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August 05, 2019

Clean Air Council is a Philly nonprofit promoting environmental health

The environmental advocacy organization predates the Environmental Protection Agency

Nonprofits Environment
Clean air council nonprofit Photo courtesy/Clean Air Council

The Clean Air Council assessing Tacony Creek.

Whether you’re concerned about the frequent unsafe air quality warnings or the increasing evidence of climate change causing our planet to grow increasingly HOT, environmental health is probably on your radar.

These issues and so many more have been on the radar of the Clean Air Council, a Philadelphia-based environmental advocacy nonprofit, for more than 50 years. 

Here’s what you should know about the organization working on the region’s most pressing issues since before the Environmental Protection Agency was even founded.

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Mission: Since its founding in 1967, the Clean Air Council has served to protect and fight for the right to a healthy environment via community organizing, public and policymaker education, advocacy and litigation.

Climate change is the highest priority issue for the organization, for which the organization’s two main programs – sustainable transportation and sustainable energy – are dedicated.

Impact: Joseph Otis Minott, executive director and chief counsel of the Clean Air Council, explains to PhillyVoice that “the Council was instrumental in bringing the first wind farms to Pennsylvania. The Council started Solarize Philly that is now run by the City which works with neighborhoods to buy solar panels in bulk. Thereby substantially decreasing the cost.”

“A top priority for the Council is working with low-income neighborhoods – mostly urban ones –to help them assess the environmental threats they are facing, provide them with easy to use air monitors, and help them to envision what they want their neighborhood to look like,” Minott explains.

How to get involved: The Council hosts two annual events, the Run for Clean Air and Greenfest Philly, to support its mission and educate the public. Greenfest, home to live demonstrations, shopping and kid-friendly activities, is taking place soon, on September 8 at Bainbridge Green and is free to attend. 

Additionally, the Council aims to reduce pollution via transportation by promoting alternatives to single-occupant vehicle travel with “clean commuting” incentives, including pedestrian and cyclist advocacy, pre-tax public transit and more.

Learn more about the Clean Air Council’s programs and efforts here.

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