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Environment & Energy

Air Dash Educates Pittsburghers on Air Pollution

The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) thinks the best way to celebrate Pittsburgh’s air is by “gasping” for it after a 5K.

GASP will be hosting its first-ever Clean Air Dash and Festival Saturday.

The Air Dash - a certified 5K - will take runners through the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in South Side Riverfront Park.

Rachel Filippini, Executive Director of GASP, said the goal is to celebrate Pittsburgh’s progress towards reducing air pollution and re-energize people to continue working towards cleaner air.

She said the air quality has improved significantly in the last several decades, but Pittsburgh still has a way to go.

“We continue to rank poorly and if we really want to be called ‘The Most Livable City,’ then we have to improve our air quality as well,” Filippini said. “And so this event is about challenging all of us: the individual businesses, companies, government leaders to do all they can to continue to press for clean air.”

According to Filippini, the event feature different organizations working to improve air quality.

“So you don’t have to feel that you’re alone; there are a lot of organizations working to do it, and they’re doing it in all different ways: education, legislation, advocacy, there are all kind of different strategies to work on it,” Filippini said.

One of those organizations is Carnegie Mellon University, which will be debuting the Community Health: Air Pollution in Pittsburgh (CHAPP) mobile laboratory.

“There will be air pollution experts from CMU that will be able to talk to anybody that comes on out, and they can learn more about the air quality right there,” Filippini said. “It’s really about gathering lots of data sources and being able to present data quickly to the audience that will be there.”

She said there will also be a one-mile fun run/walk for those who do not want to take part in the 5K.

The festival will have a climbing wall, yoga demonstrations, food trucks and pumpkin painting.