WasteDive NYC calls for mandatory air quality tests near garbage stations by Arlene Karidis

NYC calls for mandatory air quality tests near garbage stations
Arlene Karidis

New York City legislation to be introduced by Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos would mandate air quality monitoring at marine waste transfer stations, applying to six stations in the region.

Driven by concerns about a controversial garbage station slated to open on the upper East Side, the law would require the city to install air quality monitors and take readings each hour for nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead and ozone.

The city pledged that the new station itself, planned close to the Asphalt Greene recreation center, won't produce pollution, but Kallos said it should also be observed. If passed, the legislation would require that notifications be sent if pollutants hit levels over the safe amount as deemed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dive Insight:

Kallos said he is pushing for this bill largely because of concerns about pollution from trucks serving the E. 91st St. station, which environmental justice advocates say is required as to not have poor outer borough neighborhoods riddled with garbage.

"We're going to see hundreds of trucks coming into residential neighborhoods," he said. "We're looking at knowing [pollution levels] on an hour to hour, day to day basis because there are 35,000 children playing in a park near this garbage dump."

Marine Transfer Station