Rockland Co. to permanently monitor suburban smog

Posted: Updated:

Despite the suburban setting, experts say pollution remains a major problem in Rockland.

Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef said the state Department of Environmental Conservation has agreed to install a permanent air quality monitor in the area.

Vanderhoef believes it's needed due to constant traffic on the New York State Thruway and the Lovett coal burning plant in Tomkins Cove.

"Those substances that are being monitored can have an adverse effect on lung function," Dr. John Pellicone, of Nyack Hospital, said. "It can irritate the lining of the airways causing them to spasm down, making breathing significantly more difficult."

A temporary air quality monitor at the Palisades Center Mall will continue to operate for now. The DEC is working with county officials to choose an appropriate site for the permanent monitor.

The DEC received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cover the cost of the equipment, which comes to about $100,000.

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