March/April 2024 Monthly Updates – Happy Cesar Chavez Day!

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October – November 2022 Updates from Clean Air

Happy Cesar Chavez Day

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March 31 is Cesar Chavez Day, a federal commemorative holiday celebrating the work of Cesar Chavez and migrant farmworkers everywhere to organize for labor rights – read more here.

We have loads of events and actions for you this month, as well as updates on work we did this month – be sure to scroll all the way to the end, and click the “read more” link if your email window browser cuts off the second half!

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 will be holding our Annual Dinner this year on  Wednesday May 22, for the first time in five years!

Please set aside the evening, and stay tuned for more details – later this week we will be sending an email when tickets are available to purchase, and we we will be sharing much more information about what to expect on our social media and in our upcoming emails.

March General Meeting CANCELLED

Our March General Meeting, previous scheduled for March 27th, has been cancelled.

The next General Meeting will be in July, with our Annual Dinner in May in lieu of the meeting.

On April 25, we will also have a Member Orientation where we will review our membership structure, the benefits of membership, and our current campaigns, including how to become engaged and what talent, skills, and knowledge our campaigns would especially benefit from.

Tonawanda Zoning Updates – Public Hearing Likely Tuesday April 9

The Town of Tonawanda’s Town Board meeting agenda for tonight includes notice of a call for a hearing on Tuesday April 9 at 7pm to take public comments on the Draft Zoning Amendment – please save the date, let your neighbors know, and watch for emails and social media posts from us in the lead up!
Please note that this Town Board Meeting and Hearing would be on a Tuesday instead of the regular Monday date due to the eclipse.
On a related note, check out this article about how fenceline residents in Pomona California are similarly taking action to update their zoning code with an environmental justice lens!

Community Air Monitoring – Game Development

As part of our Community Air Monitoring project, we are working to develop a card game to educate the general public about air quality and monitoring with the TESA Collective.

This Friday, March 29, we will be hosting a game testing night, where we will play several board and card games that we have identified as possible models we can in part base our game off of – we will meet at our office at 371 Delaware Ave in downtown Buffalo from 5:30-9pm, and will have pizza for dinner. Please RSVP via Facebook.
Want to get more involved in the planning and design? Our team meets semi-regularly on Mondays – email Bridge to join!

Tonawanda Coke Update

This Friday is the last date scheduled to submit public comments Amended Remedy for Tonawanda Coke Site 109, which is the Superfund parcel adjacent to the driveway of the site. You can read more in the public notice here – we encourage sending a quick email to NYS DEC Project Manager Benjamin McPherson requesting an extension on the public comment period, which currently ends this Friday March 29.

Smart Growth America Equity Summit

Our Board Chair and Tonawanda member Jim Jones and one of our Environmental Justice Organizers Bridge Rauch will be attending the Smart Growth America Equity Summit this week!
If you are a Clean Air member engaged with one of our campaign teams and you would ever like to attend any trainings or conferences to strengthen your skills and that of your campaign, please let your team’s staff organizer know, as Clean Air will sponsor training opportunities for our leader members –  also be sure to scroll down for a list of upcoming training opportunities!

NY Renews Day of Action March 20

Clean Air was one of over 60 participating organizations at NY Renews’ Day of Action in Albany for indigenous solidarity and for the Climate, Jobs and Justice package, which includes the Climate Superfund Act, which would charge the largest fossil fuel industries their fair share of the costs NY taxpayers are currently paying for climate change-driven disasters. Take action to support these budget asks by clicking here.

Interested in working on legislative advocacy with Clean Air and with NY Renews? Email Bridge!

WNY AFL-CIO Rally March 22 for Medicaid Equity

Last Friday Clean Air joined a rally of hundreds of workers and organizations in downtown Buffalo who all turned out despite the cold and the snow to push back on Governor Hochul’s proposal to continue underfunding the statewide Medicaid budget.
Take action by clicking here!

NYS DEC East Side Environmental Forum
May 8 – Brownfields and American Axle Focus

Save the date!
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation will be hosting an East Side Environmental Forum on Wednesday May 8th at 5:30 at the Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library at 1324 Jefferson Avenue.
The topic focus will be Brownfields and the American Axle site.

