Apr 14, 2022 - Energy & Environment

New York's diesel truck pollution disparities

Image shows diesel truck emissions in New York City
PM 2.5 concentrations from diesel truck emissions in New York City. Courtesy of TRUE

New analysis finds big racial differences in exposure to air pollution from diesel trucks in New York City.

Why it matters: The findings underscore the wider need to confront higher pollution burdens that low-income and communities of color often face.

Driving the news: New Yorkers of color are exposed to 17% more fine particulate matter than white residents, per The Real Urban Emissions Initiative.

  • TRUE is a partnership between the FIA Foundation and the International Council on Clean Transportation.

Threat level: Particulate pollution is very dangerous. It's linked to irregular heartbeat, worsening asthma, and other heart and respiratory threats.

Zoom in: Engines that predate tougher federal emissions controls are a major culprit. Pre-2007 trucks are 6%–10% of the area's fleet, but contribute 64%–83% (!) of fine particulate emissions from diesel tailpipes.

What's next: Recommendations include additional funding for the city's "clean trucks" program to replace older vehicles, and better inspections to find high emitters among newer trucks.

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