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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Roosevelt Island Wide Air Quality Monitoring Study With Queens College Center For The Biology Of Natural Systems Proposed By RIRA Planning Committee - May Actually Happen


Former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy previously reported on efforts to establish air quality monitoring on Roosevelt Island. According to Ms. Polivy:
... One example of balls in the air is the idea and planning of an air monitoring project on Main Street. On our internal blog, we began talking about Cornell and their agreement to do air monitoring only on their construction site. We understand that Cornell is worried about being blamed for pollution that might not be caused by them, so therefore they only want monitoring equipment on their site. However we had a lively conversation on our list serve about general air quality concerns on the Island from the amount of pollution generated from the bridge and the electric plant and other construction around the City. Therefore I suggested that we start an ad hoc committee to study this. Ball was tossed and picked up by Howard Polivy RIOC Board member who thought this was an interesting concept. He did a small amount of research and discovered that Queens College is doing an air quality study. He threw the ball to me. I passed it along to Helen Chirivas who had expressed interest in this issue. She researched a little more and tossed it to Frank Farance who called Queens College and decided to take this idea into the Planning Committee. Now ball is with Frank Farance who is in discussion with Queens College about getting air quality equipment on Roosevelt Island and having us be a part of their Citywide study. But first money needs to be raised for the equipment. Lets see where this goes from here. Ball is still in the air. We will be watching. It’s an exciting project...
RIRA Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance adds:
There are increasing concerns about air quality with the decades long construction of Cornell, and other industrial work around us (e.g., power plant). Rather than a piecemeal approach, we (the RIRA Planning Committee) seek a coordinated strategy with appropriate data/analyses sharing such that the air quality on Roosevelt Island can be monitored and, if necessary, appropriate actions can be taken to address short-, medium-, and long-term concerns. In addition, we might find other neighborhoods (Sutton Place, Queens West, LIC/Ravenswood, Astoria, etc.) who might want to partner, collaborate, and/or support our efforts. Such a nested grid (data fusion) approach might help reduce False Negatives (air quality problems that exist, but go undetected) and False Positives (e.g., air quality problems attributed to activity on Roosevelt Island, but are in fact broader problems in our area). We expect all data to be open and shared.

I have presented this topic at RIRA meetings and there has been strong support. We are working on a plan where Queens College researchers would expand their air quality measurements to Roosevelt Island, but with a smaller grid size (better resolution) than present City-wide monitoring, and with real-time data samples (as compared to the City's two-week samples that take 6-8 weeks to analyze - not timely at all!). There are several nuts-and-bolts aspects of this plan that require further study before we can present it to RIRA for endorsement. I've contacted the research institution at Queens College and they are enthused to work with us.

As part of our air quality efforts, RIRA Planning Committee members toured the Ravenswood power plant (Big Allis) recently.
Mr. Farance shares this message he sent to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato seeking the assistance of RIOC in conducting a comprehensive air quality monitoring program for Roosevelt Island.
Ms. Indelicato

As you are aware, the RIRA Planning Committee has been investigating air quality (AQ) monitoring for Roosevelt Island and coordinating it with the City-wide NYC community air quality survey. We have made good progress, and we need help from RIOC to support this effort, which would provide Reference Data for a Roosevelt Island survey, as calibrated with the City-wide Winter Season sample that is completing this week.

I've also spoken with Peter Krokondelas of the Cornell team and he will be contacting Andrew Winters to connect Dr. Eisl of the AQ research team at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Queens College. In addition, Dr. Eisl will be coming to the Island and I'd like him to me you and other RIOC staff, and Cornell staff (if possible).

Simply, the collective WE (the Island, RIOC, Cornell, etc.) have the opportunity to do this Right: to get Reference Data, which will be calibrated City-wide, and will be the most authoritative data on air quality for our community for decades to come. I urge you and RIOC to support this effort (by granting permission to mount AQ monitors on five lamp posts), and to encourage those around us (Cornell, Hudson-Related, etc.) to be supportive of these efforts. I expect further AQ monitoring during the demolition and construction phases over the years.

Below, please find:

- RIRA Planning Committee's Efforts
- About CBNS, Follow-Up With CBNS
- What CBNS Is Willing To Do For Us
- Why This Is Important To Do NOW
- Specific Request For RIOC's Help

I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you.

