Problem DescriptionNew York City’s air is becoming progressively cleaner. Over the past several decades, actions taken at the federal, state, and local levels have dramatically improved air quality. New York City’s particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration has decreased more rapidly than in most other big U.S. cities, declining by about 25 percent between 2008 and 2013. As a result, the city’s air-quality ranking among major U.S. cities improved from seventh place as recently as 2008-2010 to fourth place in 2011-2013. Despite this progress, air pollution remains a leading environmental threat to the health of New Yorkers. Levels of air pollution in New York City continue to cause serious health problems, contributing to a number of hospital admissions and deaths, mainly from heart and lung problems. It is estimated that particulate matter (PM2.5) contributes to more than 2,000 deaths and over 6,000 emergency visits and hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory disease each year.
- Enforce the updated DEP Air Pollution Control Code
- Identify additional targeted air quality improvements through data analysis and community engagement
- Accelerate conversions of residual heating oil boilers in buildings
- Cut emissions from mobile sources by reducing emissions from the City fleet
- Reduce emissions from private truck fleets and for-hire vehicles
- Reduce emissions from vehicle idling and toll crossing
All neighborhoods are affected by these health impacts, but they disproportionately occur in high poverty communities and among vulnerable populations. The rate of emergency room visits due to PM2.5-attributable asthma is three times higher in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods compared to more affluent ones. The public health benefits of even modest improvements in air quality are substantial because everyone is exposed to air pollution.
Our goal is for New York City to have the best air quality among all large U.S. cities. We are committed to reducing disparities in ambient pollution level exposures within the city by 20 percent for PM2.5 and 50 percent for sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 2030 relative to 2013. Meeting this goal will require significant reductions in air pollutant emissions. We will need to implement local strategies, as well as continue working with state and federal partners to reduce emissions from upwind sources.
Solution StageOne of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
|STAGE||SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED||EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES||RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING||FINANCE REQUIRED||KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED||GOAL|
|Developing and testing3||Mix of design and implementation skills|
|A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users||Demonstration that the idea works, or evidence to support a reworking of the idea|