A Breath of Fresh Air: Managing Air Quality
November 1st, 2018
Burning fossil fuels for energy, driving cars, and incinerating garbage are all practices that cause air pollution leading to a number of health concerns including asthma, allergies, lung disease, anxiety, and depression. The elderly, young children, pregnant women are especially vulnerable. This session examined the current scientific understanding of the impacts of climate change on air quality and discussed adaptation measures to reduce the public health consequences. It provides a case study of the collaborative effort between the Boston Public Health Commission, a citizen advocate, the Boston Police Department, the taxicab industry, and Logan Airport that brought hybrid vehicles into the city’s taxicab fleet. Topics covered included the logistics of the partnership and program; how health, air quality, and economic co-benefits supported a climate change mitigation effort; and lessons learned along the way. Also discussed were efforts in New Hampshire to decrease air pollution with the co-benefits of mitigating climate change while supporting healthier and more resilient communities.
Paul Shoemaker is the Associate Director of the Environmental & Occupational Health Division of the Boston Public Health Commission. He is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the broad range of the office’s activities including inspector response to potential environmental health hazards, enforcement of local and state public health regulations, and public outreach/education efforts. Mr. Shoemaker is a member of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Global Climate Change Workgroup. He also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of ESAC (www.esacboston.org), a Boston-based multi-service community stabilization organization providing GED education programming to at-risk youth, foreclosure prevention counseling, and free/low-cost home repair services to low income seniors. Mr. Shoemaker holds a Masters of public health from the George Washington University, a Master’s in business administration from Boston University and a BA in biology from The Johns Hopkins University.
Sherry Godlewski has worked for NH Department of Environmental Services for 20 years, and has experience in the water, air, waste, and environmental health programs. Currently she serves as the Resiliency and Adaptation Manager. Sherry is co-chair of both the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup and the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup. She served as the Adaptation Workgroup facilitator for the Governor’s Climate Change Policy Task Force and assisted with the development of the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan. She has an M.S. in Environmental Communication and Administration from Antioch University.