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EPA regional director says individuals need to help combat climate change

EPA Regional Director Judith Enck is calling central New York to take action when it comes to climate change.

Enck admits that taking on climate change is a big issue. But she says individuals shouldn't shy away from it.

“Sometimes climate change can be an overwhelming issue. You get paralyzed, you don’t know what’s the first thing you can do to address. But I actionably think there are no shortage of steps to take to reduce carbon pollution,” said Enck, in a recent interview with WRVO News.

She says those steps can be as simple as car-pooling and recycling, to something more dramatic like installing solar power in a home or business. Enck says the federal government is taking major steps to fight climate change, and that along with individual behavior changes are the best way to fight climate change.

But there’s a sense of urgency when Enck talks about global warming. She says the opportunity to slow it is fleeting.  

“There’s a lot we can do, but we’ve got to get going. We are running out of time.  Climate change is here. And there’s tremendous pressure to reverse the damaging impacts of climate change before the damage is worse.”

Enck will be speaking about what residents can do on the individual level about climate change at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse tonight.

Enck is also meeting with the Onondaga Lake Watershed Partnership while she’s in central New York this week. Onondaga Lake has perhaps been the biggest focus of reversing the effects of pollution in the region recently.

There’s no question that Onondaga Lake is cleaner than it’s been in years. But Enck says the work isn’t done yet.

"The Lake is improving, but there’s still quite a long way to go. We’ve got to finish the superfund clean-up and we’ve got to reduce sewage discharges, and pollution from combined sewer overflow,” said Enck.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.