Clearing the Air (December, 2015)

Clearing the Air: Assessing and Addressing the Impacts of Short-Changing New York’s Air Regulators highlights how despite significant gains in air quality over several decades, New York is at a tipping point due to budget cuts and years of level spending that risks increased exposure to air pollutants that undermine public health and shorten lives.

The report follows a 2013 report from Environmental Advocates, Turning a Blind Eye to Illegal Pollution, which documented how budget cuts and flat lines to the DEC has led to an increased reliance on polluters self-reporting their compliance with the Clean Air Act, among other federal laws. That report, for instance, found a 44 percent decline in DEC-led stack testing for toxic air pollution, even as a report from the Office of the State Comptroller found that insurance premium costs in New York due to asthma, which is exacerbated by dirty air, is $1.3 billion.

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