP Board Member: Michelle Fanzo
  • GASP in Action (Part 2)
  • Smell PGH
Show Topics
On the Air Podcast

'On the Air' Podcast

GASP is “On the Air” with our podcast series! With a little bit of fun and a lot of guest speakers, On the Air with GASP will equip you with the tools you need to stay informed and actively engage in community issues.

Financial support for this podcast was provided by the Colcom Foundation.

Latest Episode

Episode 1: The Nose Knows

See All Episodes

Public Comments

Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Monitoring Network Plan for 2018

Comments of GASP and three other environmental groups to the Allegheny County Health Department, regarding their Air Monitoring Network Plan for 2018.

Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Monitoring Network Plan for 2019

Comments from GASP to the Allegheny County Health Department, regarding their Air Monitoring Network Plan for 2019.

Amendments to PA Rules on Gasoline Volatility Requirements

GASP's comments to Pennsylvania's Environmental Quality Board, regarding their proposed changes to the Pennsylvania Code chapters relating to gasoline volatility requirements.

Appeal of Plan Approval for Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners–Westmoreland Generating Station

Link to GASP's appeal of the Air Quality Plan Approval of Tenaska Pennsylvania Partner's Westmoreland Generating Station.

Cardinal PA Midstream–Pike Compressor Station

GASP's comments to New Sewickley Township regarding the Conditional Use Application for Construction of Cardinal PA Midstream's Pike Compressor Station.

Consent Decree in United States vs. MarkWest Liberty Midstream and Resources

GASP's comments to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding their consent decree with MarkWest Liberty Midstream and Resources.

Encouraging Adoption of “Clean Construction” by Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority

Comments of GASP's Executive Director to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, encouraging their adoption of a "Clean Construction" policy for diesel vehicles.

Encouraging Electrification of Fleet of Port Authority of Allegheny County

Comments of GASP's Executive Director to the Port Authority of Allegheny County, encouraging their adoption of electric buses powered by renewable energy.

Equitrans–Hartson Compressor Station

GASP's comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding Equitrans's Hartson Compressor Station Title V Operating Permit renewal.

Equitrans–Hartson Compressor Station (Comments and Response Document)

The Comments and Response Document from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding the Title V Operating Permit Renewal for Equitrans's Hartson Compressor Station.

Handsome Lake Energy–Kennerdell Facility

GASP's comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding a proposed permit modification for Handsome Lake Energy's Kennerdell Facility.

Handsome Lake Energy–Kennerdell Facility (Comments and Response Document)

Response from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to GASP's comments regarding a proposed permit change for Handsome Lake Energy's Kennerdell Facility.

Hearing on Clairton Coke Works Explosion, Air Quality, and Community Notification Issues

Remarks delivered by GASP's Executive Director at the Joint Pennsylvania Senate and House Democratic Policy Committee's Public Hearing on the U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works Explosion, Air Quality, and Community Notification Issues, held February 7, 2019.

Mountain Gathering–Westmoreland Compressor Station

GASP's comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding the proposed Air Quality Plan Approval for Mountain Gathering's Westmoreland's Compressor Station.

Mountain Gathering–Westmoreland Compressor Station (Comments and Response Document)

The comment response document for Mountain Gathering's Westmoreland Compressor Station Air Quality Plan Approval.

Operating Permit for Vista Metals/Kittanning Plant

GASP's comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding their proposed State-Only Operating Permit for Vista Metals, Inc./Kittanning Plant in Armstrong County.

Pennsylvania’s 2016 Annual Ambient Air Networking Plan

Comments from GASP to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, regarding the Pennsylvania 2016 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan.

Pennsylvania’s 2017 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Plan

Comments from GASP to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, regarding Pennsylvania's 2017 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan.

Pennsylvania’s Draft Plan for Volkswagen Clean Air Act Violations Settlement

Comments of GASP's Executive Director to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, regarding their Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan: Volkswagen Clean Air Act Violations Settlement.

Proposed Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing Rule

Comments of GASP to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, regarding the Secretary of Energy's proposed Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing Rule.

Proposed New Article XXI Coke Oven Regulations

Comments to the Allegheny County Board of Health, encouraging timely progress toward final development and implementation of proposed new Article XXI Coke Oven regulations.

Proposed Revision to Allegheny County Portion of SO2 State Implementation Plan

Comments to the Allegheny County Health Department from GASP, regarding the March 2, 2017 Proposed Revision to the Allegheny County portion of the PA State Implementation Plan Attainment Demonstration for the Allegheny, PA SO2 Nonattainment Area.

Proposed Revision to Allegheny County Portion of SO2 State Implementation Plan

Comments to the Allegheny County Health Department from GASP and seven other environmental groups, regarding the May 1, 2017 Proposed Revision to the Allegheny County Portion of the PA State Implementation Plan Attainment Demonstration for the Allegheny, PA SO2 Nonattainment Area, 2010 Standards.

Proposed Revisions to 25 Pa. Code Chapter 78

GASP's comments to the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board regarding proposed changes to 25 Pa. Code Chapter 78.

Proposed Revisions to Allegheny County Health Department’s Article XI

GASP's comments to the Allegheny County Board of Health, regarding proposed changes to Article XI of their Rules and Regulations.

Proposed Revisions to Allegheny County Health Department’s Article XI

Comments to the Allegheny County Health Department, regarding their Proposed Revisions to Article XI of their Rules and Regulations.

Reducing Pittsburgh Public Schools Bus Idling

Comments from GASP's Executive Director to the Pittsburgh Public School Board of Education, regarding the need to be proactive to reduce unnecessary school bus idling.

Rice Poseidon Midstream’s Blue Moon Compressor Station

GASP's comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding the proposed Title V Operating Permit for Rice Poseidon Midstream's Blue Moon Compressor Station.

Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners–Westmoreland Generating Station

GASP's comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding the proposed Air Quality Plan Approval for Tenaska Pennsylvania Partner's Westmoreland Generating Station.

Texas Eastern Transmission–Armagh Compressor Station

GASP's comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental protection, regarding the Air Quality Plan Approval for Texas Eastern Transmission's Armagh Compressor Station.

Use of cleaner buses by Pittsburgh Public Schools

GASP's comments to the Pittsburgh Public School Board of Education, encouraging them to mandate that contractors install diesel pollution control devices on buses serving their students.

Superior Appalachian Pipeline’s Kissick Lane Compressor Station

GASP's comments to the Allegheny County Health Department regarding the proposed Minor Source Operating Permit for Superior Appalachian Pipeline's Kissick Lane Compressor Station.

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