Today we want to give a shout-out to our friends at Grow Pittsburgh, who invited us to take part in their fourth-annual Braddock Farm Fall Festival this past weekend - a fantastic family-friendly event featuring free food, crafting activities, face painting, and demonstrations.
GASP’s table was in the shadow of U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson facility - a major source of air pollution in Allegheny County - which was appropriate: Our educator Laura Kuster was on hand to help educate residents about a new regulation known as The Mon Valley Episode Rule and why – and how – to get signed up for crucial public health alerts when air quality is unhealthy (like it was this week).
By way of background: The new rule is an addition to the local Air Pollution Control Regulations signed into law last year. Its purpose was to develop and implement a system to respond to weather-related inversions in the Mon Valley, which can result in episodes of high levels of particulate matter pollution.
Here’s how it works: Under the new regs, ACHD monitors pollution forecasts for conditions that could lead to an “episode” – when meteorological conditions are likely to contribute to unacceptable air pollution levels in the Mon Valley. When this happens, sources of emissions within a defined Mon Valley area subject to the rule are required to follow approved mitigation plans to reduce emissions of fine and coarse particulate matter.
During these conditions, ACHD may issue a Mon Valley Air Pollution Watch or Warning through the Allegheny Alerts system. Through this public alert system, residents can opt to receive Mon Valley Alert messages via email, text, or automated phone calls.
GASP’s making it simple to sign up. Just fill out this form and we’ll take care of the rest: