Project Summary
Waste Transfer Stations
Transportation and Traffic
Asthma and Air Pollution
Air Quality
Water Quality
Youth Participation and Leadership Program

The South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study - Introduction

The main goal of the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study is to study environmental and health issues affecting the South Bronx community, with particular emphasis on the relationships between air quality, transportation, waste transfer activity, demographic characteristics, and public health. It is a collaborative research project that involves the NYU School of Medicine’s Nelson Institute of Environmental Medicine (NIEM), the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service’s Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS), and four community groups: The Point Community Development Corporation, We Stay/Nos Quedamos, Sports Foundation Inc., and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice Inc.

This web site provides information on the Wagner School's portion of the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study.

The members of the current NYU Wagner/ICIS group are:

  • Rae Zimmerman (co-Principal Investigator), Professor and Director, ICIS
  • Zvia Naphtali, PhD, Adjunct Clinical Professor, Wagner School, NYU
  • Carlos Restrepo, Research Scientist, Ph.D

Former members of the NYU Wagner ICIS group:

  • Jose Holguin-Veras, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic University
  • Bruce A. Egan, Sc.D, CCM, Egan Environmental Inc.
  • Alison Kling, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Renuka Vijayanathan, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Cary Hirschstein, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Nicole Dooskin, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Roy Guzman, Web Design
  • David Klebenov, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Jennifer Lara, Graduate Research Assistant

For information on the School of Medicine’s work in the study, visit


The South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study was funded with a Congressional Appropriation sponsored by Congressman José E. Serrano and administered through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The views expressed in this web page are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. EPA.

Project News, Events and Activities

May 17, 2010

In February 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the
standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). The new standards are described
in the document “Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for
Nitrogen Dioxide” published in the Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 26
/ Tuesday, February 9, 2010 / Rules and Regulations – and available

The work of the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study has
contributed to the debate about improving the regulation of this
pollutant, which is one of six criteria pollutants commonly monitored
and regulated by EPA under the Clean Air Act. As part of the South
Bronx project researchers conducted an analysis and comparison of air
pollutant concentrations at two heights in the South Bronx, concluding
that for some pollutants, including NO2, the location of monitoring
stations in terms of height above ground level makes an important
difference in the observed ambient concentrations.

This work is summarized in the Phase II & III report and in a paper published by the journal Atmospheric Environment, which was cited and
quoted in pages 2-35 and 2-57 of the EPA document titled Integrated
Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen Health Criteria (2008
Final Report)
[Available fro download:]. This
document was used as an input to the risk and exposure analyses
prepared by EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
(OAQPS), which led to the revision and promulgation of the new
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)
by the EPA. This national standard constitutes the most important
guiding principle for policy affecting this air pollutant.

Related publication:

Restrepo, Carlos, Rae Zimmerman, George Thurston, Jessica Clemente,
John Gorczynski, Mianhua Zhong, Martin Blaustein, Lung Chi Chen. 2004.
“A comparison of ground-level air quality data with New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation monitoring stations data in
South Bronx, New York.” Atmospheric Environment 38: 5295-5304.

November 24, 2009

The reports section has been updated. You can now access three new reports that summarize and provide detailed information on research, outreach, education and policy aspects of this project.

February 18, 2008

Carlos E. Restrepo gave a talk titled Infrastructure and Environmental Health Risks in the South Bronx: A Review of the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study at Solar One. The presentation included general information about the study, and focused on some of the recent Geographic Information Systems (GIS) work related to proximity of public schools to major highways in urban areas carried out by Carlos E. Restrepo, Zvia Segal Naphtali and Rae Zimmerman.

April 5, 2007

Rae Zimmerman, Zvia Segal Naphtali and Carlos E. Restrepo presented some of the findings of the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study to the Environmental Law Committee of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Before the presentation they recorded an interview where they discussed environmental quality issues in the South Bronx and their research. The interview is now available as a podcast here:

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York

October 16, 2006 Press Event

Update of Findings: On October 16, 2006 a Press Event was held by Congressman José E. Serrano's office to provide an update on the findings of the study. The findings presented by the ICIS/Wagner-NYU portion of the study centered on an analysis of proximity of public schools to environmental health hazards such as highways, truck routes and industrial land use areas. A summary of findings titled Land Use, Transportation and Industrial Facilities: GIS to Support Improved Land Use Initiatives and Policies, the South Bronx, NYC was distributed at the event.

NYU Press Release

A sample of media coverage of the study is provided below:

The New York Times:



United Press International:

Environment News Service (ENS): Http://

Best Syndication:


New York Post:

New York Daily News:

Washington Square News:


November 12, 2005 Outreach Event

Join us on November 12, 2005 and listen to medical practitioners, scientists, policy makers, and environmental advocates discuss practical solutions on how to make the South Bronx a better place to live - and breathe.

Free food, entertainment and prizes all day!

The South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study is funded with an appropriation sponsored by Congressman José E. Serrano and is administered by the EPA. Project partners are New York University, The Point CDC, Sports Foundation, Inc., We Stay / Nos Quedamos, Inc., and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. The forum is presented by The Sports Foundation, Inc.

November 12 Forum

Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
New York University
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012