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This article was originally posted in ArtVoice on January 3rd, 2013

The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York is initiating a grassroots effort for citizen action in the fight against air pollution that will ultimately involve private citizens doing air monitoring. The CAC program is being funded through a $25,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The program is called “Gearing Up for Action,” and will help interested individuals to identify air quality issues in their neighborhood, think critically about the issues, and develop and implement plans to protect themselves and their neighbors from air pollution ill effects. Training sessions in connection with the program will be held beginning January 15, 5:30-7:30pm, at Primera Iglesia Unida Metodista (62 Virginia Street), and thereafter once a month through June. For further information on the training sessions, contact Natasha at 852-3813 or Natasha@cacwny.org.

The training will also include instruction on the use of compact mobile air monitoring devices which will be provided to some of the participants in the program. The portable devices will be used to collect fine particle samples during day-long monitoring periods.

A “white paper” promulgated by Governor Andrew Cuomo some months ago downplayed air quality ill effects from Peace Bridge truck traffic. Several UB scientists—including Dr. Joe Gardella and Dr. Bill Scheider—responded with comments as to the dearth of recent scientific data to support the white paper assertions.

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