California Regulators Want Enforcement Tools To Help Control Air Pollution Near Ports
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Credit: San Diego Community College District
California air pollution regulators are considering how to enforce tough new rules aimed at diesel trucks and ships.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has a variety of enforcement measures to control the amount of pollution coming from traffic linked to ports.
Regulators passed new rules this summer that speed up the adoption of electric vehicles and limit the impact of diesel engines.
The rules are not effective if they cannot be enforced and that’s why CARB is looking at different enforcement mechanisms.
Tactics include tracking whether trucks move through neighborhoods and using portable emission measuring systems.
“It’s very important technology to be able to deploy in those communities that are reading very high emissions and air pollution,” said David Flores, a member of the Environmental Health Coalition.
Bayside communities like Barrio Logan, National City and Chula Vista stand to benefit.
So does the border community of San Ysidro.
“You see a real spike in air pollution when the wait times increase at the border,” said Nathan Fletcher, a San Diego County supervisor who holds a CARB seat. “The idling increases. You see that impact our schools right here in San Diego County. So the monitoring and enforcement help you pinpoint where you need to take action.”
The new rules will reduce smog and lower cancer risks for people living near ports and San Diego’s communities of color will benefit.
“You think about that parent in Barrio Logan who’s child is eight times more likely to have asthma because of the ZIP code in which they were born,” Fletcher said. “And we have historically placed the low-income communities and communities of color in areas with higher concentrations of pollution, in particular air pollution.”
San Diego already monitors truck traffic in Barrio Logan and National City.
Port of San Diego officials are also working on a plan to direct truck traffic away from homes near the working waterfront.
The port is also replacing diesel-powered cargo vehicles with electric ones.
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