Air Patrol: City agency is on the front lines of the fight for clean air

photo courtesy of Flickr user techfunIf there’s a strange odor on your block, unidentified smoke billowing out of an industrial area, or a diesel truck idling for hours and filling the air with exhaust, who are you going to call? The city’s Air Management Services, that’s who. As the enforcers of city, state and federal air quality criteria, they will send a representative to inspect the situation and respond accordingly. Calls are confidential.

Part of the City of Philadelphia’s Public Health Department, this department defends our right to clean air. They tackle this mighty feat via a number of avenues, including the air and noise concern hotline (215-685-7580), an air monitoring lab that tests air samples for toxins and a system for handling applications and permits that business must obtain before installing any equipment that creates pollution.  

There are many technical regulations, codes and bureaucratic guidelines in place to keep our city’s air clean, and there’s always someone trying to skirt the rules. As individuals, it can sometimes feel like there’s no recourse against polluters. But you can breathe a little easier knowing the Air Management Services Department is on the case, ready to respond and regulate.

To find out more, visit: phila.gov/health/airmanagement

Story by Emily Kovach.