Protect Students from Highway Pollution

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Across our state, thousands of children attend schools that sit just a few hundred feet from major roadways. Every day, these mostly Black and Brown students breathe in the toxins emitted by cars, SUVs, and diesel trucks, leading to respiratory illness, increased absenteeism, and academic challenges.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Governor Hochul to protect the health of New York students from air pollution.

Message Recipients:
Governor Kathy Hochul

Student writing at a desk, with pollution smoke and a highway running behind.
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Protect Students from Highway Pollution

I am writing to urge you to support the Schools Impacted by Gross Highways "SIGH" Act (S4550B / A8998B) and commit to protecting the health of youth attending schools near major highways.

The SIGH Act will prevent a part of the pervasive system of environmental racism throughout New York, wherein communities of color are disproportionately overexposed to air pollution. Achieving racial justice in our state starts with preventing this burden on Black, Brown, and low-income neighborhoods.

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has warned states that children who attend school within 500 feet of a major road have a significant chance of suffering dire consequences, including an increased likelihood of developing asthma, asthma attacks, and emergency nebulizer use.

Yet, New York has more students who attend schools near major roadways than any other state in the nation. About one-third of New York’s students go to school near a major highway. Unsurprisingly, an overwhelming 88 percent of those schools teach a predominately Black and Brown student population. New York City bears the brunt of those impacts, with over 250 schools near major highways.

The SIGH Act requires New York to protect students from air pollution by prohibiting the future construction of schools within 500 feet of each other.

The SIGH Act would improve the health, education, and economic outcomes of thousands of New York students who have endured the impacts of environmental racism for years.

I urge you to sign the SIGH Act into law.


[First Name] [Last Name]

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