Editor’s note: Data was not collected for Nassau County.
The American Lung Association recently released its 2019 State of the Air report and the findings are abysmal: Suffolk County has the worst air quality in all of New York State, surpassing the previous titleholder, Staten Island. The ALA gave Suffolk a score of “F” for ground-level ozone pollution, as the county saw a total of 31 unhealthy ozone days, up from 23 detailed in the 2018 report. Ground-level ozone pollution occurs as a result of extreme emissions and it can have adverse effects on human health in high concentrations.
If we do not drastically change our fossil fuel-dominant economy and society within the next few years, air quality in Suffolk County and around the world will continue to deteriorate. To preserve the health of at-risk citizens and community members all around Suffolk, we need to shift our energy towards renewable sources. More importantly, we need to adopt legislation that encourages this transition to green energy is just, equitable, and stable. One such piece of legislation is the Climate and Community Protection Act. It is time for all State Senators representing Suffolk County to follow in the steps of Senator John Brooks in sponsoring the CCPA. The time is now.
Harrison Bench is president of the Sayville chapter of Students for Climate Action, a student-run organization promoting climate change education and awareness.
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