February/March Monthly Updates – Our Annual Meeting is Tomorrow, Tuesday February 27!

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October – November 2022 Updates from Clean Air

Annual Meeting Tomorrow!

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We’re looking forward to seeing you at our Annual Meeting tomorrow Tuesday February 27 from 6-8pm!
If you are joining us online, our program starts at 6:30pm.
For in-person participants, food will be served at 6pm.
Haven’t registered yet? Click here!

With Bread and Roses,

Bridge, Chris, Cindy, and Gia

Full CPR Training – Free for Members and Supporters

As part of our 2024 

Mutual Aid and Emergency Preparedness Training Series, we will be co-hosting a full CPR training class on Saturday April 13 from 9:30am-2:30pm.

This class will be free for Clean Air members and supporters, but is capped at 8 people. You can renew your membership or support by making a donation today.

If you would like to register, please email Bridge.

Lunch will be provided and accommodations such as childcare or interpretation services will be provided if requested with registration.

Save the Date!
Our Annual Dinner Returns May 22

We’re thrilled to share that we will be holding our Annual Dinner this year on  Wednesday May 22!

This will be the first Annual Dinner since 2019, 5 years ago, and will not be a night to miss.

Please set aside the evening, and stay tuned for more details, which we will begin sharing this month on our social media and in our upcoming emails.

New Board Candidates and Spring Intern

At our annual meeting tomorrow, we will be voting on two candidates for the board – Bryan Shepard, CWA Local 1122 Steward & Human Rights Committee member and Central Office Technician for Verizon, and Xavier Eddy, Organizer with 1199SEIU.

Meet them tomorrow at our annual meeting!

We are also joined this spring by Clover Kagle, an undergraduate at the University at Buffalo studying chemistry. They will be focusing on supporting our Breathing Free project.

Local Democracy Training March 18 on Suburban Governance

Earlier this month the Town of Tonawanda posted the revised version of the zoning code that will be brought to official public comment and for a hearing later this spring. We are currently analyzing the changes that were made, particularly focusing on what revisions were made based on the comments we and Smart Growth America submitted.

To prepare for the official comment period and the public hearing, our Tonawanda Tomorrow Team is hosting a basic training on local democracy in suburban governments on Monday March 18 from 7-8:30pm. Please click here to register.

Prevent Lead Poisoning in the City of Buffalo

Clean Air is one of 39 organizations who are calling on the City of Buffalo to Follow Proactive Rental Inspections (PRI) Law to prevent lead poisoning. We joined our peers earlier this month for a press conference to highlight this issue – check out the press release from the Partnership for Public Good to learn more. The Attorney General is currently in court with a network of rental companies that owns more than 200 properties in the City of Buffalo, 25 of which are known to have dangerous levels of lead.

In related news, Jay Tokasz wrote an excellent story in the Buffalo News this month about how Newark NJ tackled their lead pipe problem, replacing 23,000 lead lines in less than three years! This month’s NYS DEC East Side Environmental Forum will also focus on this topic – scroll down to learn more.

NYS DEC East Side Environmental Forum
March 13 – Get Water Wise

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation will be hosting an East Side Environmental Forum on Wednesday March 13 at 5:30 at the Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library at 1324 Jefferson Avenue- the topic will be the “Get Water Wise” program which working to replace lead service lines.

Please contact Kayla Baker for more information, including about how to join online, at kayla.baker@dec.ny.gov or

NY Renews Albany Rally March 20 – Free Day Trip!

Join us on Wednesday March 20 for NY Renews’ Mass Mobilization for Climate, Jobs and Justice! There will be a free bus to and from Buffalo, and meals will be provided throughout the day.

Come meet with environmental and climate justice advocates from across the region and across the state, and make our demand for a just transition heard!
Click here to register.

NY HEAT ACT – Call the Majority Leader Today

One of the bills in the Climate, Jobs and Justice legislative package is the NY HEAT ACT – under current law, gas ratepayers are forced to subsidize new service lines, which is causing significant increases to consumer’s bills as well as undermining our statewide greenhouse gas reduction aims. The NY Heat Act would not only end this requirement, but also create a roadmap for a managed phase down of our gas system which will retain union jobs and reduce consumer costs.

However, the fossil fuel industry is currently bombarding Majority Leader Crystal Peoples Stokes with phone calls. When you have a moment today, please call and leave a message voicing your support for keeping the NY HEAT Act in the state budget
her local office’s number is 716-897-9714.

Stand with USPS Union Workers – Save the William Street Mail Processing Center

We need to retain the William Street US Postal Service mail processing center. Supporters are asked to attend the public hearing on Tuesday February 27 from 6-8pm in Cheektowaga. This is unfortunately also when our Annual Meeting is being held – if you plan to join us, please be sure to fill out this survey voicing your support for retaining the mail processing center!

Unions Rally for Prevailing Wages at Taxpayer-subsidized Brownfield Projects

Members of the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council rallied last week at the Wood & Brooks construction site on Kenmore Ave in Tonawanda

to bring attention to a loophole in statewide prevailing wage laws. The law currently includes exemptions for projects that receive historic tax credits or brownfield tax credits.

