Quantcast

Environmentalists Recruit Volunteers For W. Oakland Air Pollution Study

Photo: David Schumaker/Flickr
By Richard Knee - Published on January 25, 2017.

Environmental advocates are seeking up to one hundred volunteers in West Oakland to help detect concentrations of air pollutants in this highly industrialized area.

The area is the focal point of a legal tiff over whether the city may bar trains from bringing coal to a bulk freight terminal planned at a former US Army base at the harbor. The city and the port authority occupy nearly equal portions of the property.

The City Council last July voted to prohibit trains and trucks from bringing coal to the Army base property after nearby residents complained that the resulting coal dust and diesel exhaust particulates would cause severe respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, the company that wants to build and operate the freight facility, is challenging the ban in federal court.

“We’re looking for people to host [electronic] monitorsm" said Brian Beveridge, co-director of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.

The effort, dubbed “100 by 100” and sponsored chiefly by the Environmental Defense Fund, is part of a project that looks at ambient levels of air quality throughout the Bay Area, Beveridge said.

“Our approach is to go where the air is worst,” namely at pollution sources, he said. “We collect data thirty days at a time across three seasons. We create a map showing what the air looks like down to your front porch."

Participants will receive an air-quality sensor for taking readings; unlike stationary sensors, which are usually mounted in high places, WOEIP's web site said these devices "record what residents breathe at ground level."

The project will have “a really powerful marketplace impact” as well as public health effects, said Beveridge, as the data provided could impact consumer choices about where to buy and rent property. “Now, real estate has to begin to care about where they’ll develop and maybe they will push back on industries that are polluting, in the same way that communities are pushing back,” he said.

According to The Port of Oakland, diesel particulate volume has dropped 98 percent in the last ten years.  Reconfiguring cargo terminals and adding new truck gates reduced truck wait times, which combined to reduce vehicle pollution.

Anyone wishing to participate in the effort may contact Beveridge or WOEIP’s other co-director, Margaret Gordon. Their e-mail addresses are [email protected] and [email protected] Their phone numbers are 510-257-5646 and 510-257-4647, respectively.

Nov 20, 2020
Oakland

The BlaQ ArTed Short Film Fest set to debut in Oakland this weekend

The inaugural BlaQ ArTed Shortfilm Festival kicks off this Sunday with an opening night drive-in event at Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center. Hosted by The East Bay Queer Healing Arts Center, the festival highlights the work of nine emerging youth filmmakers from the East Bay. Read More

Nov 12, 2020
Oakland

Donut Savant opens new location in East Oakland — with long lines and salted maple cronuts in tow

After shuttering its downtown Oakland location last October, Donut Savant debuted its new East Oakland store today to large, socially distant crowds. Read More

Oct 29, 2020
Oakland

Magnolia Street Wine Lounge and Kitchen opens Friday in West Oakland with Asian comfort foods and affordable prices

During a time of endless restaurant closures, East Bay Chef Leilani Baugh has managed to ascend the odds and will hold the grand opening of her new West Oakland restaurant, Magnolia Street Wine Lounge and Kitchen, this Friday, featuring well-priced “Casian-Creole” cuisine. Read More

Oct 28, 2020
Oakland

New Burma Superstar spin-off opens on Telegraph Ave., with DoorDash as an investor

The delivery-and-take-out only Burma Bites opened today, delivery app DoorDash is a surprise investor. Read More