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NYPA to Participate In Electric Power Research Institute’s Children’s Air Pollution Asthma Study

Connie M. Cullen, NYPA

Heather Lynch, EPRI     

April 21, 2006


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA), the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, will participate in the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Children’s Air Pollution Asthma Study (CAPAS) starting later this year. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), with major locations in Palo Alto, California, and Charlotte, North Carolina, was established in 1973 as an independent, nonprofit center for public interest energy and environmental research.

The study is expected to be among the most comprehensive to date on air pollution and asthma.  It will measure a wide range of pollutants in selected homes and at outdoor monitoring stations, evaluating the corresponding relationship between indoor and outdoor pollutants, as well as their origin.  The study is expected to start in July and be completed in late 2009, with the findings published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

 “EPRI empowers stakeholders by giving them the most reliable science to make informed decisions,” said EPRI Senior Technical Manager Annette Rohr, Sc.D. “We are appreciative of NYPA’s interest in working with us to gain new insight into the association between childhood asthma and air pollution, and thus to make critical decisions for its consumers and community.”

The project team consists of EPRI, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health, and in addition to NYPA several other utilities across the country, including FirstEnergy Corp., OH; Oglethorpe Power Corporation, GA; Southern Company, GA and Tennessee Valley Authority, TN.  The team has consulted with the New York State Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation regarding the most effective approaches for air quality monitoring and health outcome assessment. CAPAS is a component of the nationwide Aerosol Research and Inhalation Epidemiology Study (ARIES) being conducted by EPRI.

The Power Authority contributes to New York State’s air quality through its operation of nonpolluting hydroelectric projects upstate and investment in the latest pollution-control technologies for its natural gas- and oil-fueled generating facilities in New York City and Long Island. They include a new power plant that went into commercial operation in December that is among the cleanest, most efficient generating facilities to operate in the city.

NYPA also contributes to cleaner air through its investment in energy efficiency and new clean generating technologies such as fuel cells and solar power.  To date, it has completed 1,450 clean energy and efficiency projects at more than 2,350 tax-supported public facilities statewide, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 730,000 tons. That is in addition to lowering their utility bills by $93 million a year and peak electricity use by 193,000 kilowatts—the amount of power for about 150,000 homes. These initiatives, pursued under various energy-services programs, have also reduced dependence on foreign oil by more than 1.5 million barrels a year.

NYPA continues to add to these numbers, investing up to $100 million a year on its clean energy services for public facilities across the state.  

The Power Authority’s efforts have included new lighting, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems; automated energy-management systems; electric motors; energy-efficient refrigerators for public housing; and clean furnaces at public schools. NYPA’s energy services also include placing or helping to place about 800 clean electric-drive vehicles on the road for its statewide fleet of vehicles and those of its customers.

   About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating plants in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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