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Bard College Becomes A Clean Air NY Campus Partner

Bard’s Electric Bike-Sharing Program Encourages Students and Employees to Commit to Cleaner Air
Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
845-758-7008
huang@bard.edu
08-03-2009
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.––Bard College has signed on to be a Campus Partner through the New York State Department of Transportation’s Clean Air NY initiative. Clean Air NY is a dynamic collaboration of organizations and individuals in the New York metro area who are taking action to improve air quality and combat pollution.

“Bard has committed to work with our Clean Air NY partner to be environmental stewards of Hudson Valley air,” says Laurie Husted, Bard’s Environmental Resources Auditor and director of Bard’s Environmental Resources Department. “These clean air goals ally with President Botstein’s signature on the President’s Climate Commitment. We will continue our efforts to abate our greenhouse gas emissions through improvements to our free shuttle system, evaluation of alternative vehicles, on demand energy reduction, and implementation of programs such as our Anti Idling policy.”

On Earth Day (April 22), 2009, Bard College established an electric bike-sharing program in order to reduce vehicle miles traveled on and around campus. The program includes four electric bikes. Two bikes are designated solely for employee use and are currently in use by Bard campus security officers; two others are available daily for students, faculty, and staff to sign out and use as an alternative to driving cars. “The program gives students and staff an opportunity which they normally would not have,” says Bartek Starodaj ’11, a Bard junior who helped to set up the bike-sharing program. “The positive effects on the environment and for the campus and local community are far-reaching, hopefully foreshadowing a future of emptier roads and cleaner air and opening users up to the world of biking."

Air quality is a serious, ongoing problem. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, ozone pollution likely translates into thousands of additional deaths every year across the United States. New York is especially affected—the New York City metropolitan area leads the nation in total deaths, cancer deaths, and heart attacks associated with diesel emissions.

Bard College is joining colleges such as Adelphi University, Mount Saint Mary College, and Stony Brook University, which are also working with Clean Air NY to lower New York’s ozone concentration and improve air quality.

About Clean Air NY
Clean Air NY is an initiative sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation in support of regional air quality efforts. Clean Air NY’s network of individuals and businesses believes that every person has the power to help make New York’s air healthier and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Clean Air NY educates the public on simple everyday changes that reduce vehicle travel and provides real-time updates on Air Quality Action Days via text messaging, email, and media notifications. To learn more, visit CleanAirNY.org.

For more information about Bard College’s Clean Air NY partnership, please contact Laurie Husted, Bard Environmental Resources Auditor, at (845) 758-7180 or husted@bard.edu.

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This event was last updated on 08-03-2009