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newsrel -- ARB Reveals West Oakland Health Risk Assessment Posted: 19 Mar 2008 18:38:15
Please consider the following Air Resources Board press release announcing the release of the West Oakland health risk assessment. You can review the release here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr031908b.htm Thank You Dimitri Stanich ARB/PIO ------------------------------------------------------------------ Release 08-21 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 19, 2008 CONTACT:Leo Kay (916) 322-2990 www.arb.ca.gov ARB reveals West Oakland health risk assessment Diesel emissions from freeway trucks are major contributors to poor air quality OAKLAND – The Air Resources Board presented today at a public forum the preliminary results from a comprehensive health risk assessment study for the community of West Oakland. The report shows an increased potential cancer risk due to diesel particulate matter emissions from trucks traveling on nearby freeways and marine vessel traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area unrelated to the Port of Oakland. The study, developed in collaboration with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Maritime Port of Oakland and Union Pacific Railroad, reveals that the estimated lifetime potential cancer risk for residents of West Oakland from exposure to diesel emissions is about 1,200 excess cancers per million people. The analysis covers 3.1 million people who reside in the affected area of 3,800 square miles. While diesel trucks account for a majority of the risk in West Oakland resulting in about 850 potential cancer cases per million or 70 percent, port operations account for an estimated lifetime potential cancer risk of 200 excess cancer cases per million, or about 15 percent of the total. Union Pacific railyard emissions amount to a potential cancer risk of about 40 excess cancer cases per million, or less than 5 percent and the remaining 10 percent of risk comes from a variety of diesel sources such as passenger trains and construction projects. “This health risk assessment will provide the community the focus and momentum needed to mobilize and combat air pollution,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “We look forward to working with community activists to converge on the main pollution culprits, such as trucks motoring on nearby freeways, affecting a growing and vibrant West Oakland.” In the development of the ship emissions, ARB staff used transponder data (continuously reports ship location) to more accurate estimate where off-shore emissions are occurring. For the first time in a large risk assessment, a regional wind field was generated using data from 30 onshore and 3 offshore weather stations. The CALPUFF model was used to estimate the ambient concentration of diesel particulate matter. This model is capable of producing more precise results than the models used in the past due to its ability to account for highly varying wind fields and complex terrain. Emissions from diesel particulate matter are associated with causing a variety of health effects including premature death and a number of heart and lung diseases. The study also estimates the yearly non-cancer health impacts resulting from exposure to port-related diesel particulate matter emissions in the area: 18 premature deaths (age 30 and older), 290 asthma attacks, 2,600 days of work loss, and 15,000 minor restricted activity episodes. Having identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in 1998 due to its potential to cause cancer and other respiratory problems, ARB has put in place stringent regulations to curve the health risk to Californians. The most recent adopted regulations to limit diesel emissions affect cargo handling equipment, transport refrigeration units, truck idling, off-road equipment, harbor craft, ship auxiliary engines, port drayage trucks and ships-at-berth. Also, the introduction of cleaner fuel for railroads and ships has contributed to lower pollution around the ports and railyards. Later this year, ARB will be considering proposed regulations involving on-road heavy duty diesel vehicles (trucks and buses) and ocean-going vessel main engines to further reduce diesel soot. State control measures will contribute to an approximate decrease of 80 percent in harmful emissions by 2015. For more information on the West Oakland health risk assessment, please visit www.arb.ca.gov/ch/communities/ra/westoakland/westoakland.htm The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.