New York state is making available $2.1 million in competitive grant money to aid local air quality improvement projects, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday announced. 

Community-based non-profit organizations will qualify for the money to aid disadvantaged communities in New York that have struggled with air pollution. 

"As someone who grew up in the shadow of a steel plant that contributed to orange skies and a polluted Lake Erie, I know firsthand the urgency of our fight against air pollution and climate change," Hochul said. "These grants will target the air quality challenges faced by disadvantaged communities and help advance strategies to create a greener state and improve the health and well-being of all New Yorkers."

A statewide air quality and greenhouse gas monitoring program launched in 2022 is being conducted in 10 communities in New York, covering five million people, about 25% of New York's population. 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation, meanwhile, is working with groups to map local air pollution. 

"Significant work and local collaboration is advancing since Governor Hochul launched the statewide Community Air Monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities last year," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "The $2.1 million in available grants announced during Air Quality Awareness Week will be instrumental in ensuring local-state partnerships bolster this effort identifying local sources of pollution and driving solutions and actions to improve air quality in neighborhoods across the state."