top of page

Knowledge is Power: GASP Encourages Residents to Use Relaunched Online Air Quality Database

Updated: Apr 25

In honor of Earth Week, your pals at the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) encourage you to check out the relaunch of one of our most popular online resources: Our Title V Air Permits Clearinghouse.

The importance of Title V permits has been in the news quite a bit over the past year. For example, thanks to appeals from groups like GASP, the EPA ordered local regulators to send back to the drawing board U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works. Why? Because it lacked key provisions expected to help it comply with air pollution regulations in place to protect public health.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit, aren’t we? Let’s take a step back and tell you all about what the heck a Title V permit is and why folks should care about them.

Title V of the Clean Air Act requires Major Sources of air pollution to obtain operating permits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a state or local agency that EPA has authorized to issue these permits. 

Major Sources in Allegheny County are permitted by the Allegheny County Health Department; those in surrounding counties are permitted by the DEP.

A Major Source is defined as one that has the potential to emit at least 100 tons per year of any air pollutant, 10 tons per year of any single hazardous air pollutant, or 25 tons per year of any combination of hazardous air pollutants.


A Title V Operating Permit includes all emissions limits and standards to which a source is subject, as well as all operating, monitoring and reporting requirements that apply at the time of a permit’s issuance. 

By including all requirements in one document, these permits help source operators comply with those regulations. They also help regulators and members of the public enforce them – all with the ultimate goal of reducing air pollution.

​Members of the public are also able to weigh in before these permits are finalized: Draft Title V operating permits are subject to a public comment period, allowing residents and others to address deficiencies, concerns, and other issues. Public comment periods are also required when major changes are made to a Title V operating permit.

Now that you know what Title V permits are and how you can use them to educate yourself about the major sources of pollution in your community, head on over to our interactive map of major sources of air pollution in Allegheny County and 11 surrounding counties.

Just click on the facility you wanna know more about to access its permit and other supporting documents. Our database also includes helpful links to resources from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

So, stop by, get your learn on, and let us know if you have any questions about our newly streamlined clearinghouse. Just hit us up at Happy reading!

bottom of page