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GASP Smoke Reading Tour Stops at Clairton; Residents Observed U.S. Steel Emissions & Honed Skills

GASP program manager and resident smoke reader Sue Seppi on Friday led a group of local residents on a tour of Clairton to observe emissions from U.S. Steel’s Coke Works facility - helping them understand how to evaluate smoke opacity and make more effective air quality complaints.

“We hear from folks all the time who want to get more involved in improving air quality conditions in their neighborhoods,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “That’s why we’re so excited to get out into local communities long impacted by industrial polluters like U.S. Steel to equip residents in these neighborhoods with the skills they need to be more effective air quality watchdogs.”

Never heard of smoke readers? It’s a general term applied to people who are trained and certified to recognize and understand visible emissions from sources such as smokestacks, as well as what violations look like, and how to make reports.

“Smoke reading is an excellent way for residents to take action in their own communities by observing the facilities that are of concern to them,” Seppi said. “Readings by our volunteers increase regulatory scrutiny on polluters, as government inspectors can’t be at every facility at all times.”

Stay tuned: GASP’s smoke reading tour may be coming to a neighborhood near you. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook - we’ll keep you posted.

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