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Mobile Air Monitoring Releases in New York

New York recently announced the launch of its historic statewide air quality and greenhouse gas mobile monitoring initiative, which is deploying in the first four of ten disadvantaged communities, which are home to approximately five million New Yorkers, or 25 per cent of the State’s population, who live in polluted areas. The initiative makes use of tried-and-true mobile mapping technology and professional analytics.

As someone who grew up in the shadow of a steel plant that contributed to orange skies and a polluted Lake Erie, I know firsthand the urgency of our fight against air pollution and climate change. By launching this historic statewide air quality and greenhouse gas monitoring initiative we will develop strategies to address air quality issues in New York’s most vulnerable communities while contributing to the state’s nation-leading climate goals.

– Kathy Hochul, Governor, New York

The largest project New York State has ever undertaken is to map hyperlocal air pollution and greenhouse gases statewide at the community level in collaboration with community-based organisations.

This project will have a big impact on people all over New York State, especially in the black and brown communities, which have historically been overburdened by pollution. Air monitoring will give New York State data to help drive solutions to reduce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants and will improve public health in the long run.

The mobile monitoring fleet will gather hyperlocal data to inform plans for enacting New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which sets national standards for reducing greenhouse gases and other dangerous air pollutants to protect public health.

As New York continues to pave the way toward a greener future to make the state healthier and cleaner, they are also redressing decades-long environmental injustices that have disproportionately affected underprivileged areas.

The ten communities chosen for monitoring are Buffalo/Niagara Falls, Capital Region, Bronx, Manhattan, Rochester, Syracuse, Mount Vernon/Yonkers, Brooklyn, Queens, and Hempstead. Each area’s monitoring boundaries were established based on community feedback and the most recent knowledge of the sources of pollution.

The most aggressive clean energy and climate effort in the country, New York State’s climate plan calls for an orderly and just transition to sustainable energy that produces jobs and keeps supporting a green economy as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York is on track to fulfil its legislated goals of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality. These goals were codified into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

It expands on New York’s historic investments in clean energy, including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for initiatives to promote clean transportation and more than $1.6 billion in commitments to the NY Green Bank.

Together, these investments will support over 158,000 employees in the clean energy sector in New York in 2020, a 2,100 per cent increase in distributed solar market size since 2011, and a commitment to build 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035.

In accordance with the Climate Act, New York will build on this development and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 85 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050. Additionally, the state will make progress toward its 2025 goal of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings, while ensuring that at least 35 per cent and ideally 40 per cent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to underserved communities.

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