A special program was held at Pearl Bailey Library in Newport News on September 20, 2017, in the heart of zip code 23607, which is listed as one of the 25 zip codes in Virginia with the highest air pollution.
Many other local activists and community organizers also joined the discussion, which centered around the high incidence of asthma and other illnesses that can result from poor air quality. These diseases endanger the health of residents in SE Newport News disproportionately. Emissions, including the toxic chemical beryllium, come from several local sources. Some beneficial first steps were outlined to address the problem, including the placement of air monitors to record and evaluate air quality. Volunteers are needed for additional community work and research on this important issue.