Don’t miss this excellent video on trucks, air pollution, and public health

The California Cleaner Freight Coalition (CCFC) just sent us a wonderful video, which includes appearances by leaders and volunteers from several MFN member organizations, including Ms. Margaret Gordon of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, Humberto Lugo of Comite Civico Del Valle, Silvia Reyes of the Alliance for Children with Asthma, and Nidia Erceg from the Coalition for Clean Air.

Check the video out! 

To learn more about cleaner freight, sign up today for the free Moving Forward Network 4th International Conference.  Attendees will learn and share knowledge on cleaner freight in a number of sessions, including:

  •  Zero Emission Truck Technology Overview

  • Technology Solutions to Reduce Pollution 

  • Zero-Emissions Policy: Barriers and Opportunities

  • Siemen’s Catenary System Pilot Project site visit

 To learn more about the conference and register, click here or on the image below:




Leonardo DiCaprio joins forces with Comité Cívico Del Valle to expand Salton Sea air quality monitoring

To my knowledge, no organization in the U.S. has achieved as much using citizen science as the Brawley, California community and environmental justice group Comité Cívico Del Valle.

Comité Cívico, working with a network of academic, governmental, and other partners, has built a community-based air quality monitoring system consisting of 40 monitors spread across the sprawling and dangerously polluted Imperial Valley; the IVAN environmental reporting system, which allows citizens to document and report environmental problems; a task force that follows up on the problems that citizens report, and much more.

The result? Empowered, knowledgeable, and engaged residents who are committed to make their community a better and healthier place, and have the tools to do it.

Last week, Comité Cívico gained a new ally  – Leonardo DiCaprio, who announced that his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will donate $100,000 to install and operate 20 new air monitors to monitor deadly chemical-laden particulate matter blowing from the rapidly drying Salton sea – perhaps the biggest environmental health challenge the region faces.

Also last week, perhaps inspired by Comité Cívico’s successes, the California State Legislature passed a bill, AB 617, which authorizes the deployment of community air monitoring systems in polluted communities across the state.

Knowledge is power, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s support will help empower the residents of the Imperial Valley to fight for one of the most fundamental human rights – clean air to breathe.  

To learn more about community-based air monitoring, join members of Comite Civico and dozens of other MFN organizations at the FREE 4th International Conference, and check out the references at the end of this post.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation gives $100,000 toward monitoring pollution at Salton Sea (Desert Sun)

How community air monitoring projects provide a data-driven model for the future (Environmental Defense Fund)

In California’s Imperial Valley, Residents Aren’t Waiting for Government to Track Pollution, Yes Magazine

Imperial Valley gets an F grade in air quality by American Lung Association, KYMA

Advancing Environmental Justice: A New State Regulatory Framework to Abate Community-Level Air Pollution Hotspots and Improve Health Outcomes (Goldman School of Public Policy)


Comite Civico and Loma Linda University Medical Center train and empower students to be citizen scientists and monitor air pollution

The Brawley, California community organization Comite Civico Del Valle has tremendous accomplishments under its belt, including installation of a very robust set of fixed air pollution monitors throughout the region, and establishment of the IVAN environmental reporting system, used by residents in the Imperial Valley and communities across the state.

Working with long-time partner Loma Linda University Medical Center. Comite Civil and other partners are now expanding their services. They are training high school students to be citizen scientists, and encouraging residents to install Purple Air monitors to measure air quality in real-time outside of their homes to ensure the air they breathe is safe before engaging in outdoor physical activities.  This will be especially valuable to children and others with asthma. To learn more, check out the resources below and the article that follows.  

In California’s Imperial Valley, Residents Aren’t Waiting for Government to Track Pollution, Yes! Magazine

AIResiliency on Twitter     

I.V.A.N., Identifying Violations Affecting Communities, IVAN Online                                                                                                                                                                 

Read More

Tell EPA how to improve the powerful Environmental Justice tool EJSCREEN

EJScreen is a very powerful tool that puts capabilities previously available only to mapping experts in the hands of environmental justice groups and others.  

If you or your organization have used EJScreen, please let EPA know how they can improve it by filling out the EJScreen User Survey.  Just follow the instructions below.   

To learn more about this great tool, check out the links at the end of this blog post.

Read More

Moving Forward Network members and friends at People’s Climate Marches across the US!

The Moving Forward Network is composed of over 40 member organizations, and virtually every organization participated in the People’s Climate Marches in Washington, DC, or at a sister march in another city.  Check out a few examples:

Chicago IL

Concord NH


Kansas City, MO

Long Beach CA

2017-04-29 - 12 - LA Climate March, Tesoro

Los Angeles CA

This photo was provided by Comite Civico del Valle, one of many MFN members who marched in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles to call attention to an urgent regional issue – the expansion of the Tesoro Oil Refinery.

