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Reports on Environmental Concerns due to the Industrial Cooridors in East Oaland to be discussed on Monday

This sounds like this will be quite interesting. I think it's sad how people feel as prisoners in their own home due to the air quality.

The full Oakland Tribune Story Below.

Groups convene to address environmental concerns in East Oakland
By Kamika Dunlap
Oakland Tribune
Article Launched: 09/18/2008 05:11:27 PM PDT

OAKLAND — Environmental activists and community groups will discuss at a meeting Monday the poor health conditions affecting many East Oakland residents living along the city's industrial corridors.

Groups will examine findings from a new report, "Cumulative Impacts in East Oakland: Findings from a Community-Based Mapping Study."

The report was put together by Communities for a Better Environment and other partners, including the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California Air Resources Board, UC Berkeley and Bay Area Healthy 880 Communities.

The study addresses the environmental effects of toxic pollution, such as idling diesel trucks and pollution from auto-shop repairs and chemical companies.

"These things impact people of color and low-income communities a lot more," said Wafaa Aborashed, executive director of Bay Area Healthy Communities. "Their lives are at stake. This report is a great beginning to understand the high rates of childhood asthma and diabetes."

The report's highlights will be shared at a community meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Tassafaronga Recreation Center, 975 85th Ave. There also will performances by Oakland hip-hop artist Ise Lyfe, South African choir Vukani Mawethu and area poets.

Authors of the report say the goal was to outline the critical concerns of East Oakland residents and to offer solutions for helping to reduce diesel emissions that cause respiratory illnesses throughout the 880 corridor.

"The diesel traffic coming into some neighborhoods is so bad that people can't even sit on their front porch anymore because it's impacting their lives," Aborashed said.

In addition, the report is intended to urge the city to modify some of its planning and zoning codes to increase buffers between residential and industrial zones to protect public health.

The data for the report was gathered during the last year, where residents canvassed their neighborhoods and took inventory of businesses known to emit hazardous chemicals and places generating diesel truck traffic.

"We need to empower people to take control of their communities," Aborashed said.
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