Thursday, April 21, 2022

Schipske Says Earth Day Shouldn’t Be Only Day Long Beach is Concerned About the Environment: Discusses Key Concerns About Air Pollution

April 22, 2022

With Earth Day approaching on April 22, City Attorney candidate, Gerrie Schipske today expressed her concern that Long Beach needs to focus on environmental issues facing the City and its residents all the time, not just one day a year.

“As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, I hope we will remember that we have yet to resolve the serious air pollution problems which are impacting the health of our residents. West Long Beach residents continue to suffer disproportionately from air pollution-related illnesses such as asthma and heart diseases. This is because Long Beach is impacted by high particulate pollutants from the port, refineries, railroads, trucks, and freeway traffic."

Schipske noted that west Long Beach was designated in 2018 by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) as a community area disproportionately impacted by air pollution exposure. Under the requirements of AB 617, which was authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, local air districts are required to take specific actions to monitor air quality in specific communities and to reduce air pollution emissions from commercial, industrial, and mobile sources that cause or significantly contribute to the air quality in selected communities.

"It is critical that the City Attorney monitor these proposed specific actions and ensure that the residents of Long Beach are receiving the benefits of this law," says Schipske.

Schipske encouraged residents to check out the CalEnviroScreen 4.0 tool which shows cumulative impacts in California communities by census tract. 

"You will be shocked to see how environmentally impacted areas of Long Beach have become," says Schipske.

The results for each indicator range from 0-100 and represent the percentile ranking of census tracts relative to other census tracts. The mapping tool displays the "pollution burden percentile" for an area and a listing of the "exposures" as a particular area is impacted by, such as:
Particulate Matter 2.5
Diesel Particulate Matter
Toxic Releases
Lead from Housing
Cleanup Sites
Groundwater Threats
Hazardous Waste
Impaired Waters
Solid Waste

The mapping tool also calculates the rates of Asthma, Low Birth Weight, and Cardiovascular Disease.

This mapping tool was developed by the California State Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.:

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