Nearly 45% of West Side households reported at least one case of chronic respiratory illness or asthma.
OPINION / COMMENTARY
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) continually measures levels of pollutants in the air. The Clean Air Coalition uses the data from these monitors to keep polluters in check, and ensure that emissions are kept within a legal range.
The two DEC air monitors in Tonawanda are located in the Brookside Terrance neighborhood and right next to the 290 off of Grand Island Boulevard. The monitors run 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. This raw data is then complied by DEC technical staff and reports are created for the public. Information from air monitors help community groups like us identify which polluters are the worst.
On Buffalo's West Side, The Coalition has been working with residents surrounding air quality issues. A study conducted by Dr. Lwebuga-Mukasa, found that nearly 45% of West Side households reported at least one case of chronic respiratory illness or asthma. There are many misconceptions as to why so many people have asthma, but no one is talking about the fact that 5 thousand trucks, and 20 thousand cars pass through the West Side everyday emitting tons of diesel exhaust that we know has 40 known toxic chemicals in it. Despite this, there are currently no air monitors on the West Side.
Due to budget cuts, DEC is completing their annual network review, which will be released in the spring of 2012. The network review may contain a proposal to shut down one or more monitoring sites at the end of the calendar year.
Tell the DEC we need to continue air monitoring in both Tonawanda locations, and start monitoring the air on Buffalo's West Side. Sign the petition now!