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newsrel -- California Air Resources Board issues guidance to lower air pollution exposure risks near busy highways

Posted: 25 Apr 2017 13:43:36
Please consider the following news release from the California
Air Resources Board:



April 25, 2017



Karen Caesar 
(626) 575-6728 

California Air Resources Board issues guidance to lower air
pollution exposure risks near busy highways

New resource will help planners and others seeking to build near
busy roads

SACRAMENTO—The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today issued
a guide designed to provide public health, air quality and urban
planning policy-makers with options for reducing exposure to
traffic pollution for those who live or work near busy roads.

“Infill developments are crucial to California’s ability to meet
our air quality and climate goals,” said CARB Chair Mary D.
Nichols.  “They put people close to public transit, reduce the
need to drive, and promote biking and walking.  The health
benefits of denser urban neighborhoods can be reduced if they are
built close to congested highways.  This guide provides planners
and builders of infill developments a range of science-based
strategies to protect public health and reduce the impacts of
nearby traffic.” The guide, Strategies to Reduce Air Pollution
Exposure Near High-Volume Roadways
(https://www.arb.ca.gov/ch/landuse.htm), is a technical advisory
that addresses concerns raised about the potential health
implications of living and working in existing or planned
developments near busy roads.  The strategies are options that
planners and others can put into place to protect public health
in developments close to freeways and as “infill” development,
which is the opposite of urban sprawl, continues.  

This is especially important in urban areas where the freeway
network is dense, which means there are few places that are not
near a freeway.

Strategies identified in the technical advisory fall into one of
three categories: they reduce traffic emissions, reduce the
concentration of air pollution from vehicles, or remove pollution
from our air. The strategies were chosen based on peer-reviewed
scientific literature and CARB-sponsored research projects.
Examples include the use of traffic roundabouts instead of
stoplights to reduce stop and go driving, sound walls and
vegetation that help dispel pollution, and air filters in
buildings that remove pollutants from indoor air.

The new technical advisory supplements the Air Quality and Land
Use Planning Handbook issued in 2005, and is a companion document
to the forthcoming updated General Plan Guidelines from the
Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.  

Infill development promotes biking and walking, and shortens
distances that people must travel for their daily activities. 
Dense developments also support transit operations, and can
improve quality of life by facilitating community connectivity.

“These are scientifically based strategies that can be used at
the local level to reduce exposure to air pollution in the near
future while we work toward full implementation of California’s
progressive regulations that are cleaning the air but are being
phased in over time,” said Chief of CARB’s Research Division Bart

“As California grows, we have the collective opportunity to shape
the future of the built environment to be both protective of
public health and supportive of environmental goals,” said Croes.
 “We hope that this new guide will help decision makers promote
healthy, safe, equitable and sustainable communities.”

For more information and for Fact Sheets in English and Spanish,
please visit https://www.arb.ca.gov/ch/landuse.htm

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