Documenting Industrial Areas on the Ground

By enlisting the help of concerned local citizens, researchers are getting better documentation of the locations of potentially polluting industrial land uses near residential areas.
September 9, 2008, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Frustrated because she must keep her asthma- and bronchitis-suffering daughters indoors to protect their health, Herrera recently joined a cadre of northeastern San Fernando Valley residents to catalog the location of industrial businesses and their proximity to gathering places for young and elderly residents, who could be most affected by contaminated air and water."

"The effort, known as 'ground truthing,' is part of an ambitious project devised by environmental justice researchers and a local nonprofit group to compile an accurate picture of where toxic and hazardous sites are located in Southern California and how they affect the health of nearby communities."

"Updated information is necessary because state and federal environmental databases that track industrial uses by location or type of pollution they emit are incomplete, said James Sadd, a professor of environmental science at Occidental College."

"Without data that show the full picture, lawmakers have a hard time drafting laws to protect neighborhoods and can't accurately target cleanup efforts, residents and researchers said."

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Published on Monday, September 8, 2008 in The Los Angeles Times
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