New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of a statewide air quality and greenhouse gas mobile monitoring initiative, which is first being deployed in communities overburdened by environmental pollution.

According to state officials, the air monitoring initiative will deliver data that drives solutions to reduce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants and in the long run, improve public health. The effort to map hyperlocal air pollution and greenhouse gases statewide at the community level is the largest ever undertaken by New York State.

“As New York continues to forge a greener path ahead to make our state cleaner and healthier, we are also correcting decades of environmental injustices that have overburdened disadvantaged communities for far too long,” Gov. Hochul said in a statement. “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.”

The initiative utilizes mobile mapping technology and professional analytics from Aclima, and it will run exclusively on Google Cloud.

Monitoring is underway in the Bronx, Buffalo/Niagara Falls, the Capital Region, and Manhattan. State officials expect monitoring to start this fall in Rochester, Syracuse, Mount Vernon/Yonkers, Brooklyn, Queens, and Hempstead.

“This project will have a significant impact on residents across New York State, particularly in our black and brown communities historically overburdened by pollution, said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado.

The initiative is supported by an estimated $3 million in state grants – $1 million from the Community Air Monitoring Capacity Building Grants, and $2 million in new funding to support community-led air monitoring to complement the state’s efforts.

In addition, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is partnering with community-based organizations and local officials in each area to evaluate the data obtained and identify and implement solutions to reduce harmful emissions.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.