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New EPA Video Highlights Success of Citizen Science Efforts in Tonawanda, NY

Release Date: 05/21/2013
Contact Information: John Martin, (212) 637-3662,

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a new video to its national YouTube channel highlighting the role citizen science has played in raising awareness about pollution from the Tonawanda Coke Corporation facility in Tonawanda, New York. The video is part of a larger project to highlight the work of “citizen scientists” across the country and connect communities with tools they can use to start citizen science projects.

“Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers who collect data to better understand their local environment and help them address issues of concern to them,” said Judith A. Enck, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator. “Projects such as the one in Tonawanda have been remarkably successful in expanding scientific knowledge, raising people's awareness of their environment and prompting action.”

The subject of the video recently posted to the EPA’s YouTube channel is the work of residents of Western New York and Tonawanda, New York, an upstate community plagued by a very serious air pollution problem. The video explains how concerned members of the Tonawanda community used citizen science to focus attention on the pollution in their area. Their efforts spurred the EPA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to investigate the problem and take action against the Tonawanda Coke corporation, resulting in a dramatic decrease in harmful pollutants being emitted.

The EPA expects to develop similar videos highlighting efforts in other communities. The EPA has also hosted a series of workshops and web-based sessions to help train community members on how best to gather environmental data in their areas.

To view the video and to get more information about citizen science, visit

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