To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Elysian Valley Residents Speak Out About a Silent Threat


By Carren Jao, February 5, 2013

 Pollution from Metrolink's Metrolink Central Maintainance Facility easily travel to Elysian Valley | Photo by Carren Jao

 Pollution from Metrolink's Metrolink Central Maintainance Facility easily travel to Elysian Valley

Unlike eyes that can close, our ears cannot choose not to hear, nor can our noses choose not to breathe.
Ever since Tuyen Dinh moved into a Los Angeles River-adjacent home in Elysian Valley ten years ago, he had made a practice of guarding his children from the sinister effects of air pollution stemming from the Metrolink's Central Maintenance Facility (CMF), also known as Taylor Yard, little more than 400 yards away from where we sat one afternoon.

"If I smell any diesel fume coming this way, I have to keep my children inside the house," said Dinh, who has a background in mechanics and understands the possibly harmful effects of diesel engine emitted by these trains, if left unchecked. Noise was also a problem. Trains would pull in, horns would go off at odd hours, waking residents.

Last year, the World Health Organization elevated diesel to a "known carcinogen" level. A 50-year study undertaken by the National Cancer Institute showed that nonsmoking miners heavily exposed to diesel fumes had seven times the normal lung cancer risk of nonsmokers. It could also increase the risk of heart attacks. The EPA has found that diesel fumes aggravate asthma, bronchitis and can cause premature death. Most worrying of all is that its effects are felt even more by children, the elderly, and those that already have pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions.

It was a strange juxtaposition, to see an idyllic neighborhood by the river jostle for space alongside an industrial behemoth such as the CMF. Ducks laze around the pool, as cyclists with determined expressions zip past every so often on the Los Angeles River bike trail. In the meantime, large locomotives trudge on metal rails inching their way toward the maintenance facility, their engines inevitably giving off harmful diesel particulate matter (DPM).