We know: It’s been a rough month when it comes to air quality.
We read your social media posts and SmellPGH reports, which detailed physical symptoms like itchy eyes, scratchy throats, and breathing difficulties. We were right there with you when lamented having to shutter windows and forgo outdoor activity on downright gorgeous fall days because of off-the-charts air pollution concentrations.
Now, we want to make sure the Allegheny County Board of Health understands just how much the abysmal air quality this past month has impacted you and your family - your health and your quality of life. We want to make sure the experience - the suffering - of those living and working in the Mon Valley (and those downwind of it) this month wasn’t in vain.
That’s why we are asking you to join us next week in letting the Board of Health know just how bad it was this month. GASP signed up to present public comment at the meeting slated for 12:30 p.m. Nov. 2 and we hope you’ll join us in speaking out and demanding better.
You - we - deserve better public communications during periods of expected unhealthy air quality and messaging. We deserve tweaks to the Mon Valley Air Pollution Episode Rule to make it more protective of public health and more accountable to the public.
And we need the Board of Health to demand better from its health department leaders when it comes to these crucial air quality issues.
The upcoming Board of Health meeting will be held in-person at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Gold Room of the Allegheny County Courthouse. For those who cannot attend in person, the meeting can be live-streamed on ACHD’s Facebook page (no account needed).
But the deadline to speak out is creeping up fast: Those who wish to send written comments to the board can do so using this form. These comments go directly to board members and will be summarized at the meeting. Use this form to register to speak at the meeting. The deadline to submit written comments or sign up to address the board in person is 12:30 p.m. Nov. 1 (24 hours in advance of the meeting).
Please note: Individuals who would like to request an accommodation to attend, or otherwise participate in the meeting, need to do so by 12:30 p.m. Friday (at least 72 hours in advance) here.
You can view the meeting agenda here.
Editor’s Note: Need a refresher about this most recent bout of bad air quality? Here’s what you need to know.