LEBEC, Calif. -- A new study shows the air along the Grapevine is dangerous
to breathe and people who live there are worried about it. The study was done
by TriCounty Watchdogs and Global Community Monitor. They studied the air along
Interstate 5 between Fort Tejon and the Frazier Park exit for a year.
The entrance to the El Tejon School
says itís a tobacco-free campus, but environmental watchdogs say some of the
stuff the students are breathing from nearby I-5 is just as bad.
"It was comparable to
secondhand smoke on children's lungs," said Linda MacKay of TriCounty
The study of the air along the
Grapevine ran from March 2011 to March 2012
"The data on ozone showed that
our air was actually as bad or worse than parts of Bakersfield," MacKay
She said on the worst days that they
took air samples the air was actually deadly.
"People that were exposed those
days that we took those samples would actually be at risk of cardiovascular
death, 2-3 days after the exposure," MacKay said.
Up the road at the Flying J truck
stop, Mackay said tractor-trailers belch exhaust all night long.
"Sometimes 200 to 300 trucks
are parked there at night. Many of them are idling overnight to keep their cabs
either warm in the winter time, or cool in the summertime"
There is a state law that forbids
truckers from idling their trucks more than 5 minutes, but with no resources to
enforce the law, MacKay said few truckers follow it.
"Caltrans data tells us that
there are over 70,000 vehicles going through the Grapevine on I-5 and 18,000 a
day of those are diesel trucks," she said
So what's the solution to the
Mackay said it could be as simple as
planting trees along the interstate.
"There are studies that show
that trees as a barrier can reduce the impact of the emissions by up to 30
percent," MacKay said.
People who live in the area are
worried about the results.
"I work all the way down in
L.A. and one of the reasons I live here and drive all that way is for air
quality. So, if my kids are breathing dangerous air, thatís something, I am
definitely concerned about."
Among the other recommendations made
by the group was putting in an electrical system at the truck stop so truckers
can shut off their engines and use electricity while they are parked overnight.
The full report can be downloaded at: EXHAUST-ed!