No new shipyards!

Austal USA is proposing to build a major ship repair facility in West National City. If approved by the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners, the new shipyard will add a significant new source of air pollution in National City. National City already ranks in the top 95-97 percentiles for diesel particulate matter (PM) in California.

EHC, along with the Ports Tenants Association, Pasha Automotive Services, San Diego Labor Council, and National City residents are demanding the Port of San Diego reject the Austal shipyard proposal and not create more air pollution in our communities.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY!

At their May 19 meeting (tomorrow), the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners will review the Austal proposal. Here is what you can do to send them a strong message to reject the proposed shipyard:

  • Attend the May 19 Board meeting virtually at 1 p.m. – Join the meeting here
  • Email a brief letter with your #nonewshipyard demand today to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Call 619-736-2155 and leave a voicemail message with your demand

Please email and/or call today or before 11 AM on Tuesday May 19, 2020 so the Port Commissioners hear your voice.

The proposed Austal shipyard project would adversely affect the health and well-being of one the most impacted environmental justice communities in the San Diego region – and that’s not all!

Besides worsening air quality in National City, Austal’s operations will use toxic materials and generate hazardous wastes threatening the surrounding communities and San Diego Bay. These include toxic, hazardous, and flammable materials such as lead, zinc, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Please email and/or call the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners today and demand:

  1. No more air pollution – NO NEW SHIPYARDS
  2. Stay the course of reducing emissions!
  3. Implement the air quality strategies promised

#nonewshipyard

Image Source: Wikimedia. Public domain photo by Josiah Poppler

Below please find the text of a letter sent to Governor Gavin Newsom from members of the State Legislature regarding environmental and health regulations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (Download the PDF).


 

April 27, 2020

The Honorable Gavin Newsom Governor,
State of California State Capitol, First Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Urgent Need to Defend Environmental and Health Regulations

Dear Governor Newsom:

Our state is facing an unprecedented public health crisis and many of our residents are experiencing extreme health and economic hardships due to COVID-19. We know firsthand how this crisis is impacting our communities that are complying with the shelter-in-place mandate in Executive Order N-33-20. Additionally, we know this is forcing the Administration and its Agencies to continue to implement regulations and programs that safeguard and protect public health, our environment, and natural resources. We are concerned by recent accounts in the press, as well as letters that the Legislature has received from regulated industries, that are using this public health emergency as an attempt to stop, delay, or otherwise weaken California’s environmental and public health protections. In light of this emergency, it is imperative that we resist efforts to roll back any current protections, and that we instead focus on raising awareness on the importance of healthy lungs, healthy immune systems and maintaining safeguards and health protections in place.

The health of millions of Californians -- many of whom already bear the greatest burdens by living in our state’s most polluted cities -- relies on you maintaining momentum in implementation and defense of clean air and climate protections, including those recently passed by the Legislature and signed into law. Our disadvantaged communities in particular, which would most benefit from regulations to clean up our air, are more at risk from COVID-19 due to harms from consistent air pollution exposure to their respiratory systems. We know that maintaining these safeguards will be important as our state is likely to experience more unpredictable and unforeseen events in the future. Maintaining resilient government institutions must continue to be a hallmark of California public policy, even as we are acutely challenged by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

We have taken a leading role in addressing air pollution and the climate crisis by setting model standards for the rest of the world. We cannot stop. Undoing or delaying these regulations would not only damage our health but also our economy. Scientists warned of a pandemic and the climate crisis -- it is critical that we move towards combating and protecting people from both. Our agencies must resist attempts by polluting industries to exploit our current crisis to loosen, rollback or delay the adoption of vital environmental regulations that protect the health and safety of Californians. We ask that you continue to move forward on critical rulemakings with an emphasis on maximizing equitable and meaningful public participation and community-based feedback. Now more than ever, even as the Federal Administration works to dismantle fundamental regulations, we must uphold our commitment to safeguard Californians’ wellbeing.

We appreciate your continued hard work during these times, and we look forward to working with your agencies to defend California’s life-saving regulations.

 

Countme2020

 

JOIN US: Census 2020 Virtual Town Halls - June 11 and June 18

Have you received a letter in the mail asking you to complete the 2020 Census?

If so, please complete the Census right away! It only takes 5 -10 minutes. Each person not counted costs your community $2,000 each year in government services such as improved transportation, better parks and schools, healthcare and other services your community deserves. These services are more important now than ever.

Start now by opening the envelope from the Census Bureau to locate your unique Census ID number. Got it? Here are three ways you can complete the Census:

  1. ONLINE: You can now complete your census online and for the first time, the Census form will be available in 13 languages, including Spanish and Vietnamese.

  2. BY PHONE: The Census can also be completed in 13 languages over the phone. Simply call 1-844-330-2020 and follow the instructions.

  3. BY MAIL: Request a paper form in English or Spanish that can be mailed back to the U.S. Census Bureau.

NOTE: You will be asked for your Census ID # when submitting your census in any of these three ways.

No Census ID? No Problem. Call the Census Hotline to request a form or complete the census over the phone using your address:

English 844-330-2020 or Spanish 844-468-2020

 

CENSUS 2020 RESOURCES

EHC is working with Count Me 2020 to encourage everyone to participate in Census 2020 and bring vital resources to our communities. Learn more by watching this video:

 
Take our pledge to complete the 2020 Census:

If you have any questions about Census 2020, you can always contact EHC by emailing Jorge Gonzalez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

 

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.

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(Heavy-duty truck parked in front of Perkins Elementary School in Barrio Logan)


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.

 

Vision Builder Challenge

Your voice is important in planning the future of transit in San Diego.

MTS wants to know how YOU would invest in San Diego’s transit. They have launched a public outreach tool called Vision Builder to collect feedback on the type of projects that should be funded by a new tax measure. The tool mimics an online shopping experience. Users can add projects to their cart and spend up to 1,000 coins.

Tell MTS to prioritize Transportation Justice by selecting a mix of the following projects for up to 1,000 coins:

TJ Coins

Download our Transportation Justice Shoppers Guide for more information.

Shop Now Button


LEARN HOW THE VISION BUILDER TOOL WORKS

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Environmental justice (EJ) communities are the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System’s (MTS) number one customers, but the system does not serve them the way it should. In 2020, MTS will have a tax measure that can fund the transformation of San Diego’s inequitable, car-centric transportation model into an equitable public transit network that:

  • Connects EJ communities to jobs
  • Makes it affordable to ride the bus and trolley
  • Ensures the region meets regional climate goals