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Council clears way for air monitors in east end of city.

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 The need for air monitors in Hamilton’s east end is greater now than it has ever been, says Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins.

With the potential of a new incinerator onSherman Avenue, the expanding area’s industrial businesses, and the ongoing issues at the Woodward Avenue Sewage Treatment Plant, councillors agreed at their April 23 meeting to spend $225,305 on two air monitors that will be located within the area to monitor the air.

“There is a real void in the east end,” said Collins, who advocated for the monitors. The money is coming from his area-rating budget.

“This will provide us with a good opportunity to monitor our air.”

The data from he monitors will provide the public with real time information about the air quality on the city’s or Ministry of Environment’s website.

Environmentalists and the city have long been fighting to improve the city’s air quality, which Clean Air Hamilton’s 2012 air quality report revealed contributed to 186 premature deaths.

Air monitoring stations had been in place atSamMansonParkin the 1990s, but were scrapped after the Mike Harris government ending the funding. In 2010 the city’s Board of Health agreed to establish a pilot program in 2012 at Sam Manson Park, but the project ended.

The money will not only purchase two air monitoring units, but it will provide the operating cost for a year. A location hasn’t been determined, but options include Sam Manson Park, Glen Castle Park, Father Sean O’Sullivan Park, Confederation Park, Rosedale Arena or Kings Forest Golf Course.

As part of the motion, Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla wanted the city to find out why the provincial government isn’t providing the needed funding for the monitors. He said it’s the province’s responsibility to protect the public from poor air quality.

“We need to put pressure on the province to do their job,” he said.

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