Dear Fellow Breather,
As we welcome in warmer temperatures, we also dread an increase in high ozone pollution days, because summer weather is more favorable to ozone formation. Ozone is created by reactions of emissions from vehicle exhaust, industrial facilities, gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, and natural sources, in the presence of sunlight.
In 2015, Allegheny County had nine air quality action days driven by high ozone readings—days when sensitive groups such as those who have asthma, children, older adults, and people who are active outdoors are at greater risk to experience negative health effects. In fact, for two-thirds of last year our region’s air quality was below what EPA considers to be satisfactory. Your support of GASP will help reduce this air pollution in our region.
Currently GASP is working to combat methane air pollution generated by oil and gas development. Methane contributes to global ozone formation and is a very potent greenhouse gas. We support Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to reduce emissions of this pollutant in a very cost-effective manner by stopping leaks at compressor stations, along pipelines, and more. Pennsylvania stands to be a national leader on this issue. We now need the DEP to follow through on this proposal and put strong regulations to protect air quality into place soon. We are working to educate citizens about this issue and, in coalition with other groups, to keep the pressure on Pennsylvania and federal decision-makers.
Your support is imperative to our ability to work on this and many more issues. Please read these testimonials from several members and volunteers about some of our other projects and why GASP is important to them.
My wife Audrey and I have supported GASP since 1969 when it first began. This small but mighty group has worked diligently over the years to clean our Pittsburgh air. But we still have insidious air pollution here—tiny particles that can permeate a facemask and delve deep into our lungs. The hardest part is convincing people that air pollution is harmful even though we don’t see it. Our sky and views are so clear that it is hard to believe we still need to fight for clean and safe air. GASP is the champion of this important cause. We have been impressed throughout the years with GASP’s persistence and their tenacious efforts to safeguard the air we breathe. We applaud their hard work and hope someday they will not be needed. Until the fight for clean air is over, we encourage all to contribute and support this very worthwhile group.
I support GASP because over my lifetime living in Pittsburgh, I have seen the difference GASP’s work has made to our local air quality. If it weren’t for GASP’s 47 years of hard work, I might have left “The Smoky City” for a healthier place to raise my family. GASP’s efforts to reduce air pollution in southwestern Pennsylvania have directly benefited me, my family and friends, and the community. As a parent of two children who ride school buses twice a day, I especially appreciate GASP’s school bus anti-idling campaign and their School Flag program. With your help, GASP can continue to improve our environment and educate our children about air quality issues for generations to come.
I’m attempting to live a healthy lifestyle in the city, so air quality and related information is of the utmost importance to me. When I heard about all the work GASP does in the community, I knew I had to get involved. I have gained lots of insight about Pittsburgh air quality by taking air quality samples with a monitor on my bicycle. I am able to see air quality readings from the locations I just visited, which really conceptualizes and legitimizes air pollution concerns. Collecting this data, and thinking about the positive repercussions it will have when shared with the community, excites me to continue working with GASP.
Combating methane pollution, reducing bus idling, and monitoring air pollution with bicycles is just the beginning. We scrutinize facilities’ air quality permits, host nationally-recognized experts on air pollution and health, wage lawsuits against companies that repeatedly violate air pollution regulations, teach air quality lessons in after-school programs, and so much more. Click around this web site to learn more and see how you can get involved.
Rachel Filippini Executive Director