Heated debate takes place at city’s oversight hearing on air quality
Last month’s air quality issues have left city officials at odds, as an oversight hearing on the city’s response to the air quality crisis led to heated conversation.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams was at the forefront of the discussion during the Environmental Protection Oversight Hearing on Wednesday, spending much of the time telling Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol that the city failed. Council Member Lincoln Restler also vocally criticized the city’s response to the air quality crisis.
The city conducts a community air survey once per season, with monitors mounted across the five boroughs measuring pollutants such as nitrogen and ozone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says wildfire smoke is made up of gases and fine particles, including but not limited to P.M.-25, which are detected in the monitors.
City data shows there was a decline of fine particle pollution in the city through 2021, but that a slight uptick in pollutants was detected across the boroughs that year. Manhattan had the highest annual average of air pollution during 2020 and 2021.