WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to reopen three air quality monitoring stations in the region.

This is in response to the EPA’s decision to close the Huntington Wildlife Forest site in Essex County, Akwesasne Mohawk- Fort Covington site in Franklin County and Bennett Bridge site in Oswego County.

These sites are used to measure air pollutants such as criteria pollutants, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, black carbon, ultrafine particle count and meteorological data.

Data collected from these sites are then used in air quality reports, as well as network assessments for the public and technical community.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Senator Schumer explained that the three sites set to close “played an integral role” in preserving ecosystems, catching pollution violators and have helped provide evidence for environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act.

Senator Schumer added that the air monitoring work done by these sites was “essential” in the fight against acid rain and pollution in the Adirondack lakes and North Country forests.

“The North Country and Adirondack Mountains are home to some of Upstate New York’s most beautiful natural landscapes, lakes and wildlife, but cutting these vital air quality monitoring stations could shift the winds on years of progress to protect these environments,” Senator Schumer said in a press release. “That is why I am calling on the EPA to immediately reverse course and reopen these sites in Oswego, Franklin, and Essex Counties.”

Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway back Senator Schumer’s letter, saying that this is a “critical time” in protecting the Adirondack region.

“At this critical time when the climate crisis threatens public health, clean water, Adirondack loons and the economy expanding investments in science and monitoring, not cutting them, is essential,” Janeway shared.

Senator Schumer’s full letter to EPA Administrator Regan can be read online.