Please contact Kayla Baker for more information, including about how to join online, at or
Questions, or want to coordinate with Clean Air prior?
Please reach out to Cindy.

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

Our friends at EarthJustice are sponsoring a letter to the US Department of Transportation demanding better regulation of leaky natural gas pipelines, which nationwide are a major emitter of greenhouse gases and create hazardous conditions for people nearby. Click here to send a letter!

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has also posted notices for public comment periods and hearings for updates to statewide permitting and site remediation programs – learn more by clicking on the images below!

“It’s official: US air quality got worse in 2023”

WNY Ranked in Top 1/3 Globally in 2023 for Poor AQI

WNY has enjoyed a stretch of some of the best air quality globally, but according to the newly published annual World Air Quality Report by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, that streak has come to an end, in very large part due to the wildfire smoke that affected our region last summer.

Out of 7,812 cities worldwide, four out of five cities from our region ranked above average for poor air quality, with three out of five within the upper third worst, and Niagara Falls Ontario coming out at the worst, ranking at 2182 on the worldwide list with an AQI of 12.7 PM2.5 averaged over the year.

This report is an excellent reminder of the importance of reducing fossil fuel use and making climate adaptations to protect ourselves – as always, transition is inevitable, but justice is not, and while growth and change is painful, trying to ignore how our climate has changed will only put the burdens on those who are least able to protect themselves.

EPA Seeking Candidates for Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee

Do you or someone you know have expertise in one or more of the following disciplines: air quality, biostatistics, ecology, environmental engineering, epidemiology, exposure assessment, medicine, risk assessment, and/or toxicology? If so, consider joining the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC)!
Nominations are due April 3, 2024.


The CASAC is a chartered, federal advisory committee that provides advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the scientific and technical aspects of air quality criteria and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). 


You are invited to nominate yourself or other candidates for the CASAC, and are encouraged to share this with your networks. Nominations to the CASAC should be made using the web nomination links at the bottom of the CASAC ( home page, under “Public Input on Membership.” You can read more about the requirements for the role in the Federal Register Notice:


Questions? Contact Aaron Yeow (Designated Federal Officer for the CASAC) at

Environmental Justice Advocates Win in Chicago

Residents in Chicago’s Southeast Side are celebrating a big win against the Illinois EPA, which had approved a scrap metal operation in their neighborhood – Illinois’ EPA has been ordered to strengthen air permitting rules as a result- read more here.

CO2 Fracking Update

The firm that has been exploring using CO2 to frack for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale in upstate NY has gone silent in the wake of the backlash to the proposal, but state lawmakers are moving forward with protective regulations – read more here.

Texas Air Monitoring Data Not Accessible

Residents in the Houston Ship Canal area, largely Latino and Hispanic, are organizing for more transparent and accessible data from the public air monitoring system – read more here.

New CO2 Pipelines Raising Concerns About Needed Regulations

One of the big areas of investment of the Inflation Reduction Act is in CO2 pipelines as part of industrial carbon sequestration facilities. This new industry, though, is raising concerns for residents who live near proposed pipelines – read more here.

Training and Leadership Opportunities

Community Events and Announcements

Additional Opportunities

Report a Polluter

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

Visit 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

  • Rolling Deadline – Highlander Center’s Train the Trainer Program on Cultural Organizing. Dates trainings will be held – May 7-11, June 26 – July 3, and July 31-Aug. 7, 2024. Highlander is accepting applications until all slots are filled. This training is free including room and board, but transportation costs might be borne by applicants. If you are a Clean Air member and interested in applying, please speak to one of our organizers!

Public Comment Deadlines and Hearings

Also see our regularly updated list of events at and

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 as well as their new website

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 – Cheesecake Machismo in Albany

Whenever one of us travels to the State Capitol, we try to swing by Cheesecake Machismo, which is located just off Empire State Plaza at 293 Hamilton Street in Albany –  they have over 600 flavors that they rotate through and have been voted the best cheesecake in all of New York State! Bridge brought back several flavors – they liked the Après Ski, Chris liked the Maple Miso, Cindy liked the Double Dutch Chocolate, and Gia liked the Salted Caramel Brownie.

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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