Amid NYC congestion pricing fallout, report says air quality disparities persist

By Marie J. French | 06/12/2024 11:00 AM EDT

Overall, air quality has improved in New York City in the last decade. But environmental justice communities continue to experience some of the worst levels of pollution.

ALBANY, New York — Traffic during rush hour drove the highest recorded levels of air pollution in parts of the Bronx and Brooklyn, a report released by the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance on Wednesday found.

The community-led research details the disproportionate heat and poor air quality experienced by environmental justice communities — low-income, predominantly Black areas with high levels of pollution and inadequate public investments.

The two-year-long research into local heat and air quality fills a gap in state and city data on hyperlocal levels of pollution contributing to poor health outcomes and higher levels of respiratory ailments in underserved communities.


Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul’s decision to block congestion pricing raises concerns that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will delay efforts to reduce air pollution in the Bronx by funding electric trucks, establishing an asthma center and taking other steps to target vehicles at the Hunts Point Produce Market, where the highest average level of harmful particulate matter was found.