Major cleanup continues throughout the Seaport and Financial District
State and city officials this week added three more air-monitoring units in the New York City neighborhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.The monitors will measure fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) to provide data on the potential impact Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts have had on air quality.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced the addition of the units on December 13th.
To date, the state's network of rooftop air monitors does not reveal a pattern of higher concentrations since Hurricane Sandy and DEPs testing of asbestos at debris piles have also come back negative.
"From routine monitoring of outdoor air, we know that the citys overall air quality since Hurricane Sandy has been typical for this time of year," said DOHMH Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley. "But essential cleanup and reconstruction work can produce additional street dust and emissions in communities most impacted by the storm. We're pleased to be working with DEC to monitor outdoor air quality in these communities, share the data with the public, and inform agencies involved in the reconstruction and efforts to control dust and emissions where possible."
In addition to their regular ambient air-monitoring network, the three additional DEC ambient PM 2.5 air monitors are located at:
- Water Street, near John Street in Lower Manhattan
- Near Holland Avenue and Beach 84th Street in the Rockaways
- Lincoln Avenue near Father Capodanno in Staten Island
DEC air monitoring data are available in near real time at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/airmon.
DOHMH has also created a Sandy Health Portal with information about outdoor air quality and other health issues. The Sandy Health Portal is available at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/em/html/home/home.shtml
The Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) also maintains four stationary air monitors south of Canal Street, and conducts daily mobile air and noise monitoring. Results and an archive of reports can be found at:
For stationary air-monitoring unit reports: http://www.lowermanhattan.info/lmccc/programs/environmental/air_monitoring.aspx
For mobile monitoring reports: http://lowermanhattan.info/lmccc/programs/environmental/sidewalk_surveys.aspx
PM 2.5 is the pollutant associated with dust, construction debris and the combustion of fuel. PM 2.5 levels across the city vary each day with changes in the weather. Monitoring results since Hurricane Sandy show PM 2.5 have been typical for this time of year and have not exceeded the federal standard of 35 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter of air based on a 24-hour average, the level at which air quality health advisories are generally issued.