Gentrification may be coming to Barrio Logan, but cool new restaurants and a thriving arts scene don’t stop pollution.
Once again, according to the state’s pollution-screening tool, CalEnviroScreen, Barrio Logan remains among the top 5 to 10 percent of communities in the state most impacted by pollution.
Logan Heights and National City also remain in that category.
This most recent information spotlights those communities that take on the brunt of pollution, said San Diego-based Environmental Health Coalition (EHC). Local governments and regulatory agencies should act to change that in the coming year, it said.
CalEnviroScreen combines environmental, health, and socioeconomic information to identify communities most affected by pollution, EHC notes. Since the last version, released in 2014, the state has added new factors to measure cardiovascular disease and housing cost burden, as well as incorporated air-monitoring data from the border region to more thoroughly evaluate air quality in border communities.
“With more precise methodology for estimating diesel exposures to residents, National City’s air quality score for diesel pollution increased by an alarming 34 percentile points,” says Joy Williams, research director at EHC. “We’ve always known that poor air quality threatens the health of National City residents, and this new information warrants immediate action to protect our families and children.”
Communities south of I-8 experience the impacts of pollution with increased emergency room visits for asthma and heart disease, according to the EHC. This new data should be used to make more-immediate decisions that provide relief to San Diego’s low-income communities of color, it argues.
“CalEnviroScreen continues to show that low income communities of color are hit first and worst by the harmful effects of pollution and climate change,” says Diane Takvorian, executive director of EHC. “Our elected officials have an urgent responsibility to implement policies that close the equity gap in these neighborhoods.”
To view the latest version of CalEnviroScreen click here