Residents of West Oakland, California have an increased risk of suffering from asthma, heart disease and cancer because of diesel exhaust from trucks at the nearby Port of Oakland, according to a recent study by environmental and community groups.
Average diesel emissions in West Oakland are more than 90 times higher per square mile than the average for the rest of the state, according to the Pacific Institute of Oakland. In addition, indoor air in some West Oakland homes is five times more toxic than in other parts of the city.
Oakland Vice Mayor Nancy Nadel, who represents West Oakland, said city officials should do everything they can to help reduce diesel pollution in the area. "We know that there are solutions," she said.
The study offered suggestions to reduce truck emissions, including stepping up measures against illegal truck traffic, moving truck-related businesses away from homes, installing electrical hookups to reduce the time trucks idle and setting up traffic barriers to force trucks to use major streets.
Already, the Port of Oakland has set aside $9 million to reduce emissions, of which $1.5 million is specifically for decreasing truck emissions, said Jim McGrath, the port's manager of environmental planning.