ALBANY (WENY) – Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a “historic, new effort” to monitor air quality in disadvantaged communities across New York State, making it the first of its kind in the United States.
As part of the new plan, the state will conduct hyperlocal air quality assessments in communities historically overburdened by pollution. It will then use that data to develop strategies for reducing the pollution in those areas.
“Our most economically disadvantaged communities have also been hit the hardest by the harmful effects of pollution and climate change,” Gov. Hochul said. “With this new initiative, we are deploying the latest state-of-the-art technology to examine the air quality in communities across New York State, and working with experts to determine the best solutions to reduce pollution to correct this injustice that has overburdened vulnerable parts of our state for far too long.”
Overseeing the project will be the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The DEC will additionally award community air monitoring capacity-building grants to environmental justice organizations to ensure local input and participation.
Hochul said the initiative will help New York achieve its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s goal of reducing greenhouse emissions by 85% by 2050.