If the Industrial Center were developed, there would be a dramatic increase in diesel particulate pollution in the area due to increased truck and train emissions.
The EPA, under court order to update ozone standards, set the maximum safe standard to 70/parts per billion in 2015. As of 2017 Thurston County levels were already averaging 68/parts per billion. A facility of this size could push us over the current standard, which most health experts believe is set too high to adequately protect public health.
Recent research findings reveal the worst culprit is ultra-fine diesel particulate matter, which is so fine it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the lungs. These types of emissions are found in high concentrations around established cargo facilities, and as a result, have created an alarming increase in health problems, especially asthma and cancer.
The effects are not limited to the immediate vicinity of the facility. Please follow the link to The Pacific Institute to view a well-known report titled Paying With Our Health, The Real Cost of Freight Transport in California to view these disturbing statistics. Also, look at the Website from Trade, Health & Environment Impact Project, which has been providing research findings to inform the public on matters of Trade, Health and the Environment.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency website concerning locomotives, EPA writes: “Locomotive engines are significant contributors of air pollution in many of our nation’s cities and ports. Although the engines being produced today must meet relatively modest emission requirements set in 1997, they continue to emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health concerns.”
You can read about the EPA clean-air non-road diesel regulations enacted in 2004 pertaining to locomotives and retrofit requirements. For current regulation background and statistics for the reduction of pollution projected when the new diesel standards are applied and other relevant EPA diesel statistics involving this decision, Click Here.
- Three railway companies would potentially use tracks in and around the property, on a round-the-clock basis: BNSF, Union Pacific and Tacoma Rail, Mountain Division. Thousands of trucks would clog the roads; many container trucks are independently owned making it difficult to enforce safety standards. (See the Traffic page.)
- Communities that live in industrial areas have increased serious health risks.
- As our regional community considers all aspects of the proposed Industrial Center, it is our responsibility to point out the hazards of truck and train pollution and the many exceptions to EPA standards that are granted to older fleets, including trains.