Southern California is the largest international trade gateway in the U.S., and the region also generates enormous local and domestic goods movement activity. Given the projected growth in international trade and domestic goods movement in the future, the significant growth in truck volumes and rail traffic of the region is anticipated in the future.
According to the SCAG’s emission impact study, the emission intensity estimates (i.e., gram/day/acre) of ROG, CO, CO2, NO, SO2, PM2.5 within areas in proximity to major truck corridors for the year 2008 was higher than areas along freeways in every emission factor. Areas in proximity to major truck corridors showed over 30 percent of PM2.5 emission intensity and 20 percent of CO2 emission intensity more than areas in proximity to freeways.
As goods movement is a major contributor to air pollution and health risk of the region, it is a regional priority not only to mitigate the environmental impacts of the goods movement system, but also to ensure that there is equity in distribution of environmental benefits and burdens from federally funded goods movement programs and projects pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. In order to prevent disproportionately high and adverse environmental effects and health risks on minority and low-income populations from the goods movement system, the SCAG conducted Environmental Justice (EJ) analysis for the goods movement system in the 2012-2035 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)/ Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS).
The purpose of this paper is to conduct EJ analysis on the major truck corridors and freight rail corridors in the Southern California region using data for the 2012-2035 RTP/SCS. This paper estimates the major emission indicators and calculates minority and low-income populations along major truck corridors and freight rail corridors. This paper focuses EJ analysis on (1) the comparison of major truck corridors and freight rail corridors versus freeways, and (2) the comparison of the plan scenario versus baseline scenario of the 2012-2035 RTP/SCS. This paper also discusses Environmental Justice implications of the future goods movement system in Southern California.