California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) just released a report titled: Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits within Disadvantaged Communities: Progress Toward Reducing Inequities. This report is a part of OEHHA's task to evaluate the benefits and impacts from climate change policies and programs in disadvantaged communities.
The report's primary findings per OEHHA are as follows:
- Both heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) and facilities subject to the Cap-and-Trade Program have reduced emissions of co-pollutants, with HDVs showing a clearer downward trend when compared to stationary sources. These emission reductions have major health benefits, including a reduction in premature pollution-related deaths.
- The greatest beneficiaries of reduced emissions from both HDVs and facilities subject to the Cap-and-Trade Program have been in communities of color and in disadvantaged communities in California, as identified by CalEnviroScreen (CES). This has reduced the emission gap between communities with high and low CES scores, but a wide gap still remains.
- The transition to zero-emission HDVs will expedite further emissions reductions.
- While the progress observed is encouraging, inequities persist and federal, state, and local climate and air quality programs must do more to reduce emissions of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and co-pollutants in order to reduce the burden of emissions on disadvantaged communities and communities of color.
Please see OEHHA's website for the report and more information.