The Environmental Issues of Water and Air Pollution in Orange County, New York
by Sarah Ganly
In Orange County, New York there are many air and water pollution issues that affect the community. In my community air pollution is a serious issue. Orange County, New York has some of the dirtiest air in all of the United States. Water pollution in my area is also a problem that is being caused by developments in my area. There are many factors that have an affect on pollution in my area, and some of these factors can help, but many do not.
"More people in Orange County are expected to become sick from dirty air than they would in most places in the United States" (Bernhard & Perkes, 2006). The severe air pollution problems in my area are affecting climate because it is causing global warming. The increased use of fossil fuels in my area is due to population increase and transportation increase. Since my area is so close to the city many people are moving to my community and commuting to their jobs. The topography in my area helps intensify air pollution because there are a lot of urban buildings, and more are being built everyday. The area I live in is a mountainous region; this also helps increase air pollution because it decreases air flow. Air pollution in my area is decreased by the level of snow and rain received. The amount of trees also helps decrease air pollution, but if the area I live in is continued to be urbanized there will be less trees.
In my community water pollution is a problem because of development projects. The area I live in is right outside of New York City; it has recently become a site for developers. One project that is being suggested is a "2,000-acre Catskill Park resort, which critics said would erode mountain soil and send pollutants into reservoirs" (Upstate projects could threaten NYC water, p.2) Many proposals like this are constantly under review in my community and the nature that I am used to being surrounded by is starting to disappear.
Air pollution extremely affects the people in my community because the risk of getting cancer "is nearly doubled: 79 cancer cases per million residents" (Bernhard & Perkes, 2006). This is not the only serious health issue caused by air pollution in my area; other health issues include "asthma, emphysema and heart disease" (Bernhard and Perkes, 2006). The environment is also affected by air pollution in my community because it causes the amount of ultraviolet radiation to increase, and this radiation has a negative effect on crops and plants in my community.
The environment is affected by water pollution cause by development projects in my community because soil erosion causes loss of good land and soil for farming. This also causes the need for a higher use of fertilizer in my community. This also affects the people in my community because the water pollution in reservoirs would require building a "$8 billion filtration plant" which would directly affect the tax payers in my community. (Upstate projects could threaten NYC water, p.4)
It is upsetting to know that my community is so troubled buy air pollution and water pollution, but it is interesting to know that there are natural things such as rain and snow are helping the environment. I think that urbanization of my community is causing many of the problems with pollution in my area.
Bernhard, B., & Perkes, C. (March 23, 2006). O.C.'s dirty air. Retrieved June 28, 2007 from, http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1067450.php