VIDEO RELEASE: California High-Speed Rail Works to Improve Air Quality for Next Generation

Apr 13 2020 | Fresno

Fresno, Calif. – It’s no secret California’s Central Valley suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the nation. Research shows transportation is a leading contributor to asthma-inducing pollution like diesel.

Asthma rates for the region’s children hovers around 20%, more than twice the rate of the rest of the state.

“Research has really come forward to say that in fact certain kinds of air pollution actually causes asthma,” says Kevin Hamilton, a registered respiratory therapist who co-leads the Central California Asthma Collaborative (CCAC) and is focused on easing the burden of chronic respiratory disease and environmental health impacts valley wide. “Diesel pollution is the main offender. It contains elemental black carbon, which is many times more toxic than organic black carbon from wood smoke.”

A guiding principle of electrified high-speed rail is the reduction of air pollution and global warming greenhouse gases. While a diesel train transporting a million passengers in the Valley emits 1,500 pounds of particulate matter, a type of air pollutant, electrified high-speed rail emits no additional particulate matter.

“This is everything from a public health perspective,” adds California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “We do need to move from the era diesel trains service to something newer, faster and particularly cleaner.”

The following video explains more why this is particularly important for health experts and families in the region:

Central Valley Air quality

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