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DEC restudying Peace Bridge neighborhood air quality

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A new air quality study is underway on Buffalo's West Side near the Peace Bridge. New York's Department of Environmental Conservation will provide more information during a public meeting tonight.

After flaws in last year's air monitoring study came to light, the Clean Air Coalition pushed state officials to start over.

"Just because the air is as bad as other parts of Buffalo does not mean that it's okay to breathe," said Natasha Soto, a community organizer with the Clean Air Coalition. She says the new study is supposed to be more comprehensive.

"The first time around the air monitors were not in places that the community thought that they should be. So we told them to take a second look and this is where the community thinks the air monitors should go," Soto explained.

"We also said that the particulates that they were measuring for were not ones that the community was too concerned about. We wanted to know what the ultrafine particulates were in the area because those are the ones that get really imbedded in peoples lungs and causes the things like the cancers that we see on the West Side."

No one from the DEC was available to comment. But in a written statement, the agency the said the study process, the selection of monitoring locations and  the contaminants being studied will be discussed at a public meeting Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Niagara Branch Library.