New York City NY


NRDC at the NYC peoples climate march 2017

Marching with NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner and NRDC colleagues and members

Oakland CA

Sierra Club at the Oakland Climate Change march

No coal in Oakland

In the San Francisco Bay Area, several thousand people converged on the shores of Oakland’s Lake Merritt for a rally that included indigenous leaders and local environmental justice groups. There, 70-year-old Margaret Gordon, an organizer with a group called No Coal in Oakland, summed up the crowd’s concerns with a fiery one-minute speech from the stage. “Keep the fossil fuels in the ground. Clean up our air, water, and soil,” she said.  (Source

Portland OR

Neighbors for Clean Air Portland Peoples Climate March

Neighbors for Clean Air marched in Portland!

The Portland Peoples Climate March was a great event with frontline communities voices front and center.

NeighborsforCleanAir PCM

San Diego CA

Washington, DC

NRDC at the DC climate march

NRDC Marching to defend the Paris Agreement



Zero emissions truck manufacturers working to run dirty diesel off the road

Photo: East Bay Express.

Zero emissions Class 8 heavy-duty Class 8 18-wheelers are a reality today.  The innovative Kansas City company Orange EV is the first and only company to make all-electric big rigs commercially available.  Their electric terminal trucks are operating throughout the country.

However, over-the-road electric Class 8 trucks are another story – to date only prototype and demonstration zero emissions Class 8 trucks capable of operating on public highways have been produced.

But, the marketplace is changing rapidly, and other companies, some established and some new, are jumping into the fray.  As a result, within a few years we may see a strong shift from dirty diesel to zero-emissions trucking on public highways.  A few examples, followed by references for more information:

As we reported late last year in Nikola announces “The end of diesel engines”… electric Class 8 heavy-duty trucks using power generated by hydrogen fuel cells will be truly zero-emissions if the hydrogen is generated by solar energy.  Nikola Motors has an ambitious and innovative plan to do that on the national level by 2020, with solar-powered refueling stations on major truck routes throughout the country.  Their solution has a number of other innovative features, and they have produced a very impressive demonstration vehicle.

By the end of 2016, Nikola reported that they had received over 7,000 preorders worth over $2 billion.

“Say goodbye to the days of dirty diesel…” 

                                                             Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor Company

Mercedes-Benz is also moving into this market, and has promised to deliver prototypes of its all-electric mid-range (124 miles) Urban eTruck this year, and produce it commercially in 2020.

Last week, two more firms joined the zero emissions trucking race – Tesla announced that they have an electric semi under production, and Toyota developed a prototype hydrogen-electric drayage truck for use at the Port of Los Angeles.

For the latest news, check out the articles below.

Rail Management Services Orders 9 More Orange EV T-Series All-Electric Yard Trucks, CleanTechnica

Big Rigs to Pickups — Toyota Could Develop Full Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck Line,

Mercedes’ electric Urban eTruck will hit the road this year, Road Show

Toyota Rolls Out Hydrogen Semi Ahead Of Tesla’s Electric Truck, Forbes

Morgan Stanley likes the idea of a Tesla semi-truck, Business Insider

California report finds electric and other low emissions vehicle technology accelerating faster than expecting

Just as electric vehicles can be quicker off the starting line than fossil fuel vehicles, the technology for zero and low emissions passenger vehicles is advancing faster than most thought possible.  A report just released by the California Air Resources Board finds that the California greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards currently in place for model years 2022-2025 are readily feasible at or below the costs estimated back in 2012 – when the standards were adopted with support from many automakers. Continuing on the path to meeting the 2025 standards will deliver significant clean-air and public health benefits for Californians and cost-savings for consumers.

The 667-page Midterm Review of Advanced Clean Cars Program report released this week confirms that the previously adopted package of GHG standards, technology-forcing zero-emission vehicle standards, and the most health-protective particulate matter standards in the world are appropriate. The report indicates that existing programs in California will add at least 1 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads and highways by 2025.

“The recent Detroit auto show shined a spotlight on the fact that we are fully engaged in a global transformation towards autonomous vehicles, with hybrid cars an industry norm and electric models appearing across models and platforms,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “Our standards need to recognize and keep pace with that market reality to keep California and the nation fully competitive in the global automobile marketplace. The conclusion is inescapable: California’s vehicle future is electric.”

Read More

Training resources to build community capacity on goods movement and health – webinar on MFN Library resources

On December 21, the University of Southern California held a webinar “Training resources to build community capacity on goods movement and health,” which highlighted the resources available in the Moving Forward Network library and how they can be used.  A recording of the webinar can be found here.

