Residents Living Near Peace Bridge Don’t Find Air Quality Results “Assuring”

A Message from Peter Joe Certo for the Columbus Park Association, a neighbourhood group in Buffalo, New York

Posted September 22nd, 2016 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword Note from NAL publisher Doug DraperRegular NAL readers may note that this is the third post in as many days on concerns over air pollution from traffic bottlenecks at the Peace Bridge crossing between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.

peace-bridge-bestIf three posts in a row seems like overkill to some, I would repeat a few points I have made in the past.

Concerns over the health impacts of breathing poisons spewing from the exhaust pipes of cars and trucks gearing up and down while waiting for clearance at the Peace Bridge crossing have been longstanding for people living and working in neighbourhoods near the bridge. And the contamination in question has no respect for the border and can be just as harmful to people on both sides.

A further point we may want to consider is the responsibility we collectively have to address the concerns of those who are most impacted by a car and truck dependent world of our own making.

In that spirit, Niagara At Large is posting below a message we have received from residents living on the Buffalo side of the Peace Bridge in response to a front-page story published in the September 21st edition of The Buffalo News and to a media release that was circulated by he New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on air quality tests conducted in the vicinity of the bridge.

That DEC release was posted on Niagara At Large this September 21st and we believe it is only fair and right to post the following response to it and The Buffalo News story.

From the Columbus Park Association –

We wish to point out, on behalf of the Peace Bridge neighborhood–and specifically the Columbus Park Association (on the Buffalo, New York side of the border —we most certainly were not “collaborators” on the DEC (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation air monitoring) project.

We may have sat in on meetings and received email messages, but we had no real scientific input on the project.

Nor are the results “assuring” in any way—as The Buffalo News headline writer so inaccurately put it.

Our concern has always been and will forever remain the environmental health of the residents of this city; and not only does the research here exclude health concerns, the existing national standard for exposure to emissions (which is admittedly long overdue for a reevaluation), does not even address ultra fine particulate matter and black carbon, which recent research has shown may have a devastating effect on every organ of the body.

In a sense, it was another in an endless series of government charades.

“The DEC’s study did not address health impacts, although other independent studies conducted at the Peace Bridge made a strong link between Peace Bridge pollution, especially truck diesel fumes, and high asthma rates in the nearby neighborhood.” (see link below to Investigative Post report)

Until emissions regulations begin to meet the environmental health reality on the ground, neighborhood residents will remain sick and dying.

Thank you for your concern, Peter Joe Certo, Niagara gateway Columbus Park Association

Niagara At Large now encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie quote below. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



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