The City of Kingston, NY

    Welcome to the City of Kingston, NY

    Kingston, dating to the arrival of the Dutch in 1652, is a vibrant city with rich history and architecture, was the state's first capital, and a thriving arts community. City Hall is in the heart of the community at 420 Broadway, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except July & August (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).  Come tour our historic City, with restaurants that are among the region's finest, and local shopping that promises unique finds.

    Historic Churches

    Kingston is home to many historic churches. The oldest church still standing is the First Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Kingston which was organized in 1659. Referred to as The Old Dutch Church, it is located in Uptown Kingston. Many of the city's historic churches populate Wurts street (6 in one block) among them Hudson Valley Wedding Chapel is a recently restored church built in 1867 and now a chapel hosting weddings. Another church in the Rondout is located at 72 Spring Street. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1849. The original church building at the corner of Hunter Street and Ravine Street burned to the ground in the late 1850s. The current church on Spring Street was built in 1874.

    Kingston, NY

    Kingston became New York's first capital in 1777, and was burned by the British on October 13, 1777, after the Battles of Saratoga. In the 19th century, the city became an important transport hub after the discovery of natural cement in the region, and had both railroad and canal connections.

    Kingston, NY

    The town of Rondout, New York, now a part of the city of Kingston, became an important freight hub for the transportation of coal from Honesdale, Pennsylvania to New York City through the Delaware and Hudson Canal. This hub was later used to transport other goods, including bluestone. Kingston shaped and shipped most of the bluestone made to create the sidewalks of New York City.


    Contact Us

    City Hall Address:
    420 Broadway
    Kingston, New York

    (845) 331-0080
    [email protected]

    PM2.5: What we should all know

    What is it?

    Particulate matter (PM) is one of the most concerning pollutants to human health.  Of all PM, widely recognized as the most dangerous is PM 2.5--that is, of a size 1/30 the diameter of a human hair. This pollutant is so tiny, it easily enters lungs and bloodstream, causing and exacerbating health effects such as respiratory illnesses such as asthma/COPD, heart attacks and strokes, dementia, SIDS, cancer, premature death, and genetic alteration that affects the immune system, perhaps permanently.  Premature deaths have been shown to occur on the very day of exposure to PM 2.5, even at currently-set governmental levels.  These particles  cannot be coughed or sneezed out, as larger particles can be, and evidence shows that even very small increases in the level of exposure to PM 2.5 leads to much higher death rates in people who have contracted COVID-19 (Wu et al., 2020).

    The American Lung Association outlines the health risks of both short and long-term exposure to PM 2.5. They make the point that many studies show that even at current exposure levels set by the EPA serious health effects and premature death are shown to occur. Click here to read more. 

    Where does it come from?

    Sources of PM 2.5 in outdoor air originate from the combustion of gasoline, oil, diesel fuel, and wood. These sources include vehicle exhaust and the burning of fuels for heat. Indoor PM 2.5 can also occur from cooking, burning candles, and fireplaces, and wood or pellet stoves. The latter also contribute to outdoor PM 2.5. 

    Burning wood is one of the dirtiest ways to heat your home. A study conducted by the United States EPA estimated that a single wood heater emits more PM 2.5 per year than 700 cars

    Based on data gathered from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it was estimated that 1,573.63 tons of wood was used as fuel in the City of Kingston in 2010. This created 193 tonnes of CO2e in addition to PM 2.5 emissions.

    The EPA’s National Emissions Inventory for 2014 compares PM 2.5 emissions in Ulster County from automobiles, trucks, and residential wood burning as follows, “on-road light duty, non-diesel cars: 37.7 tons, on-road, heavy-duty diesel: 28.9 tons, residential heating: wood-burning: 554.314 tons.”

    Vehicle idling is another significant contributor to PM2.5, heavy duty diesel vehicles being the worst offenders.

    NYS currently has a heavy duty vehicle anti-idling law, NYS Environmental Conservation Law, 6 NYCRR, Subpart 217-3, which prohibits heavy duty vehicles, including non-diesel and diesel trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 8,500 pounds, from idling for more than five minutes at a time. The idling regulation is enforced by DEC Conservation Officers.

    The City of Kingston is working on the development of a Green Fleet Policy, to stipulate a strategy and policy for a transition to an alternative fuel governmental fleet, which would also incorporate additional anti-idling policies for the government fleet and perhaps the community as a whole. The City has already incorporated more than a dozen hybrid or electric vehicles into our fleet. Additionally, the City and County have prioritized supporting the transition to EV technology with the installation of public EV charging stations around the City. Locations for EV parking in the City of Kingston include: 

    Ulster County Office Building
    Ulster County Courthouse
    Ulster County Restorative Justice Center
    Cornell Street Lot
    Garraghan Drive Lot
    Dock Street Lot
    Lower Broadway Lot at Strand 

    Current regulations do not accurately characterize the risks to human health presented by elevated levels of PM 2.5 in ambient air. National strategies have been implemented to reduce PM 2.5 levels in ambient air, such as eliminating non-EPA approved stoves from the market. However, this strategy does not remove stoves that are already installed in individuals’ homes, and research shows that even EPA-certified stoves are polluting and affect health. Recent research shows this applies to indoor air quality as well. 

    Through our monitoring and education efforts we hope to work with community members to better characterize PM 2.5 pollution in the City of Kingston. 

    How does it affect the environment? 

    PM2.5  is composed  of  black carbon, which is a short-lived climate pollutant.  It is one of the most powerful forcers of Arctic ice melt and climate change.

    Black carbon has a warming impact on climate 460-1,500 times stronger than CO2 per unit of mass! 

    The above figure, developed by the United Nations Climate and Clean Air Coalition, outlines the origin and behavior of black carbon as a byproduct of incomplete combustion of wood, fossil fuels, and other fuels. Combustion is always incomplete, and forms CO2 and black carbon, among other by-products.  Black carbon has significant impacts on human health and the environment.     



    Learn More: Kingston CAC Wood Burning Informational Brochure

    Burning wood or wood pellets is not simply a personal choice; it affects others. To protect your family’s and neighbors’ health, as well as our community’s air quality, consider alternatives:

    -Switch to gas, electric, or solar heat
    -Switch to a gas or electric fireplace insert
    -Do not burn wood outdoors


    Contact Kingston CAC at [email protected] 


    Cardiac /respiratory effects within 1 hour of exposure to PM 2.5 (wildfire smoke):    Environ Health Perspect. 2020 Jun; 128(6): 067006. Published online 2020

    Even small reductions in PM 2.5 exposure result in significant decrease in cardiovascular events: Link     US News. June 29, 2020

    Daily Freeman article on preparations for winter: Too Cold, Too Soon ~ Bob Beyfuss, December 1, 2018 

    American Lung Association

    The Harmful Effects of Wood Smoke and the Growth of Recreational Wood Burning, Environment & Human Health, Inc.

    Doctors and Scientists Against Woodsmoke Pollution:

    U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: