The Rochester area has been designated as a non-attainment area for ground level ozone pollution under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems and can damage plants by making them more susceptible to the weather and certain diseases and insects.
Ground-level ozone is caused by the reaction of motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents with sunlight and hot weather. Even rural areas can experience increased ozone levels because wind carries ozone, and the pollutants that form it, many miles from their original sources.
Diesel engines are a major source of emissions of concern, and schoolchildren are disproportionally exposed to diesel emissions.
The challenge to the community is to to improve the air quality in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes Region in order to improve the health and quality of life for residents and contribute to economic development in the area.
CEI has extensive experience working to build partnerships within communities to identify and address priority environmental issues. Most recently, CEI facilitated a number of pollution prevention projects under an EPA Community Action for a Renewed Environment grant, working on education, research and community projects to reduce toxic emissions.
CEI currently has an active working group investigating alternative mobility options for area residents to improve air quality by reducing vehicle miles traveled.
CEI is seeking funding to develop programs to promote a better understanding of the sources of air pollution in the region and to engage communities in practical ways to improve local air quality.
Through a combination of education, outreach and project facilitation, CEI has the expertise to promote a better understanding of the sources of air pollution in the region and to engage the communities in practical ways to improve local air quality. Given adequate funding, CEI will employ its expertise for education, outreach and project facilitation to:
- Provide the public and other stakeholders with information about the issues associated with local air quality.
- Investigate and evaluate research on the impact of air emissions from stationary and mobile sources.
- Collect and disseminate information about how similar regions have addressed these issues.
- Identify funding and implement projects defined by partnerships with organizations such as local school districts, the Monroe County Department of Health, University of Rochester Medical Center, NYSDEC, Genesee Transportation Council, Monroe County Planning, and regional environmental committees and agencies.