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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>State grants to fund monitoring of pollutants

Grants totaling $600,000 will pay for monitoring hazardous air pollutants in the Town of Tonawanda, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced.

The monitoring will continue testing started in 2004 and 2005 by the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York and the DEC, which tested for benzene -- a pollutant emitted from local industries, automobiles and trucks. The testing indicated additional data, covering an extended time period, is needed to better understand outdoor air quality in the town.

Under the new monitoring, four sites will be tested for a one-year period. A progress report and preliminary findings will be presented to the community this fall, a DEC spokeswoman said, and another meeting will be scheduled when the final report is complete.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing $300,000 to the DEC, which is adding a matching amount.

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