Julie Corrales, a poet, community activist, and mother of 2, lives in a historic home in the Barrio Logan community of San Diego. She settled her family in the cute blue house on a street close to Perkins elementary school, a street on which trucks over 5 tons are banned. Julie was startled to be awakened one night by trucks driving down her street and idling in the alley next to her house. Web cameras installed by EHC show trucks passing her home many times a day.
Barrio Logan and West National City are adjacent to Port cargo terminals, freeways, waterfront industry, and a BNSF railyard. Many businesses within these mixed-use communities generate truck traffic in the form of delivery trucks. All these sources of diesel pollution affect air quality and health in these communities.
Both communities also rank high on the CalEnviroScreen overall and for diesel. Barrio Logan, in fact, ranks in the top 5% statewide on the CalEnviroScreen diesel indicator and the asthma indicator as well.
EHC and our community leaders are doing everything we can locally to reduce truck impacts:
- Working with the City to establish and enforce truck routes
- Working with the Port to educate truck drivers on the new route
- Working through the Portside communities Clean Air Protection Program (AB 617) to incentivize cleaner trucks in our communities
- Pursuing a decades-long effort to reform the land use plans in these communities to better separate industrial from residential land uses
However, local efforts cannot compel a faster industrywide shift to electric trucks and away from diesel. We need action at the state level to require zero- emission trucks in California at the earliest possible date.
We join clean freight activists throughout California in asking the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt an Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule that will result in 15% of heavy-duty trucks on the roads by 2030 being zero emission. The currently proposed rule will result in only 4% Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) trucks on the road by 2030. We need a stronger rule now!
We know a faster shift to ZEV is feasible. A large number of the truck traffic going through and around our portside communities consists of trucks visiting the Port’s cargo terminals. A Port estimate from a year ago is that about 28% of the total Port-related truck trips are 50 miles or less. Another large percentage travels routes of less than 200 miles, to the Los Angeles-Long Beach area or up to the San Bernardino area. Electric trucks that can drive these distances already exist, and are being deployed in demonstration projects today. It is important to make sure they are fully commercialized and available to truck fleets to purchase over the next decade.
Cleaner air, faster, will be good for the entire state of California – and for our ailing planet, in desperate need of reduced greenhouse gas assaults. It will be especially beneficial for Julie Corrales, her children, and other residents of communities most impacted by diesel pollution in California.
We call on CARB to adopt a strong ACT rule.