Success – Freight Transportation
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A History of Success – Freight Transportation

The DDDC has developed a proven track record by focusing on mitigating the impacts from the extensive transportation infrastructure that moves freight throughout California. When the “Goods Movement Action Plan (GMAP)” for California was under development in 2005, DDDC petitioned the governor to provide seats at the table for community voices, including environmental justice representation, eventually winning approval for representation from several DDDC members.  We provided a number of proposals to improve the Goods Movement Action Plan, made critical comments on the CA Air Resources Board's emissions reduction proposals related to Port expansions, and developed a list of proposed projects necessary to protect the health of communities in Northern California where port expansions are occurring. As the state updates GMAP in 2013 and onwards, now known as California Freight Mobility Plan, DDDC continues to track the process to ensure that community concerns are not left behind.

DDDC, along with the Pacific Institute, produced “Paying with Our Health: The Real Costs of Freight Transport in California”, a detailed account of the community health impacts and costs of freight transportation.  Since its release at three simultaneous press conferences throughout California in November 2006, 1350 hard copies of the report have been distributed to elected officials (including every local, county, state, and Federal elected official in the San Francisco Bay Area), community residents, city, state, and Federal agencies, Port of Oakland staff and commissioners, workers, union staff, and health and environmental organizations. The report has been downloaded an additional 8,300 times from the web.

In collaboration with the Pacific Institute, DDDC published "At a Crossroads in Our Region's Health: Freight Transport and the Future of Community Health in the San Francisco Bay Area". Priority Development Areas in the San Francisco Bay region overlap with communities with the highest health risk from toxic air contaminants, including diesel pollution from freight transport, designated as CARE zones by the Air District. But this new study released in 2011 found that 74% of the land in Priority Development Areas that intersect with CARE communities is far enough away from freight transport hazards to be suitable for sensitive land uses like new housing. DDDC has been using this groundbreaking report as a tool to advocate for wise regional planning that develops the region’s economic capacity while protecting the health of vulnerable communities. This year DDDC provided a briefing to regional and federal agencies (MTC, ABAG, BAAQMD, HUD, EPA Region IX) about the report to inform the assessment and allocation of regional affordable housing, underscoring that the most vulnerable communities shouldn't be housed in the most toxic places. 

DDDC integrates residents' lived experiences with research and data in our reports to elevate environmental justice perspectives and influence decision-making processes so that freight policies are as health-protective of impacted communities as possible. For example, DDDC worked with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to integrate stronger language in the Clean Air Plan to better protect environmental justice communities.  The District will address magnet sources of diesel pollution in their future research, as well as maintain air monitoring in CARE communities, and address Indirect and Magnet Sources. 

Most recently, DDDC has also been working with public transportation advocates to press BAAQMD to integrate a health lens into the SB 375 process, including creating principles of working together, establishing stricter green house gas reduction targets, and developing health criteria for transportation-oriented development, to ensure that pollution from freight transportation sources are taken into account in land use decisions. Our most recent policy success was getting freight-related concerns included in the One Bay Area Grant that disseminates regional transporation funding, thus incentivizing local transportation projects to address the health impacts of freight transport. 

DDDC’s Freight Transport Committee continues to develop the leadership of community-based groups to address freight transport issues relevant to their communities. After Pacific Institute re-released the Spanish version of its curriculum, Gearing Up for Action: a curriculum guide for freight transport justice in June 2013, DDDC partnered with Pacific Institute to host a training-for-trainers for community leaders and public health advocates to gain tools to build the power and capacity of community residents to participate in decision making around freight transport issues.

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