June-July 2023 Monthly Email Udates

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October – November 2022 Updates from Clean Air

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We hope you have lots of summer plans lined up!

If you are in town on Thursday July 20, our next General Meeting will be here at our office at Trinity Church (371 Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo.)
Please register to help us plan by clicking here.

With Bread and Roses,

Bridge, Chris, and Phil

Wildfire Smoke

As long as the fires in Quebec continue to burn, wildfire smoke will continue to be an ongoing hazard. We wrote a couple short blog posts this month about the basics of understanding the Air Quality Index, and about some practical steps we can all take to reduce our exposure. Our next Emergency Preparedness and Mutual Aid training in September will also focus on shelter in place events.

The health effects of wildfire smoke should not be underestimated – in NYC, asthma emergencies spiked sharply. Despite the danger, media personalities on the right are already downplaying the risk, in no small part due to the financial impact that reining in PM 2.5 pollutants will have on industries that harm our communities.

Summer Canvassing

We will be canvassing in our campaign areas over the next few months to catch up with residents about their concerns and recruit new members.

If you are interested in signing up for a shift or two, either contact campaign staff, or sign up for the Tonawanda-area canvasses using this form: 


End of Session Summary

As Albany wraps up it’s 2022-2023 session, we celebrate the successful passage of the Build Public Renewables Act and the All-Electric Buildings Act as well as progress on the Climate Action Fund earlier this year. While the NY HEAT Act, the Climate Superfund Act, and the Just Energy Transition Act all passed the Senate, these bills unfortunately stalled in the Assembly and will need to be again on the top of statewide policy goals in the next session. Read more from City Limits here.

We also are celebrating the passage of the Make New York A Safe Haven for Transgender Youth & Families act! This was one of the bills that we spotlighted with the Pride Parade Justice Bloc.

Huntley Eminent Domain Moving Forward

We were happy to see the news this month that a panel of Justices of the NYS Appellate Division dismissed a petition filed by NRG, which sought to prevent the Town of Tonawanda from seizing the former Huntley property through eminent domain.

NRG has been dragging it’s feet in moving forward not only with the clean up and redevelopment of the facility, but also of the clean up of the coal ash ponds adjacent to the hulking structure.

We are hopeful that our ongoing conversations and advocacy efforts with the Town of Tonawanda will ensure that the visons of the Tonawanda Tomorrow Plan will be implemented – join our Tonawanda Tomorrow Team to help us fight for equitable redevelopment, and join our River Road Watchdogs team to help us push NRG to take action to clean up the ash ponds!

Updates to Coal Ash Regulations and Power Plant Pollution Standards

And, speaking of the coal ash ponds at Huntley, the Environmental Protection Agency is currently considering updates to strengthen nationwide regulations on coal ash ponds at legacy facilities. You can read more about these proposed changes from EarthJustice’s press release and at Grist.org, which published some fantastic in-depth reporting on this topic. We strongly encourage sending a letter to the EPA encouraging robust regulations using EarthJustice’s one click tool. Comments are due July 17. 

The EPA is also finalizing rules around carbon pollution standards at power plants still in operation – click here to send a letter to the EPA using another one click tool from EarthJustice. Comments are due August 8.

Clean Air Joins Joint Call to Open Digihost’s Air Permit Application to Public Comment

Clean Air joined residents from North Tonawanda, advocates from statewide groups, and Assemblymember Kelles earlier this month to call on Governor Hochul and the NYS DEC to move the Title V Air Permit application for the Digihost cryptocurrency gas peaker plant forward to public comment. It’s now been over two years since the Digihost/Fortistar power plant submitted its application for an air permit renewal. Read more from the press release and the coverage in the Buffalo News.

Also of note, the New York Times recently covered a story about how noise exposure is actually far worse for public health than previously known, and about links to cardiovascular issues caused by chronic high noise. Cryptocurrency generation often relies on large cooling fans, which can cause enormous amounts of sound pollution – North Tonawanda residents near Digihost compare the sound to living next to a jet engine.

Rest in Power, Shirley Hamilton! Justin Driscoll Denied Promotion to Permanent Head of NYPA

Clean Air supported calls earlier this month from our colleagues in the Public Power New York coalition to oppose the permanent nomination of Justin Driscoll to head the New York Power Authority.

Driscoll very vocally opposed the Build Public Renewables Act, and, as the late great Shirley Hamilton shared with the Buffalo News shortly before her passing, he also played a role in marginalizing discrimination complaints during his nine years at the authority. We are happy to report that earlier this month the state senate declined to bring a full floor vote on Driscoll’s permanent nomination, but he will continue on as acting interim head so long as Governor Hochul does not nominate a new interim.

June Events

Buffalo Pride Parade

We hope you enjoy these photos from all the events this month!

Buffalo Pride Parade

Community Disaster Resilience Zone Act of 2022

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is looking for public recommendations and comments on the implementation of the Community Disaster Resilience Zone Act of 2022. This act will incorporate FEMA’s National Risk Index in the process of designating community disaster zones. These zones will represent areas that could contain the highest risk to natural hazards and also have a lower ability to be resilient to these identified risks.

FEMA is requesting public input for data used in the National Risk Index, the application of risk assessment tools to reduce natural hazard impacts, the process of identifying community disaster zones, and recommendations for incorporating equity and geographic balance when designating these zones.

To learn more about the Community Disaster Resilience Zone Act and to submit comments for your community, visit Regulations.gov. Comments can also be submitted by emailing FEMA-CDRZ-RFI@fema.dhs.gov. Submit comments by July 25, 2023.

Shut Down Line 5

Line 5 is a 70 year old oil pipeline owned by Enbridge that runs through the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Environmental justice advocates from the region are asking for supporters to send a letter to President Biden to push him to shut down this pipeline before a catastrophic spill occurs.

Report a Polluter

See dark smoke or dust rising from an industrial site, or smell something foul?

Visit dec.ny.gov/regulations/67751.html to file a report, or, for rapid response, call 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267) or the DEC Spill Hotline/Odor Hotline at 1-800-457-7362.

If you’d like CACWNY to support you, send us a copy of your report!

Mutual Aid

Do you need a N95 mask? We have a limited supply available at the office for our members – send us a quick email and we’ll send a few your way! We encourage wearing masks at our in-person events, particularly during seasons of peak COVID transmission.

Be sure to check out the Buffalo Mutual Aid Network Facebook group, where mutual aid services and calls for donations and donations are being posted on an ongoing basis. You can also click here to join the Buffalo Snow Brigade. We also suggest checking out the resources at mutualaiddisasterrelief.org as well as their new website relieftoolkit.com.

If interested in joining mutual aid efforts with Clean Air, particularly in the realm of community resiliency amid climate change,
please reach out to Bridge.

Monthly Staff Recs

We recommend everyone watch these short videos on how to build a DIY air filter!

1 filter – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnIvLBe6xUE

2 filters – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSSuPi-i4Nc

4 filters – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw7fUMhNov8

Interested in joining our Tonawanda Tomorrow or River Road campaigns, Proof of Work campaign, or supporting NYRenews/climate justice?

Interested in joining our Peabody Street, TESLA campaigns, Energy Democracy Alliance, or other Just Transition campaign work?

Interested in joining our
American Axle campaign?

Interested in joining our events committee, mutual aid team, or want to connect with CACWNY about an emerging campaign or issue?


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