LA County Flood Control District wanted to use diesel trucks that met the 2007 standard for air pollution, but Superior Court Judge James Chalfant in March ruled that wouldn't do. He ordered the County to demonstrate that there would be no significant negative impact on local air quality. That's hard to do with 425 trucks per day. It's clear the County of Los Angeles has not adequately addressed the dangers of diesel truck exhaust and the sediment removal project's proximity to local schools and sensitive residents.
The La Cañada schools that will be directly impacted are: Hillside Center, La Cañada United Methodist Church Pre-school, La Cañada High School, Crestview Preparatory School, Flintridge Preparatory School, St. Bede the Venerable Catholic School, Child Educational Center, and St. Francis High School.
It can cause coughs and aggravate asthma.
It increases the risk of cancer.
Diesel exhaust can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and it can cause coughs, headaches, light-headedness and nausea.
Like all fuel-burning equipment, diesel engines produce nitrogen oxides, a common air pollutant in California. Nitrogen oxides can damage lung tissue, lower the body's resistance to respiratory infection and worsen chronic lung diseases. They also react with other pollutants in the atmosphere to form ozone, a major component of smog.
There is a link between elevated particle levels in the air to increased hospital visits, missed work and school days, and premature death.
Diesel exhaust contains more than 40 toxic air contaminants, including cancer-causing substances such as benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde.
It is most dangerous to children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease. The diesel pollution from trucks caused an estimated 4,500 premature deaths in California In 2005.
Recent investigations have suggested an increase of autism in children relative to proximity to freeway (diesel) emissions.
Due to the prevailing winds, the diesel pollution will also impact residents in La Cañada, Altadena, and Pasadena. Outdoor sports and recreation in the area will be compromised by the pollution and the truck traffic. Equestrians from Flintridge Riding Club and the Rose bowl Riders will also be challenged.
It is important that parents, students, residents and those that recreate near the site are informed and have a voice before the project begins. There should be announcements to the PTAs, parent groups, athletic teachers, and all others that will be impacted by this project. The City Councils of La Cañada, Altadena and Pasadena should have public meetings to discuss this project and give the public a voice.
Currently LA County is offering no alternative plan, nor a chance for public input. It is up to the public to demand a hearing, permits, and alternative plans.