4265.0 Global trade, local impacts, and environmental justice challenges

Tuesday, November 9, 2010: 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Low-income communities of color suffer disproportionate health impacts from living in proximity to the country’s ports, railyards, truck-congested highways, and big box warehouses, which all handle international trade. California is home to the largest U.S. ports, making it the current “epicenter” of negative public health effects from a global trade and “goods movement” system that includes diesel-exhaust spewing ocean-going ships, locomotives and trucks. This session will highlight work of five Kresge Foundation and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grantees in southern California, where labor, community organizing and local/state policy efforts have emerged to address health and community impacts from goods movement—from traffic-related air pollution and noise, unsafe streets, and traffic congestion, to 24/7 industrial lighting, and lower-paying jobs. The panel will feature presentations by THE Impact Project, an academic-community collaborative that has developed a national interactive map and replicable strategies for community-based air pollution monitoring and truck counting. Results from a new national assessment of emerging goods movement “hot spots” will be released, along with information on a growing national network of community and environmental justice organizations. The panel will also present successful campaigns including public health advocacy efforts to conduct a Health Impact Assessment in a major highway expansion project, winning land use guidelines to provide buffer zones for siting warehouses 50 miles inland from the ports, and a “clean trucks” program at the Port of Los Angeles that ensures good jobs and clean air. Ways to increase public participation in goods movement decisions, to inform policymakers, and to use the latest scientific evidence to inform transportation planners about the health effects of air pollution will also be described. Lessons learned from these efforts will be discussed as well as implications for other goods movement communities and regions, particularly on the East Coast, which face similar health futures with the expansion of the Panama Canal and an anticipated increasing share of Asian imports.
Session Objectives: (1) List the major public health impacts of living and working in proximity to ports, railyards, truck-congested freeways, and other elements of the global goods movement system. (2) Describe the results of a new national assessment of emerging goods movement “hot spots.” (3) Explain how successful campaigns can increase public participation in goods movement decisions and contribute to development of health protective goods movement policies.

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Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Socialist Caucus, Social Work, Trade and Health Forum

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Environment