October 29th, 2014
By: Mollie Simon
For those affected by wood smoke pollution, the Clean Air Council’s I See Smoke program has rolled out a new tool that makes reporting violations and taking action easy. The new I See Smoke map allows users to find their location and share information and photos of the smoke pollution in their neighborhood.
By using the app, community members fill out information about the pollution they see. That information then gets passed on to the Clean Air Council, the PA Department of Environmental Protection, and all appropriate county health agencies. This streamlines the reporting process and makes sure that all violations are being reported to the agencies that oversee air quality enforcement.
“As someone who has managed asthma since childhood, I am often afflicted by smoke pollution from open burning in Allegheny County,” said Don Van Kirk of Franklin Park. “It burns your eyes, stings your lungs and is more than just a nuisance, it is debilitating. This is a great tool to report violations”
Wood smoke pollution can be extremely harmful for those who live nearby. The burning of biomass, such as wood, results in high levels of soot, particulate matter, and carcinogenic material being released with comparatively little energy produced. Everyone’s health can be impacted but especially children with their developing lungs and the elderly.