Research on Environmental Justice
The Board approved Environmental Justice Policies and Actions on December 13, 2001, to establish a framework for incorporating environmental justice into CARB's programs consistent with the directives of State law. Environmental Justice Policy VII states: "It shall be the ARB's policy to support research and data collection needed to reduce cumulative emissions, exposure, and health risk in all communities, especially low-income and minority communities." The following CARB-funded research projects contain an environmental justice component or have been carried out specifically to understand and assess air pollution and climate change issues affecting these communities.
Monitoring and Assessment Research Projects
Improving the CalEnviroScreen Score at the US-Mexico Border (Contract 16RD010, active) The objective of this project is to characterize the locations and types of emission sources located in the area of Mexico immediately adjacent to California, which is currently lacking in the CalEnviroScreen and the EJSM (see below). It is not intended to provide a comprehensive characterization of emissions sources, but rather that it will be an initial step that provides a foundation for future work.
Updating and completing the Enviromental Justice Screening Method (Contract 11-336) The Environmental Justice Screening Method (EJSM) facilitates such mapping of cumulative impacts using multiple health, environmental and social vulnerability measures organized along diverse categories. This project extended the original EJSM to create additional metrics, including indicators of climate change vulnerability, and increased cumulative impacts screening coverage from its initial focus on Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area, to all California regions.
Air Pollution and Environmental Justice: Integrating indicators of cumulative impact and socio-economic vulnerability into regulatory decision-making (Contract 04-308) This project sought to develop diverse methodological approaches to address environmental justice (EJ) concerns of relevance to air pollution regulation in California. The project consisted of several interlocking research projects, including: 1) a landscape analysis of environmental hazard and air pollution burden disparities in the Bay Area; 2) development of an Environmental Justice Screening Method (EJSM) to identify areas of environmental justice concern with regard to the cumulative impacts of hazard proximity, air pollution, exposure and estimated health risk, and social vulnerability; 3) the implementation of the EJSM to evaluate a hypothetical siting of a power plant facility; 4) a statewide analysis of the association between ambient pollution exposures and adverse perinatal outcomes; 5) the implementation of a community-based participatory ground truthing research project to evaluate the coverage of emissions inventory databases of localized emission sources and sensitive receptors and to build community confidence in the research and regulatory process.
Designing Light-Duty Vehicle Incentives for Low- and Moderate-Income Households (Contract 15RD011) This project seeks to understand vehicle purchase and retirement decisions in low- and moderate income households in order to promote the retirement of functional, high-emitting vehicles and increase the adoption of advanced clean vehicles in low- and moderate-income households.
Low-cost, Easy-to-use Air Monitoring Program CARB initiated two projects to develop low-cost, easy-to-use monitors to be used by concerned communities:
|Project Number||Summary||Final Report|
|ICAT 02-5||UC Berkeley and LBNL||N/A|
|ICAT 04-3||Aerosol Dynamics|
Health-related Research Projects
Huntington Park Asthma Study (Contract 99-302, Completed 2002) This pilot study was designed to evaluate the relationship of the daily occurrence and severity of asthma to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) exposure among 26 Hispanic asthmatic school children, living in Huntington Park, East Los Angeles County, a highly industrialized area flanked by major freeways and trucking routes. The study results show that ambient VOCs including benzene and criteria pollutants showed an association with asthma symptoms.
Children's Microenvironmental and Personal Pollutant Exposures Study for SB25 Indoor and personal exposure monitoring conducted to comply with SB 25 to provide comprehensive data on the levels of children's exposure to air pollutants and to facilitate an assessment of the adequacy of the monitoring network in estimating children's exposures. Measurements of indoor air quality and limited health surveys were conducted in EJ communities such as Boyle Heights and Wilmington.
Traffic pollution and children's health: refining estimates of exposure for the East Bay children's respiratory health study (Contract 03-327) This study used a database developed from an examination of air pollutants, including particulate matter, black carbon, and nitrogen oxides, in an epidemiological study to examine respiratory health among children living and attending schools at varying distances from high-traffic roads in Alameda County, CA. The study population is 85% nonwhite with a high percentage of low-income families.
Children's School Bus Exposure and Mitigation Studies (Contract 00-322, Contract 03-343, and Contract 11-310) CARB has funded 3 studies to examine children’s exposures in school buses and possible mitigation approaches: a comprehensive study of pollutant exposures during school bus commutes, in which measurements were made inside instrumented school buses along actual bus routes in Los Angeles, and at bus stops and areas of bus loading and unloading; a study that attempted to clarify how and when self-pollution of school buses occurs and tested various methods to reduce it; and a study to explore the application of high efficiency filtration to reduce in-cabin exposure to particulate pollution, including PM2.5 and ultrafine particles.
In response to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, CARB convened a Global Warming Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EJAC). Find out more about their findings and upcoming meetings at Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.