With half of East River Park’s once verdant space now a barren construction zone, the vegetation— that formerly filtered emissions from the FDR Drive, the Williamsburg Bridge and Con Edison — is gone. How will the quality of the air be affected as a result? And what can we do about it?
We’re wondering as well, so LES Breathe placed air quality sensors in the community to measure breathable particles (PM2.5), heat and humidity. Check the current readings at Purpleair.com (or use this shortcut bit.ly/pa-les). See how to understand the results at eastriverparkaction.org/sensors.
We’re often asked how Con Edison’s power plant impacts our air quality, since it is powered by fossil fuels. Here’s a response, with a powerful action you can take today to help improve our air, our climate and our common future.
A peer-reviewed study in Environmental Research (April 2021), concluded that air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for nearly one in every five deaths worldwide. The eastern United States is one of the areas significantly impacted by mortalities from PM 2.5 exposure. This effect on human health, especially on children, goes hand in hand with the greatest threat – catastrophic climate change, which is a direct result of the burning of fossil fuels. This combustion fills our fragile atmosphere with ever increasing amounts of greenhouse gases that cause our cities, the oceans and polar regions to overheat.
So here’s what we can do right here in New York State:
Take a minute today to support a meaningful step that the Governor, along with leaders of the New York State Senate and the Assembly, can take as they negotiate the State’s budget for this year. Take this action today!
Please call Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins at 518-455-2585, and Speaker Carl Heastie at 518-455-3791. Tell them to include these two bills in the NYS budget for this year – call by next Friday, March 25, before budgeting concludes :
1. S6453, the Build Public Renewables Act, which would give the publicly-owned NYPA (New York Power Authority) the ability to own and build new renewable energy sources, and to provide 100% renewable energy to all state and municipal properties and transportation by 2025.
2. S6843B, the All Electric Building Act, to ensure that no permits can be issued to new buildings unless all their energy is supplied from electricity, effective January 1, 2024 (with some consideration for special circumstances).
These bills are the first steps in wresting control of our energy from the investor-owned monopoly utilities (Con Edison, for us) and toward a just transition toward jobs in a cleaner energy future for workers in the fossil fuel industry. There’s a larger plan: please take a look at https://www.publicpowerny.org/
Take people power seriously, and help make our dependence on fossil fuels history!