A new California study has found the state's strict diesel emissions regulations have lowered forecasted deaths linked to diesel exhaust by 50%, mostly in harder hit, lower-income communities.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has enacted more stringent policies against diesel emissions than the rest of the U.S., significantly reducing air pollution and death in California's most vulnerable communities and beyond. Their law requiring the retrofit of older diesel engines in heavy-duty vehicles has been particularly effective.
The study estimates that by 2014, improved air quality reduced the annual number of diesel-related cardiopulmonary deaths in the state in half, compared to the number of deaths that would have occurred if California had followed the same trend as the rest of the U.S. Adopting similar rules nationwide could produce the same kinds of benefits, particularly for communities that have suffered the worst impacts of air pollution.