New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS) Releases Annual Report
The New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS) has released its annual report on air quality in New York City. This latest collaboration between the NYC Department of Health and the Barry Commoner Center describes trends in air quality from winter 2008-2009 to fall 2014.
During that period NYCCAS found that annual averages of pollutants like fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and nitric oxide all declined over six years of measurement. The largest improvement reported was in wintertime sulfur dioxide levels, which fell by 68% over the span of the report. The decline is attributed to increased City and State regulation of high sulfur fuels used for heating and power.
Other findings include:
NYCCAS began in 2007 as a partnership between Queens College and the NYC Department of Health through the city’s PlaNYC initiative for sustainability. The program aims to track air pollutants over time and location, identify neighborhood emission sources, set priorities for city officials about clean air, and give air pollution estimates for health studies.
NYCCAS data is collected using air pollution monitors fixed 10-12 feet high on lamp posts at around 100 locations throughout New York City. Sampling occurs at each location for two week increments that occur four times per year. Air pollution monitors collect samples that measure fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, wintertime sulfur dioxide, and summertime ozone.