New York State leaders issue health advisory for air quality

App users tap to watch video report.

ALBANY, NY (WENY)–Wednesday Gov. Kathy Hochul said the air quality in New York State is an emergent and dangerous situation. 

And the bottom line is this–if you can stay indoors, stay indoors. This is detrimental to people’s health,” Hochul said. 

The Governor said air quality issues are expected to continue for the next few days. 

Wednesday afternoon, the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Department of Health issued an air quality health advisory for New Yorkers across the state. 

“Right now, across the state, it’s pretty significant if you look at how much the air quality index has accelerated across the entire state,” said James McDonald, New York State Department of Health Commissioner. 

McDonald recommends New Yorkers wear a mask when outdoors. 

“If you have to go outside a mask is a way to protect you. Keep in mind, what a mask does is it really filters the air you breathe,” McDonald said. 

Some environmental advocates are also pushing for legislation called the Climate Change Superfund Act that would establish a climate change adaption recovery program. 

The program would require companies that have contributed to the build up of climate-warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to bear a share of infrastructure investment costs to adapt to climate change. 

“What are we gonna do? I mean that’s really the question for lawmakers. Are they gonna just work on what they usually work on and pretend nothing’s happening? All they have to do is look out the window and they know something bad is happening,” said Blair Horner, Executive Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Some advocates are also pushing for a bill that would ban the use of certain substances and materials from packaging and establish non-reusable reduction requirements. 

The American Chemistry Council stated in an email to WENY News the Extender Producer Responsibility (EPR) program in this legislation that works to keep used plastics and other materials out of the environment doesn’t go far enough.

“We support a well-crafted EPR that works to keep used plastics and other materials out of the environment and in a circular economy. But this 11th-hour proposal is far from a well-crafted EPR and lacks the thorough legislative process needed to advance a proposal that will impact New Yorkers for years to come,” wrote Margaret Gorman, Senior Director, Northeast Region of the American Chemistry Council.

These bills are a few of hundreds of bills that could pass in the last few days of session which is expected to end Thursday June 8.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.