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Local Civics to Take Part in Air Quality Testing

Industrial area expected to be part of testing scheduled to start mid-July.

 

Air sampling is expected to take place in the industrial area of Kings Park as part of a statewide effort to address air quality concerns.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) selected 23 applicants from communities across the state to conduct air sampling to help identify and address local air quality concerns, including three from three from the Kings Park/Commack area.

“DEC selected communities from all regions across the state to conduct air sampling to help us understand air quality concerns at the community level,”  said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens in a statement released last week. “These samples will provide DEC with a better picture of the state’s air quality at the neighborhood level and help identify areas that need to be addressed.”

San Remo Civic Association along with Kings Park and Commack will be part of the study.

Sean Lehmann, president of the Kings Park Civic Association, said the group had requested testing earlier this year, but a program at the time wasn't available. The DEC then advised them to apply for the July program.

"We will go over areas where testing should be done," said Lehmann. "Especially in areas where we've heard complaints before."

Earlier this year r, some so strong that residents in the area say they cannot be outside at times.

Lehmann said he doesn't know all the details of the program, but he expects that five or six machines will be set up for testing and that community members will help record the data.

"We want to make sure that toxins are at a safe level. If we can identify a troubled area maybe the DEC can enforce things," said Lehmann. "We want to ensure residents that air is being tested and they can see for themselves what is in the air."

Participants will use Environmental Protection Agency-approved sampling equipment to collect air samples for an hour. According to the DEC, a total of 60 samples will be collected in the program, which starts mid-July and will run for  about a year. If air toxins are detected above levels of concern, additional testing will be done and DEC staff will determine possible sources of pollution and ways to reduce it.

"If toxins are below acceptable levels then we know we have an odor problem," said Lehmann. "It will help answer some of the questions we have down there."

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