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Living in the 'Diesel Death Zone'

Fellowship Story Showcase

Living in the 'Diesel Death Zone'

Picture of Tena Rubio

Tena Rubio reported this story as a 2010-2011 California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow.  It was broadcast on KCRW’s ‘Which Way LA’ with Warren Olney on April 16, 2013, the same day the Supreme Court heard arguments about whether the port's "clean truck program" was constitutional. The story was edited by Matt Holzman for KCRW's Independent Producer Project.  

Photo Credit: KCRW
Friday, April 19, 2013

The Port of Los Angeles enacted its Clean Truck Program to control air pollution linked to cancer and respiratory diseases in the so-called "diesel death zone" created by trucks, ships and trains. Truck emissions are down by 80 percent, a boon for low-income residents near the Port and for the rest of the LA Basin. But on April 16, conservatives on the US Supreme Court indicated they might strike down the program, not based on public health but on an obscure provision of federal law. We hear a report on the impact of air pollution around the Port, talk to both sides and hear what the Supreme Court Justices had to say.