We imagine that by now you’ve probably received about 147 emails from local organizations asking for your support this Giving Tuesday – we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so the need has probably never been higher.
GASP is taking this opportunity to add its voice to the chorus of folks seeking your help today. Our pitch is simple: We are asking those participating in Giving Tuesday to consider making a one-time or recurring donation to the Group Against Smog and Pollution. Supporters like you help fuel our air quality watchdog work, education initiatives, and progressive policy activism.
Why? Because the ugly truth is sometimes our beautiful hometown really stinks.
Yes, our local air quality has improved since Pittsburgh’s “hell with its lid off” days but air pollution (especially from industry sources) is still a pervasive regional problem – one that GASP has the expertise and experience to help solve.
While we would usually try to make an emotional appeal at this point, we really don’t need to. When it comes to air pollution, its local impact, and how GASP can help, the numbers speak for themselves:
23 – The number of times so far this year that the 24-hour concentration of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) at the Allegheny County Health Department’s Liberty monitor exceeded the state standard. Hydrogen sulfide has a strong rotten egg odor that you may be all too familiar with.
22.5 – The percentage of elementary school children in environmental justice communities like Clairton and Braddock that have asthma (that’s more than three times the national average).
18 – The average number of months it takes for the health department to promulgate a new air quality regulation (example: episodic weather regulations that would force industrial polluters to dial down production when poor air dispersion is expected to exacerbate air pollution and cause a public health hazard).
2 – The number of full-time attorneys GASP has on staff full-time to lead our watchdog work, ensure permits are as strong as possible and help analyze air quality data and communicate it in a way that people can understand.
4 – The number of ACHD Air Quality Program committees that GASP staff serves on – the Pollution Prevention and Education, Criteria Pollutant, and Regulation subcommittees. It’s our job to be in the know on air quality issues, and we take that job seriously: Serving on these subcommittees, as well as the Air Pollution Control Advisory committee, allows us to do more than keep up with the latest on things like permits and regulations, it also gives us a seat at the decision-making table.
148 – The number of blogs we’ve published so far this year to keep you informed and up-to-date about all things air quality.
1,065 — The number of people we’ve educated (virtually and in-person) this year through webinars, college classroom presentations, and through the lending out of our air quality educational kits that were created using funds from the Allegheny County Clean Air Fund and the PA Department of Environmental Protection.
12 — The number of comments GASP staff have delivered this year on draft permits, State Implementation Plans, RACT determinations, etc. to a variety of local, state, and federal regulatory agencies.
We hope those numbers add up to just one simple decision: To get your credit card or checkbook out and make a donation to your friends here at GASP today. You can make a donation through our website, by sending a check to 1133 S Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218 or by phone (just email our office manager Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number and the best time to contact you).
Yours for Clean Air,
Rachel Filippini, executive director