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Fighting WestwayEnvironmental Law, Citizen Activism, and the Regulatory War That Transformed New York City$
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William W. Buzbee

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451904

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451904.001.0001

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(p.64) 5 Searching for Westway’s Achilles’ Heel: Air Pollution?

(p.64) 5 Searching for Westway’s Achilles’ Heel: Air Pollution?

(p.64) 5 Searching for Westway’s Achilles’ Heel: Air Pollution?
Fighting Westway

William W. Buzbee

Cornell University Press

This chapter details the attempts of the opposition to the Westway plans to discover whether the project would have a fatal legal vulnerability. Specifically, the chapter shows how both supporters and opponents alike turned their initial focus to Westway's impact on the environment, as air pollution links were the most obvious project risks. Any new highway in New York was bound to change traffic patterns and result in extra pollution in a city already suffering from serious air pollution problems. In addition, with the trade-in choice of highway or mass transit now explicitly recognized in federal law, advocates were able to in proceedings for air permits compare the more benign effects of mass transit expenditures and investment in Westway's highway. Furthermore, New York State and City had under the Clean Air Act committed to a State Implementation Plan (SIP) designed to bring New York into compliance with federal National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Keywords:   Westway's legal vulnerabilities, Westway's air impacts, air pollution, public health, Westway project risks, clean-air standards, air permits, air quality

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