ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

Air Pollution and Environmental Justice

Manuel Pastor, Ph.D., University of Southern California, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, and James Sadd, Ph.D., Occidental College

April 21, 2010
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


Researchers, policy makers and environmental justice advocates have been interested in developing a method to identify areas of special concern for the cumulative impacts of environmental and non-environmental stressors in California. Because of previous studies that have shown a pattern of racial and income disparities in air pollution exposures and health risks in the state, such a method could be useful in implementing environmental justice mandates and also advance the emerging research about the intersection of cumulative hazard exposure and social vulnerability. This seminar presents diverse methodological approaches to address environmental justice concerns of relevance to air pollution regulation in California.

Three interlocking research projects are presented:

1) an analysis of environmental hazard and air pollution burden disparities in the San Francisco Bay Area;

2) a statewide analysis of the association between ambient pollution exposures and birth outcomes; and

3) development of an Environmental Justice Screening Method to identify areas of environmental justice concern with regard to the cumulative impacts of hazard proximity, air pollution, exposure and estimated health risk, and social vulnerability.

Speaker Biography

Manuel Pastor, Ph.D., is Professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Dr. Pastor is the founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Pastor currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC and is co-director, with Dowell Myers, of USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Professor Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has received grants from the Kellogg Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the W.T. Grant Foundation, The California Endowment, the California Air Resources Board, and many others.

Rachel Morello-Frosch, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and School of Public Health. Dr. Morello-Frosch's research examines race and class determinants of environmental health among diverse communities in the United States. The focus of her current work is on the relationship between social inequality, racial segregation and environmental health inequalities, air pollution and children's health. She also investigates community vulnerability, resilience and adaptation to climate change. Dr. Morello-Frosch has published articles examining links between community and individual-level burdens and environmental health disparities. Professor Morello-Frosch conducted the first study to examine the relationship between racial residential segregation and the estimated cancer risks associated with ambient air toxics exposures in the United States.

James L. Sadd, Ph.D., is Professor of Environmental Science at Occidental College, Los Angeles, California. Professor Sadd earned his Ph.D. degree in geology at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Dr. Sadd's research focuses on evaluating questions related to environmental exposure, health risk, and environmental justice, primarily through the use of spatial analysis using geographic information systems and remote sensing tools. As part of the research team with Manuel Pastor and Rachel Morello-Frosch, his work is currently supported by contracts and grants from the California EPA, California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, Hewlett, Annenberg and Energy Foundations, the California Endowment.

For a complete listing of the ARB Research Seminars and the related documentation
for the seminars please view the Main Seminars web page