Health Impact Assessment Examines Shortcomings and Improvements to Alameda’s Goods Movement Plan

In 2015-2016, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) developed an Alameda County Goods Movement Plan to outline a long-range strategy for how to transport freight efficiently, reliably and sustainably within, to, from and through Alameda County by roads, rail, air and water. One of the draft Plan’s five stated goals is to “reduce and mitigate impacts from goods movement operations to create a healthy and clean environment, and support improved quality of life for those communities most burdened by goods movement.” To help make the draft Plan as successful as possible in advancing this goal, the Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative (DDDC) – numerous environmental justice and health organizations working to reduce diesel pollution and improve health in the San Francisco Bay Area – commissioned this Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of the draft Alameda County Goods Movement Plan. The HIA aims to advance this goal of improving health and quality of life by outlining ways that future changes to the county’s freight system can be implemented to maximize benefits and minimize harms to health in impacted communities.

The system of transporting raw materials and products from where they are made to where they are sold — also known as goods movement or freight transport – benefits some communities more than others. As this HIA shows, communities next to freight hubs and corridors like freeways, designated truck routes, ports, and rail lines bear the brunt of diesel pollution and other negative impacts of Alameda County’s freight transport system. This HIA identifies the potential impacts of proposed changes to the county’s freight transport system as detailed in the draft Alameda County Goods Movement Plan. The HIA then outlines ways that the implementation of this draft Plan can better protect and improve the health of all communities, including those most impacted by the county’s freight transport system.

The full HIA is now online. For more information on ACTC’s plan, visit its website.