Johansson: Better choice for D.A.
Election post-mortem

No air pollution testing at NISHI? Gimme a break! Not testing is just a public health and public policy sin..... and totally non-scientific.

Frankly, it still boggles my mind that the Nishi developers refused to allow air quality testing at their proposed development site.  They had about all the benefits you can imagine, an ideal situation in that a famous UC Davis professor with the right equipment to do air quality monitoring offered to do the testing in a fair and systematic way (you can call it "scientific") in order to determine the unique patterns of air quality at a site that is below grade, adjacent to a very busy highway and wedged in by the railroad tracks.  BUT THE DEVELOPERS SAID "NO!!!!".

WOW!  A big "NO!!!!" to scientific testing. 

Had they asked the Yolo County Epidemiologist like I did whether or not this kind of testing was advisable from a public health perspective, here is what they would have heard (communication from Dr. Dabritz: 

 "If the Davis City Council is serious about developing the Nishi Gateway site, it would make sense to conduct air pollution studies ON THE NISHI SITE, using several measurement locations. Given the changes in air quality over season, time of day, and day of week, measurements ought to be conducted during 4 different seasons, morning and evening, weekday and weekend. If large trees supposedly mitigate air pollution effects, then measurements could be taken under and away from the trees already on the site. Measurements could also be undertaken on the downwind side of the freeway at similar distances to demonstrate the large differences that are likely present in the upwind vs. downwind location. This kind of study is a UC-Davis graduate’s student’s dream, if the equipment were available.


In fact, equipment was/is available! I understand project management was offered free use of certified and highly expensive air monitoring equipment by a retired UC Davis professor with years of experience in air pollution measurement. Why this offer was not accepted is beyond comprehension. I can only assume the project managers are politically-driven rather than data-driven. Perhaps the Davis City Council doesn’t want the 6,000 people ALREADY LIVING next to the freeway to know how bad their air quality is. Heaven help us if some enterprising UC-Davis graduate student decided to measure air pollution at the site of existing housing!"

Let us be perfectly clear..... it is TOTALLY irresponsible to proceed to develop this site without doing the air quality testing that will help us understand just how bad the highway/railroad/ambient air pollution would be for potential residents at the NISHI site.  To my mind, this is an ethical, moral, and legal issue. And UC Davis students and other potential residents deserve better than an excessively commercial approach that ignores health risks and fails to follow a "health in all policies" approach to decision making.


Nancy Price

This is why one of the first items on the post-election Agenda could be to have a Health in All Policy ordinance drafted and presented to the City Council to discuss and pass before too long. Given the many issues before the Council on many topics and policies, we might strike while the iron is hot.

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