In related news, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance also recently shared the findings of a report on return on investment for these and other tax credit programs, and found that the Brownfield Program is currently returning only 11 cents per dollar spent, although the report also notes that researchers did not study other positive impacts like community environmental and public health or even the economics of reactivating these vacant parcels.

The NYS brownfield tax credit program is in need of reform, not only to address the prevailing wages loophole, but also to strengthen community oversight of these remediations through Community Advisory Group and to direct the funds better towards downtown redevelopments that do not have clear parties responsible for the pollution. Far too often, we have seen large large industrial parcels which are still connected with polluters responsible for the contamination (Potentially Responsible Parties, or PRPs) placed in the brownfield program with taxpayer dollars subsidizing the clean up rather than these large corporations.

In early 2022 we co-sponsored a letter to legislators asking them to include these reforms to the Brownfield Clean-up Program which was signed by labor and community groups from all across the state. Unfortunately these reforms did not make it into the final version of the law, but it has spurred conversations in Albany. We applaud our friends in labor for continuing to raise awareness of these issues, and will share more on this issue in the future, including how you can support calls for change. If you would like to join the fight for these changes, please reach out to Chris.

While the final decision on this and other issues rests on the commissioner’s shoulders, ultimately this and other failings of DEC are due to legislative policy decisions, not just the decisions of one person – we need legislative reforms, like the above-mentioned needed changes to the Brownfield Clean-up Program.

Total Eclipse April 8 2024

We’re about a month away from a one-in-a-lifetime experience, a total eclipse here in WNY! The Buffalo Science Museum is hosting several events this month in the lead up – click here to see learn more, or here for their calendar.

Regulatory Public Comment Periods

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has received a Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) application from PG Larkinville, LLC for a site known as 619 Exchange Street Site, site ID #C915403. Comments from the public are due March 1st – click here to read more, including about where to submit comments.

Our friends at EarthJustice are also sponsoring a letter campaign to the US Department of Transportation to urge them to rein in oil and gas pipeline leaks – click here to send a letter!

Ohio v. EPA Threatens to Undermine Air Pollution Regulations Nationwide

Free Seedlings for Youth Programs and Schools

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is distributing seedlings for free to schools (including higher education programs) and youth groups now through March 29 – click here to learn more.

 “Long Island Legislators Unveil Push for Public Power, With Union Nod to Labor Provisions”

Organizers and legislators in Long Island fighting for Energy Democracy have been working with labor partners to fight for a Just Transition – read more about their work from NY Focus. 

American Lung Association – zero emission transportation and electricity will lead to 2.8 million fewer pediatric asthma attacks

The American Lung Association published a report this month analyzing how a nationwide energy and transportation transition to zero emission sources might improve public health among children, and the results are striking – read the full report by clicking here, or check out this coverage from Grist.org.

Rewiring America’s Home Electrification Planner

Do you want to electrify your home, but don’t know where to start? Want to take full advantage of the tax credits and incentives to help with the costs?

Rewiring America now has a website where you can find out what credits are now available, including for renters, and help you plan which upgrades make the most sense for your needs.

“Climate change is undoing decades of progress on air quality”

One in 4 Americans are now exposed to unhealthy air due to the climate emergency, according to a new report by First Street Foundation – this includes air quality emergencies like the wildfire smoke that choked our region last summer.

Read more from Grist.org.

Terri Legierski Remembered

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Terri Legierski this month. Terri was the longtime Legislative/Political Director at CWA Local 1133.

As they noted in their announcement of her passing, “her dedication to political activism, pro working party candidates and issues, and to all the members of this Local, current and retired, is unmatched. For those of us who were fortunate enough to know Terri, her charm and kindness will truly be missed.”

The New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Center for Technical Assistance to Brownfield Communities is hosting several webinars this month on brownfields and resources available –

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!

Upcoming Events Calendar


Community and Coalition Events

Public Comment Deadlines and Hearings

Also see our regularly updated list of events at bit.ly/CleanAirEvents and linktr.ee/cleanairwny

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 about trainings or to Chris or Gia about our events and membership committee.

Monthly Staff Recs – Favorite AKG Art

The Clean Air Staff took a Friday afternoon this month to visit the recently reopened AKG Art Museum – Chris’ favorite AKG artwork is Anselm Kiefer’s “Die Milchstrasse/The Milky Way”, Gia’s is Narsiso Martinez’s “De Estas Manos/From These Hands” exhibition, Bridge’s is Frank C. Moore’s “Niagara“, and Cindy’s is Robert Colescott “Feeling His Oats”

Interested in joining our events committee, mutual aid team, or want to connect with CACWNY about an emerging campaign or issue, or interested in Interested in joining our Peabody Street, Lovejoy, TESLA, Energy Democracy Alliance, or other Just Transition campaign work?

Interested in joining our
American Axle campaign or supporting our work in the Delavan-Grider neighborhood and greater East Side?

Interested in joining our Tonawanda Tomorrow or River Road campaigns, NT Cryptomining campaign, or supporting NYRenews/climate justice?

Interested in supporting Clean Air’s grassroots fundraising efforts, or know of a grant opportunity that might support our work?

Want to donate to support our work?



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