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Dr. David Fitzjarrald to speak on Air Quality in the Hudson Valley

Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 7 PM
Friends of Hudson
611 Warren Street, 2nd floor
Hudson NY

On Thursday, October 19 at 7PM, atmospheric scientist David R. Fitzjarrald will discuss his research on air movement patterns and how Hudson Valley's topography can affect the distribution of air-borne pollutants. The presentation, entitled "Air Quality in the Hudson Valley" will take place at Friends of Hudson, 611 Warren Street, 2nd Floor, Hudson.

The Thursday talk is part of an ongoing speakers' series that has explored a number of dimensions of Friends of Hudson's work including open government, the State Environmental Quality Review Act, alternative energy technologies, and wise land use.

Air quality concerns have been at the core of Friends of Hudson's mission from its inception. According to Christopher Reed, FoH President, "Fitzjarrald's presentation will build on last month's review by oncologist Mitch Gaynor of the general health effects of air pollution. Taken together, these talks are intended to build wider community understanding of the need for local air monitoring."

Friends of Hudson's work on regional air quality began in early 1999 with the successful campaign against a chemical waste processing plant proposed for the City of Hudson waterfront. Although St. Lawrence Cement's proposal for a massive coal-powered plant in Hudson/Greenport was ultimately denied on scenic grounds, the air quality impacts were at the forefront of FoH's strategy throughout the 6-year campaign.

Friends of Hudson opposed the recent introduction of whole tires as fuel for the Lafarge Cement plant in Ravena, based on the higher probability of surges in toxic emissions due to inefficient burning. In June, Friends of Hudson joined other environmental organizations in filing a lawsuit against EPA to close a loophole that protects industrial polluters from liability in the event of equipment malfunction.

David Fitzjarrald, Ph.D. is Research Associate at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, SUNY Albany. He and his associates have researched air movement patterns in various environments around the world, including the Hudson Valley. "Their findings," according to Reed, "support the contention that the current exclusive reliance on Albany-based air monitoring does not reflect local conditions."

Friends of Hudson is a grassroots organization whose mission is to ensure a healthy, sustainable and fulfilling quality of life for the region's economically and culturally diverse population. In addition to ongoing monitoring of the Hudson Valley cement industry, FoH's expanded focus includes improving regional air quality, developing local strategies for better land use, and advocating for community-based sustainable development.

The FoH Speaker's Series began in December 2005 with an in-depth presentation Understanding Sprawl by Todd Fabozzi of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission. In January Robert Freeman of the NYS Committee on Open Government led a discussion on Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Law But Were Afraid to Ask featured. Veteran environmental attorney Jeff Baker in February provided a short course SEQRA 101.

A special March public forum held at St. Mary's Gymnasium in Hudson focused on Alternative Energies for Municipalities: Exploring the Possibilities. A follow-up session in May with Hudson Commissioner of Public Works Michael O'Hara explored Community Applications of Advanced Energy Technologies.

In June, Friends of Hudson helped bring Herbert Dreiseitl, an internationally-known environmental planner, to Hudson to brief city officials and local activists on his work in community-based waterfront design in Europe and North America. In mid-summer, Conrad Vispo of the Farmscape Ecology Program made a presentation on the evolving Columbia County farmscape beginning with its original settlement by Europeans.

Because seating is limited, reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve a seat, call Friends of Hudson at 518-822-0334. The Friends of Hudson Speaker Series is free to all. Attendees who have not yet done so will be invited to join FoH to support future such events and other activities.

For further information on this program and Friends of Hudson's other activities, call 822-0334 or 672-7743. To learn more about David Fitzjarrald's work CLICK HERE.