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YOUR COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY RATING (E.Q.R.)
Jon Fiorella

In this investigation we will use a rating system to indicate the environmental quality of your community. We will consider your environment to be all of Westchester County. This is an interesting area to analyze because it has New York City to the south, Putnam County to the north, the Hudson River to the west and Connecticut and the Long Island Sound to the east.

The following procedures explain how you can determine an E.Q.R. score for your community. The E.Q.R. score will give you some idea of the pollution problems your community may be facing. If your community is fortunate enough to have no form of pollution, its E.Q.R. is 100. If the pollution is mild, the value is between 90-99. A score of 80-89 indicates a moderate problem. If the E.Q.R. is below 80, your community has a severe problem.

PART 1
Start with 100 points (a perfect score). Answer each of the following questions and deduct the necessary points. Keep in mind that it is your community that you will be rating and therefore it is your standards that are important.

  1. If Westchester County has
    a) mild air pollution, subtract 1 or 2 points.
    b) moderate air pollution, subtract 3 or 4 points.
    c) severe air pollution, subtract 5 or 6 points. Score ______

  2. Subtract one additional point for each smog alert you had during the last year. Score ______

  3. If Westchester County has
    a) mild noise pollution, subtract 1 or 2 points.
    b) moderate noise pollution, subtract 3 or 4 points.
    c) severe noise pollution, subtract 5 or 6 points. Score ______

  4. Frequently the lakes, ponds, rivers or sea near a community may be polluted. If the pollution is
    a) mild, subtract 1 or 2 points.
    b) moderate, subtract 3 or 4 points.
    c) severe, subtract 5 or 6 points. Score ______

  5. Factories and utilities sometimes discharge heated water into a stream or into the ocean. This may harm the organisms found there. If the pollution is
    a) mild, subtract point.
    b) moderate, subtract 2 points.
    c) severe, subtract 3 points. Score ______

  6. An agricultural area frequently becomes polluted by too much salt in the soil or too high a concentration of pesticides and other poisons. If the farms in and near your community have problems of this kind
    a) subtract 1-3 points if the problem is mild.
    b) subtract 4-6 points if the problem is mild.
    c) subtract 7-9 points if the problem is severe. Score ______

  7. Are there paper and trash in the streets, beer cans in the parks, graffiti, or abandoned automobiles along the roads? If this problem is
    a) mild, subtract 1 or 2 points.
    b) moderate, subtract 3 or 4 points.
    c) severe, subtract 5 or 6 points. Score ______

TOTAL SCORE PART I ______

PART 2 Environmental Improvement Rating
Things can and are being done about environmental problems. If your community is doing something about its problems it is becoming a better place to live. Community efforts of the type that improved it may soon be important to all of us. To determine an environmental improvement rating, answer each of the questions in the following list. For each YES, credit your community with the number of points indicated.

  1. In the past three years has your community or state passed any laws designed to reduce air pollution? (1 point) Score ______

  2. Has there been any measurable improvement in the air in your community in the past year? (3 points) Score ______

  3. Has your community or state passed a law pertaining to water pollution in the past three years? (1 point) Score ______

  4. Has there been any measurable improvement in the water in the past three years? (3 points) Score ______

  5. Has your community or state passed a law pertaining to soil pollution in the past three years? (1 point) Score ______

  6. Has there been a measurable improvement in the soil in the past year? (3 points) Score _____

  7. Have there been campaigns to encourage people to stop littering in the streets and parks? (1 point) Score ______

  8. Have there been clean-up campaigns? (1 points) Score ______

  9. Have there been community attempts to improve the appearance of parks, playgrounds, and beaches in other ways? (1 point) Score ______

  10. Are aluminum cans, paper, or scrap metal collected so they can be used again? (1 point) Score ______<

  11. Do people try to help reduce air pollution by driving cars only when necessary? (1 point) Score ______

Add up the points you have given your community for its effort to reduce and prevent pollution.
TOTAL SCORE PART II ______

Rating: 0-7 POOR, 8-10 AVERAGE, 11-13 GOOD, 14-17 EXCELLENT

Adapted from the National Wildlife Federation Association


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