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"Air Quality Alert" ...Air quality alert in effect from 11 am to 11 PM EDT Thursday... The New York state department of environmental conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties... Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Westchester... Rockland...Nassau...Suffolk. In effect from 11 am to 11 PM EDT Thursday. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for the pollutant of ground level ozone. The air quality index...or aqi...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the aqi value, the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York state department of health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very Young, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. A toll free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll free number is 1 800 5 3 5, 1 3 4 5. 1105 PM EDT Wed may 25 2016 ...Air quality alert in effect from 11 am to 11 PM EDT Thursday... The New York state department of environmental conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties... Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Westchester... Rockland...Nassau...Suffolk. In effect from 11 am to 11 PM EDT Thursday. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for the pollutant of ground level ozone. The air quality index...or aqi...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the aqi value, the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York state department of health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very Young, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. A toll free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll free number is 1 800 5 3 5, 1 3 4 5. -- Thursday May.26 16,04:12 PM

Tree-Menacing Asian Long-horned Beetle Makes a Comeback to LI

The Asian long-horned beetle is a death sentence for forests, and has recently been discovered on trees in Farmingdale, just north of where the last beetle outbrak took place five years ago in Amityville.

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After five years of keeping the population of the invasive Asian long-horned beetle in check, new infestation of the beetle has recently been discovered in Farmingdale, and it is already threatening neighboring forests.

The Asian long-horned beetle is a destructive wood-boring pest that can wipe out hardwood forests by eating the trees from the inside out. 

“It chews its way out, leaving a perfect circular hole. It looks like someone did it with an electrical drill,” said Joseph Gittleman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to CBS News.

By boring through the wood, the beetle cuts through the tissues that carry water and nutrients throughout the tree, which then causes the tree to starve, weaken, and eventually die, according to the USDA.

A large population of the beetles settled in Amityville in the early 2000s, and snacked on maples, willows, elms and chestnut trees.  An estimated 20,000 trees were lost due to the betle invasion, and the 23 square miles of forest were put under quarantine.

Now, 200 trees north of Amityville in Farmingdale were found to be harboring the pest, so the USDA has extended the quarantined area by another 18 square miles.  All trees in the new quarantined area will be inspected, and trees marked with an X will be removed.

Researchers believe that this invasive species came to Brooklyn in the mid-90s inside wood packaging material from Asia.  It has no natural predators, and it quickly spread to parts of Long Island.

Just this past May, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that the Asian long-horned beetle was finally eradicated from Manhattan and Staten Island.  New Jersey was also announced to be Asian long-horned beetle-free in March.

[Source: CBS News, USDA]