We report the first daily observations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from copper smelters by a satellite-borne sensor - the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's EOS/Aura spacecraft. Emissions from two Peruvian smelters (La Oroya and Ilo) were detected in up to 80% of OMI overpasses between September 2004 and June 2005. SO2 production by each smelter in this period is assessed and compared with contemporaneous emissions from active volcanoes in Ecuador and southern Colombia. Annual SO2 discharge from the Ilo smelter, La Oroya smelter, and volcanoes in 2004–2005 is estimated and amounts to 0.3-0.1 +0.2, 0.07 ± 0.03, and 1.2 ± 0.5 Tg, respectively. This study confirms OMI's potential as an effective tool for evaluation of anthropogenic and natural SO2 emissions. Smelter plumes transport an array of toxic metals in addition to SO2 and continued monitoring to mitigate health and environmental impacts is recommended.