East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice info@eycej.org 323.263.2113

New Study Examines Race and Income Near California’s 18 Major Railyards

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This past Monday, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health released a first-of-its kind study entitled, “Global Trade, Local Impacts: Lessons from California on Health Impacts and Environmental Justice Concerns for Residents Living near Freight Rail Yards,” which assesses issues of race and income near California’s 18 major rail yards.

The study describes the cancer risk for residents living in close proximity to rail yards. This risk is increased due to the toxic emissions of diesel particulate from locomotives, trucks and equipment used to operate a rail yard. The study also examines the demographics (income, race/ethnicity) of populations living in the highest estimated cancer risk zones near the 18 major rail yards in California; and suggests policy efforts that might provide more public health protection, which can result in more “environmentally just” siting of rail yards.

The article concludes that diesel pollution from rail yards, which creates significant diesel cancer risks for those living near the facilities, is an often overlooked public health issue, which continues to create health disparities and environmental justice issue in the United States.