RIRA PLANNING COMMITTEE EFFORTS

As I reported last Monday:

"There are increasing concerns about air quality with the decades long construction of Cornell, and other industrial work around us (e.g., power plant). Rather than a piecemeal approach, we (the RIRA Planning Committee) seek a coordinated strategy with appropriate data/analyses sharing such that the air quality on Roosevelt Island can be monitored and, if necessary, appropriate actions can be taken to address short-, medium-, and long-term concerns. In addition, we might find other neighborhoods (Sutton Place, Queens West, LIC/Ravenswood, Astoria, etc.) who might want to partner, collaborate, and/or support our efforts. Such a nested grid (data fusion) approach might help reduce False Negatives (air quality problems that exist, but go undetected) and False Positives (e.g., air quality problems attributed to activity on Roosevelt Island, but are in fact broader problems in our area). We expect all data to be open and shared.

I have presented this topic at RIRA meetings and there has been strong support. We are working on a plan where Queens College researchers (Center for the Biology of Natural Systems) would expand their air quality measurements to Roosevelt Island, but with a smaller grid size (better resolution) than present City-wide monitoring, and with real-time data samples (as compared to the City's two-week samples that take 6-8 weeks to analyze). ... As part of our air quality efforts, RIRA Planning Committee members will be touring the Ravenswood power plant (Big Allis) this week."


ABOUT CBNS, FOLLOW UP WITH CBNS

I have met with Dr. Holger Eisl, the Program Director at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems (CBNS). CBNS is on the Queens College campus and they have been conducting the City-wide air quality survey for many years. Here is the NYC.gov Department of Health page that discusses AQ, and also cites Dr. Eisl's research (see NYCCAS Scientific Publications on bottom of page):

The CBNS describes their City-wide work on their project home page:

Steve Markowitz (MD DrPH), the Director, is a physician specializing in occupational and environmental medicine. Here is a sampling of his lectures:

I note that CBNS is also doing saturation monitoring at the 126 Street Bus Depot in Harlem to measure before/after affects of the green technologies being incorporated into the bus fleet.

WHAT CBNS IS WILLING TO DO FOR US

Dr. Eisl is willing to do a Reference Data survey immediately on Roosevelt Island. There would be five sampling points with the following approximate locations:

(1) Southpoint Park transverse road (approx. equivalent to 53 Street in Manhattan)
(2) Sportspark transverse road (approx. 59 Street)
(3) Blackwell House turnaround (approx. 65 Street)
(4) Helix Base (approx. 72 Street)
(5) Octagon Park (approx. 79 Street)

Dr. Eisl can also do a simultaneous Noise survey at these points.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT TO DO NOW

Having Reference Data before demolition and construction start is critical for comparative study for decades to come. The Cornell demolition has not yet started, nor has Cornell yet hired an oversight manager at RIOC, so it is important to get the AQ survey done right now. It addition, CBNS is completing their City-wide Winter Survey this week, so the data can be tied-to/calibrated-with this City-wide data.


SPECIFIC REQUEST FOR RIOC'S HELP

CBNS would need to mount AQ sensors on five light poles, and they need RIOC's permission to do this.
Yesterday, I asked Ms. Indelicato about the status of this air quality study project proposal. Ms Indelicato replied:
We need to get all the information as to locations, installation, insurance, power source, maintenance etc before we say yes or no- I believe the Queens College people are meeting with engineering and IT
Mr. Farance discussed the Air Quality Monitoring Project



at the February 5 RIRA Common Council Meeting.

1 comments :

CheshireKitty said...

Here's some more history for you to feast on Mark: They should set up a new Show just for You - modeled on the Biggest Loser LOL, called the Biggest Liar!


Surprised you even still have the "b***s" to show your face around here, Mark.


Face it: You're on the outs.


Conservatives like you need to crawl back to the red states you crawled out of, and resume drag-killing minorities, since that's the kind of "amusement" that seems to ring your bell.


Because taxing the wealthy to help the people in the form of universal pre-K, you don't go for.


And unionization of municipal workers you don't go for - let the schools be privatized instead, right?


Well, it seems there's probably only one thing you do go for: The complete and total suppression and exploitation of the people, good ol' boy Republican style. Right?


So maybe it's time for you to quietly trot back to the red state you emerged from - Arkansas, Texas, one of those back-woods in-bred areas, to rule the roost, as all the good ol' boys rule: The Big White Man in his Ten-Gallon Hat with his Six-Shooters Strapped on Calling All the shots, right Mark?


Yep - in some out of the way red state, Mark will one day rule, with no unions, as it's a "right-to-work" state, and no pesky underclass either or if there is an underclass, it'll be kept well under control, as much by means of Mark's rhetorical brilliance as his trusty six-shooters!

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