Pollution burdens nearly half of New York, with communities of color hardest hit – report

Nearly half of New Yorkers live in areas with “disproportionate” pollution burden Report Discover. The biggest impacts are in communities of color, which are also more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, according to a citywide assessment released Friday.

Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of U.S.-based environmental justice organization UpRose, said: “Last year our skies were orange and we will face more recurring extreme weather events that will impact people in our communities. The most vulnerable.” Brooklyn.

this ReportEnvironmental Inequality, published by the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Justice, is the city’s first comprehensive survey of environmental inequality.

The report noted that black New Yorkers are twice as likely as white New Yorkers to die from heat stress, and found that the predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods of Harlem and the South Bronx were among the areas hardest hit by the heat. The temperature in the latter reaches a maximum of 8F (4.5℃) Hotter Wealthier, tree-covered areas are more vulnerable to stormwater flooding than the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. Areas most vulnerable to rain flooding include mostly black and Hispanic neighborhoods in southeastern and central Queens, and the southeastern Bronx.

Researchers attribute many of the disparities to racially discriminatory real estate practices, or redlining. About two-thirds of people living in historically redlined areas, where blacks and Hispanics or Latinos are disproportionately represented, live in areas the city identifies as Environmental Justice Areas (EJ). The districts were identified based on the state’s Disadvantaged Communities (DAC) criteria, which uses race and income data.

“Understanding what’s going on in the community over time and how we can correct those injustices is what we’re trying to determine through this. [report]said Costa Constantinides, a former Queens City Council member and member of the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee who participated in the report.

The assessment found that highways, industrial power plants and waste facilities are disproportionately concentrated near communities of color. As of 2021, 13 of the city’s 19 gas “peaker” facilities are located in the EJ region, including the South Bronx, Astoria, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

At the same time, EJ communities are less likely to have access to parks and quarter New Yorkers living in poverty cannot afford mass transit.

“it [the report] “Make sure environmental justice is on the city’s agenda,” said Peggy Shepard, executive director of We Act on Environmental Justice, who participated in the report. The next phase is to develop a comprehensive citywide plan to address the issues identified in the environmental justice report and work with affected communities. Collaborate with those most affected to develop effective and equitable solutions.”

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