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Health Risks

Emissions from this Project Will Harm Our Families

Bechtel-Shell’s project will have a major impact on local air quality. The asthma rate in Solano County is already double the asthma rates in all of California -- 14 percent for all residents and 16 percent for our children, (California Health Interview Survey data, May 2002). Our children can't take any more pollution in their air. The power plant, idling LNG tankers and accompanying marine vessels would emit tons more toxins, particulate matter and polluting fumes into our air each day, worsening an already critical situation. (click here for details on project emissions)

Experts Share Concern About Emissions

Emissions concerns are shared by residents, physicians and asthma experts like Dr. Harold Farber, Pediatric Pulmonologist, Director of the American Lung Association of the East Bay, and author of Control Your Child's Asthma, who wrote a letter to the Vallejo City Council protesting the Bechtel-Shell proposal. (read Dr. Farber's letter). Solano County Health Officer Dr. Thomas Charron has speculated that the pollutants that now blow into Solano County come from nearby refineries, and noted that African Americans, who represent a significant proportion of our county’s population, are disproportionately affected by this disease. (Solano Asthma Rates Highest in State, Joshua Wolfson,, May 7, 2002).

Who Do These Emissions Hurt Most?

Emissions harm the ill, elderly, children and exercising adults. Sunny summer days are the worst for respiratory problems from ozone. And it's our kids who have to stay inside in the summer -- instead of running and playing in the sunshine as children should. Kids are more active, inhale more air than adults, and have less well-developed immune systems. A recently release report showed that that children in California are at greater risk of contracting cancer from inhaling toxic air pollutants than adults. These kinds of harms translate into more hospital visits, more missed days from school and work, and increased hospitalizations from asthma.

Concern for Our Neighbors Downwind

According to Bechtel vice-president for power development, Jim Leahy, Vallejoans wouldn't need to be worried about the emissions from their gas plant project. "The impact is not going to be in Vallejo," he told citizens at a packed town hall meeting on August 22, 2002. "It's going to be about 30 miles downwind.” Vallejo Mayor Tony Intintoli was stunned by Leahy’s comment and expressed surprise about Bechtel’s willingness to spread the health disaster to Benicia, Fairfield and Vacaville.

We don’t think any amount of promised tax revenues can compensate for the loss of our health.

More Links:
Asthma Symptom Prevalence in California in 2001 from the California Health Interview Survey
Detailed discussion of Vallejo's Air Quality and impact of the project emissions Environmental Scientist Gayle Edmisten Watkin
State's dirty air gives kids high cancer risk California has nation's worst smog  Gary Polakovic, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 16, 2002

© 2002 maggdog communications
Photos courtesy of Michael Halberstadt, Joyce Scharf and Friends of VallejoCPR
Page Last Updated Jan 8, 2003