Toxic air pollution threatens our health

More than half of all Americans live in places with unsafe levels of air pollution, which causes heart attacks, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and even deaths every year.

Studies show that one in ten women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk of health effects should she become pregnant. This means that more than 689,000 out of the 4.1 million babies born every year could be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury.

The consequences are serious: Children who are exposed to even low-dosage levels of mercury in the womb can have impaired brain functions, including verbal, attention, motor control and language deficits, and lower IQs.  When these children are monitored at ages 7 and 14, these impairments still exist — suggesting that the damage caused by mercury may be irreversible.

3,781 bodies of water contaminated nationwide

Coal-fired power plants spew hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic mercury into our air every year, which falls to earth in the form of rain and contaminates rivers, lakes and streams.

And it doesn’t take much mercury to have a big impact on our health.  Scientists found that a single gram of mercury can contaminate an entire 20-acre lake.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, mercury impairs 3,781 bodies of water across the country. More than 6 million acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds in the United States are contaminated by mercury pollution.

Here in New York, the threat of mercury contamination led the Department of Health to recommend against eating fish caught in lakes, rivers and streams from the Mohawk River to Lake Ontario.

With your help, we can save 46,000 lives

Recently, the EPA moved ahead with efforts to significantly reduce mercury, soot and smog pollution, announcing historic new emissions standards that could save 46,000 lives a year. Unfortunately, polluters and their allies in Congress launched a coordinated attack to block these critical safeguards.

We’re working closely with our allies in the public health community, lobbying key senators, and rallying thousands of activists to stand up for public health.

It won’t be easy, but if enough of us speak out, we can drown out the coal industry lobbyists and make sure that the EPA is allowed to do its job and protect public health.


Clean Air Updates

Report | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

Moving America Forward

American leadership in the fight against global warming is crucial. America is the world’s largest economy, the second-largest emitter of global warming pollution, and the nation responsible for more of the human-caused carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere than any other. Without prompt action by the United States and others to reduce global warming pollution, catastrophic impacts – from coastal flooding to food system disruptions – could become unavoidable. 

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News Release | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

Clean Energy is Cutting Carbon Pollution in New York

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News Release | Environment New York

Breakthroughs Takes on Fracking: Environment New York Featured in Martin Sheen Documentary on Dirty Drilling Released to Public Television Stations in 50 States

This week, Martin Sheen’s Breakthroughs program released an expose on fracking featuring Environment America, the national arm of Environment New York, to public television stations across the nation.  As the debate over dirty drilling continues to mount, the Breakthroughs piece could reach as many as 60 million viewers in all 50 states.

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Report | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

Fracking by the Numbers

Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States.

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News Release | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

Solar on the Rise in New York, But Failing to Keep Pace with Neighboring States

Environment New York Research & Policy Center released Lighting the Way: What We Can Learn from America’s Top 12 Solar States, a new report highlighting a solar energy boom across the country. The report outlines the twelve states that have made a considerable contribution to the nation’s rise in solar power. New York however, missed the cut and ranks 17th in the nation for per capita solar installations. This report comes as the New York State Legislature failed to reach an agreement on Governor Cuomo's proposal to grow the New York Sun Initiative by $150 million annually for ten years, which would have paved the way for New York to become a leader in solar power.

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