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Air quality monitors installed at Peace Bridge

For years, there has been debate about air pollution around the bridge although there actually is very little data, including how dirty the air is on its way to the bridge.

Now, the State Environmental Conservation Department has installed $250,000 in air monitoring equipment upwind and downwind of the bridge to see if there is a problem which might be the reason for the serious asthma problem on the West Side.

The department says the data will be on-line daily.

Peace Bridge Chairman Sam Hoyt says the authority has instituted "a voluntary initiative on our part to have a no-idling policy on both sides of the border. In other words, our message to anybody at duty-free or at the secondary inspection facilities is if you are in park, you have to turn off your vehicle."

That also applies at the Fort Erie end where there is vast duty-free and restaurant complex constantly surrounded by trucks.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.