Community Wins on Air Pollution

Here are examples of campaigns and successes to reduce air pollution in New York City:

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

  • Our Housing is Our Health Campaign — Educating community residents on healthy housing issues and how to advocate for reform on their own behalf.
  • Rosa Parks School Bus Campaign — Working to ensure that the indoor air quality of school bus cabins is conducive to positive health conditions for children and bus drivers.
  • The Resident Oversight Council — Keeping the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) accountable around its operation of bus depots in Northern Manhattan.
  • The Campaign for New York’s Future — Working with a coalition of approximately 80 NYC-based groups advocating for a healthier, cleaner, more sustainable New York through the implementation of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC.

Other Accomplishments:

  • WE ACT convinced Mayor Bloomberg to keep the 135th Street Marine Waste Transfer Station closed. This means that 320 polluting diesel garbage trucks will not come into the area every day.
  • WE ACT got the New York City Transit Agency to agree to put the cleanest buses in Northern Manhattan, keep the Amsterdam Bus Depot closed, and meet regularly with community residents to address concerns about pollution.
  • WE ACT protested and delayed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s takeover of seven private bus lines. This means that 1200 more old diesel buses will not come to depots in Northern Manhattan.

Sustainable South Bronx

  • Sustainable South Bronx worked with community groups and the government to cut down on trucks that keep their engines running (“idling”) at Hunts Point Market. Now the 3000 delivery trucks coming into the market daily turn off their engines and hook up to machines for power. This prevents thousands of tons of pollutants from entering the air around Hunts Point Market.
  • Sustainable South Bronx worked with the neighborhood group Greening for Breathing in Hunts Point to plant 400 trees and got money to plant 375 more in the area.

Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ)

  • Concrete Plant Park — YMPJ recently worked with other local community groups and fought vigorously to get the city to turn an abandoned concrete plan site (in the Bronx River Greenway) into a public park.
  • Starlight Park — YMPJ commenced its advocacy for the renovation of Starlight Park with clean up activities and plantings in 1999. Under the impetus of commitments by public officials and agencies, YMPJ began, a community visioning and planning process for the design of the park. The community design was adopted by the Parks Department and NYSDOT. The design calls for the removal of most the current paved areas and the creation of new soccer and baseball fields. The design also sets aside land for the development of a new boathouse and community center on the shore of the river.
  • YMPJ worked with other community groups and a local councilman to turn two vacant lots in the Hoe Avenue area into parks.

Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation

  • NMIC helped assure passage of a local law classifying lead paint as a violation requiring immediate abatement. They assured that lead poisoning be declared a priority target in the Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan for the State of New York, used in setting State funding priorities.



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