WAMC News, North Country News
2:01 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Proposed Air Monitoring Cuts Cause Concern

A proposed change in how the state monitors air quality is raising some concern from environmental and health advocacy groups.

New York has air monitoring stations located across the state collecting data on air contaminants.  In the latest Environmental Notice Bulletin, the New York State DEC is proposing closing some of the sites and reducing monitoring at other locations. Some groups are concerned that the loss of the data would have negative implications for human health, eco-system sustainability and regulations to keep pollution in check. Adirondack Council Spokesman John Sheehan says the DEC is talking about getting rid of machines that cost only a few thousand dollars each and last at least a decade.

American Lung Association of the Northeast Vice President for Public Policy and Communications Michael Seilback was disheartened to see the proposed changes.

Adirondack Mountain Club Executive Director Neil Woodworth says air monitoring stations are key to air policy and Clean Air Act enforcement.

A DEC representative was unavailable for comment in time for this broadcast.  In an e-mail to WAMC, the DEC  notes that they “...conducted an extensive analysis of all acid deposition monitoring performed in the state to “right size” the ..... network...... This analysis indicated that ....monitoring sites ....  could be closed while still providing adequate monitoring capabilities through nearby National Atmospheric Deposition Program monitors. The benefits are realized in the continued ..... protection of public health and the environment.”  
The DEC is taking public comments on the plan for changes in air monitoring through  June 22nd.