Category Archives: Health

Ports in Southern California

Labor unions at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are trying to clean their air. The harbor trucking industry has aprox. 15,000 older trucks which cause 30 – 40 percent of the dirty air. Labor forces are trying to replace these older rigs cleaner operating newer, 2007 trucks. The problem they’ve encountered is that most of those trucks are owned by drivers—most of them Latino immigrants—who make about $12 an hour. These are independent contractors at the bottom of the harbor food chain, and they can’t afford to upgrade their own rigs. Increased associated costs could impact costs of products sold in Walmart and Target.

Air Quality Issues with Diesel Exhaust

Our good friend, Joe Goldman of Alpine has provided a very detailed article ultrafine-microparticles.doc on health related impacts of diesel exhaust.

Health Matters

It has been stated in 60 days the communities of Presidio, Marfa and Alpine will see Mexican trucks passing through under a 12 month pilot program annouced by President Bush in February 2007. Public Citizen, a non-profit highway safety advocacy group has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Adminstation (FMCA) in October 2006, and has still yet to receive the requested documents. This is not a good start.

On Thursday, March 22, 2007, a Senate panel voted to delay the plan by requiring the Bush Administration to publish details about the pilot program and to allow public comment. Thanks to Sens. Byron Dorgan, Dianne Feinstein and Patty Murray for sponsoring the amendment.

Another concern amoung many regarding the increased truck traffic, is the quality of our air. Studies by the New England Journal of Medicine describes the health impacts of breathing fine particulte air polution.