Officials respond to air quality concerns as it reaches crisis levels statewide

Gov. Kathy Hochul says the Canadian wildfires impacting New York air quality are a prime example of why enacting measures to battle climate change is dire.

News 12 Staff

Jun 8, 2023, 4:25 PM

Updated 321 days ago

Share:

The smoky skies have many concerned about long-term impacts of climate change.
New York state has deployed a forest ranger crew to help battle hundreds of wildfires raging in Quebec. Putting the fires out is the immediate concern, but many people are starting to think about what's causing these fires.
Gov. Kathy Hochul says the Canadian wildfires impacting New York air quality are a prime example of why enacting measures to battle climate change is dire.
"We are the first generation to really feel the effects of climate change and the last one to be able to do anything meaningful about it," she says.
New York has set aggressive targets to clean up its air. By 2030, state leaders want 70% of electricity coming from renewable energy and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%.
"It's really hard almost to find words to describe what we are seeing. Unprecedented comes to mind," says Dr. Dan Westervelt.
Westervelt is an atmospheric scientist at Columbia Climate School in Rockland County and an air pollution advisor to the U.S. State Department.
"With climate change, things like warmer temperatures, things like worsening droughts, things like changing precipitation patterns, all of those things tend to make wildfires worse. So that's the connection to climate change," he says.
This is why environmental activists were pushing state lawmakers to pass environmentally conscious bills on the last day of the state's legislative session.
"This is an incredibly important session. We need to implement our climate law and get some of these things rolling. So, the next 24 hours are really important," says Roger Downs, conservation director of the Sierra Club's Atlantic Chapter.
Assembly Member Dana Levenberg was in Albany Thursday fighting to pass into the law a bill to stop the dumping of radiological wastewater into the Hudson River.
"I know it may not be the one that deals with the wildfires out there, but every bit really makes a difference," she says.
She says we only have one earth and that the time to save it is running out.


More from News 12
1:49
Human remains unearthed during drainage work in Putnam County

Human remains unearthed during drainage work in Putnam County

0:56
Sunny for the rest of the workweek ahead before possible wet weekend in Hudson Valley

Sunny for the rest of the workweek ahead before possible wet weekend in Hudson Valley

2:07
Westchester County preps for President Joe Biden's visit

Westchester County preps for President Joe Biden's visit

1:53
Shop Mother’s Day Gifts – Exclusive Offers Up to 75% OFF!

Shop Mother’s Day Gifts – Exclusive Offers Up to 75% OFF!

0:22
Police: 29-year-old man dies after burning incident at Warwick Park

Police: 29-year-old man dies after burning incident at Warwick Park

2:30
Biden campaign reports blockbuster fundraising hauls ahead of visit

Biden campaign reports blockbuster fundraising hauls ahead of visit

0:23
Westchester DA: Ex-Mamaroneck library employee stole over $40,000 from library

Westchester DA: Ex-Mamaroneck library employee stole over $40,000 from library

0:42
Yonkers Spano releases proposed budget for 2025

Yonkers Spano releases proposed budget for 2025

1:54
State budget excludes aid for Orange County storm victims, lawmakers criticize Gov. Hochul

State budget excludes aid for Orange County storm victims, lawmakers criticize Gov. Hochul

1:52
Final negotiations on Carmel schools' budget linger late into the night

Final negotiations on Carmel schools' budget linger late into the night

0:40
Hochul: $33 million allocated to mental health in the state budget to expand services for felons

Hochul: $33 million allocated to mental health in the state budget to expand services for felons

0:31
Yonkers official calls for protection of city’s war memorial from graffiti, vandalism

Yonkers official calls for protection of city’s war memorial from graffiti, vandalism

2:07
​Officials hope to implement noise cameras to combat loud noise from street racing in Greenburgh

​Officials hope to implement noise cameras to combat loud noise from street racing in Greenburgh

0:36
Police: Father pleads guilty to string of burglaries from 2022

Police: Father pleads guilty to string of burglaries from 2022

0:28
President Biden's visit prompts early dismissals in Westchester schools

President Biden's visit prompts early dismissals in Westchester schools

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

0:31
Mount St. Mary College welcomes new president

Mount St. Mary College welcomes new president

0:57
Airlines will now be required to give automatic cash refunds for canceled and delayed flights

Airlines will now be required to give automatic cash refunds for canceled and delayed flights

1:49
Proposal for Putnam County lithium-ion battery storage station raises concerns in Westchester

Proposal for Putnam County lithium-ion battery storage station raises concerns in Westchester

0:41
Fire destroys car, damages garage in Rhinebeck

Fire destroys car, damages garage in Rhinebeck