South Bronx Unite Testifies Before NYC Council Committee on Environmental Protection

Today, A. Mychal Johnson and Dr. Melissa Barber will provide testimony on behalf of South Bronx Unite to the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection on Oversight of Air Quality Impacts, Measures and Mitigation in Environmental Justice Communities.
“The South Bronx community suffers from asthma rates eight times the national average and asthma hospitalization rates 21 times that of other New York City neighborhoods,” began Dr. Barber, Mott Hvaen resident recently cited by Bronx Times as one of the 25 most influential women in the Bronx. “Twelve years ago, the ‘South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study,’ sponsored by Congressman José Serrano and administered by the U.S. EPA, concluded that the solution to this problem was to reduce the already overburdened rates of truck traffic in the community and to provide for more open space.”
A. Mychal Johnson, Mott Haven resident and delegate to the Region 2 New York State Open Space Committee, continued: “In the case of the South Bronx, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Industrial Development Agency (IDA) have been acting to not only encourage but to heavily subsidize more diesel truck intensive businesses to relocate to the South Bronx from other parts of the city, the most egregious and recent example of which is the proposed relocation of FreshDirect’s trucking operation to the South Bronx waterfront. EDC and IDA staff oversaw and approved the company’s cursory environmental assessment that was based off of a 20 year old Environmental Impact Statement and concluded that a thousand additional daily diesel truck trips would not negatively impact local residents. But we, along with more than 50 South Bronx and other city-wide organizations, disagree and are supported by scientific findings of the harm this project would bring.”

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