DEC proposes new air quality laws

Feb 10, 2015

The State Environmental Conservation Department is making apparent major changes in its rules for air emissions. The matter was discussed Monday night at a public meeting in the Town of Tonawanda's Sheridan Parkside Community Center.

A small crowd turned out for a public meeting Monday night at the Sheridan Parkside Community Center.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

This was the fourth in a series of public hearings on the proposals, with an administrative law judge and a court stenographer to record the testimony. There was no information for those who attended to explain the effects of the changes and questions and answers were deferred until the public hearing was over.

DEC Environmental Engineer Michael Emery read a legal explanation of the changes, including this comment.

"It establishes a toxic best available control technology (TBACT) standard for toxic air contamination, clarifies the interaction between Part 212 and the NESAPS, and offers a streamlined approach for demonstrating compliance with the regulatory standards for air contaminants by adopting a mass emission rate option," said Emery.

Glenn Ratajczak from the Clean Air Coalition says the department is proposing to use computer modeling to study air emissions but didn't make it clear whose model and who checks the data.

The town has been going through some major air pollution problems in recent years, like the criminal activities at Tonawanda Coke, and some residents say they are very concerned about air pollution.