air pollution

EPA says clean power plan will protect public health

Aug 12, 2015
Kate O'Connell / WXXI File Photo

New carbon standards in the Clean Power Plan announced earlier this month by the Obama administration are also intended to improve your health. The goal of the new rules and regulations is to reduce the 7,500 deaths per year linked to particle pollution from power plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency calls climate change a threat to human health.Judith Enck, EPA administrator for the region that includes New York state, says the new standards will make the air easier to breathe for people with repertory illnesses, like the 25 million Americans who live with asthma.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced this week that he is leaving that position, just two days after he issued the final environmental impact statement banning hydrofracking in the state.  The final report on fracking is a signal for others to move on as well. Anti-fracking groups say they are using New York’s stance to help convince other states -- and even countries -- to also ban the gas drilling process.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to reduce carbon pollution nationwide means a goal of reducing carbon emissions in New York state by more than 40 percent. Judith Enck, the area's EPA regional administrator, was in Syracuse to discuss how the plan will allow the nation to keep producing energy, while reducing pollution. Enck says the regulation, which is scheduled to start in 2020, isn't just about protecting the environment from air pollution.


A new White House climate report paints a dire picture for New York if something drastic isn't done to address climate change, and the Obama administration is preparing to act without Congress.

The Third National Climate Assessment predicts dramatic changes in coastal states like New York. But the state’s junior Democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, says upstate residents and businesses are at risk too.

Dale M Moore / Flickr

New York state received mixed grades in the annual American Lung Association report card.  But the advocacy group says more can be done to help people quit the smoking habit..

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in this country, in New York state that translates to about 25,000 people who die every year from smoking-related diseases. So while the state got good grades as far as smoke free air and the nations highest cigarette tax, it got failing grades when it comes to helping people quit.  

An environmental group says budget cuts at the state’s environmental agency has meant up to 75 percent fewer inspections of polluters like power plants and hazardous waste sites.

David Gahl, with Environmental Advocates, says years of budget cuts at the state Department of Environmental Conservation, known as the DEC, has led to a one-third reduction of staff, and an even greater decrease in the number of inspections of potential polluters.

“DEC is looking less and finding less,” Gahl said.

gsbrown99 via Flickr

The American Lung Association says there is some good news for those in this area who suffer from breathing problems. Many parts of New York state have seen improved air quality this year over last.