Speakers Carla Truax of the University of Southern California,  Eric Kirkendall of the Diesel Health Project, and Ms. Margaret Gordon of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project talked about workshops and presentation resources that organizations can use to train new members and students. They discussed their experiences developing the materials for varied audiences, and noted that the “guides and 101” documents are great for beginners, use an engaging education style, and often are available in both English and Spanish.

mfn-library-screenshotThe Moving Forward Network Library features hundreds of useful documents, including the Air Pollution 101 training course, the Curriculum Guide for Freight Transport Justice, the Goods Movement 101 three-part course, the Speakers Kit on Goods Movement, policy briefs, reference collections and infographics on health studies, and  national Environmental Justice and Global Trade Impact reports.

Topics covered in the webinar included how to locate occupational health resources, warehouse worker studies, and other useful resources, such as information on refineries, hazardous materials, and schools.  Participants commented on the importance of “Reducing Air Emissions Associated With Goods Movement: Working Towards Environmental Justice” by the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) committee to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, also available in the MFN Library. There was also discussion about continuing the online meetings and hosting a calendar of events on the MFN Web site.

To learn more, view the recording of the webinar and check out the resources available in the MFN Library.

Moving Forward Network partners – please share your public materials in the library by emailing them to

Thanks to the Moving Forward Network partners and webinar host USC Environmental Health Community Engagement Team for this excellent session!

Angelo Logan of MFN and other national environmental justice leaders vow to continue battle for justice

The EJ poster image above is courtesy of Donnelly/Colt Progressive Resources

Since the election of Donald Trump, environmental justice leaders across the country have been strategizing about how to continue to fight for justice in the face of expected big shifts in Federal government priorities.  One theme that has been consistent – they will not stand down.


Angelo Logan, campaign director, Moving Forward Network, as quoted by Keith Rushing, Lead Advocacy Press Secretary, Earthjustice

Last Friday, Keith Rushing, Lead Advocacy Press Secretary for Earthjustice, wrote one of the best articles on the subject, Environmental Justice Leaders to Stand Strong in the Trump Era. Keith interviewed three EJ leaders – Angelo Logan, campaign director of the Moving Forward Network, Peggy Shepard, executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice in New York City, and Hilton Kelley, director of the Community In-Power and Development Association in Port Arthur, Texas.

Keith’s summary regarding how EJ organizations can hold the line and ramp up their work is that four things are necessary, (1) Stand strong in the face of adversity, (2) Get a seat at the table at the national level, (3) Keep up state and local fights, and (4) increase funding for EJ.

This article has great insights.  Click below for more details, and consider how you can contribute to this very important work.


Barrio Logan’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal Expansion Takes Step Toward Sustainability

EHC says expansion plan addresses concerns from most impacted communities

SAN DIEGO, December 13, 2016 – Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), an organization fighting toxic pollution in San Diego’s most vulnerable communities, applauds the Port for passing a sustainable plan for the expansion of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal that acknowledges and addresses concerns of the surrounding communities. Today, more than 40 community members from Barrio Logan, Logan Heights and Sherman Heights attended the hearing urging Port officials to reduce pollution and incorporate community benefits into the plan. More than 500 residents from the neighborhoods and throughout San Diego signed petitions echoing their demands.

 “The community is encouraged by this step toward a mutually beneficial relationship with the Port,” says EHC Barrio Logan community organizer Jorge Gonzalez. “This plan will directly impact the lives of people living and working in Barrio Logan by reducing pollution now and in the future.”

 The official Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal expansion plan includes:

  • Maximum cargo throughput that is 25 percent less than in the original plan

  • 36 new pieces of electric cargo handling equipment

  • Mandatory equipment that captures and treats smokestack emissions for ships that cannot plug into shore side electricity

  • Annual equipment inventory and technology review to identify new opportunities for emission reduction

  • A renewable energy project on the terminal, such as solar panels on warehouse buildings, or an equivalent locally approved program for greenhouse gas reductions

At the urging of Commissioner Rafael Castellanos, the Port also committed to implementing community benefits including local hire, air filters for Perkins Elementary School, resolving the existing parking problem and establishing a local community advisory committee to monitor the approved mitigations.

 “As a lifelong Barrio Logan resident, I’d like to see a portion of the funding for the Port expansion go toward community benefits  – particularly air filters for Perkins Elementary and other important community facilities,” says 19-year-old Francisco Martinez. “We need a responsible and sustainable plan that leads to economic growth with less pollution and impacts on families like mine.”

 According to the California Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental justice screening tool, CalEnviroScreen, Barrio Logan remains among the worst five percent of neighborhoods suffering from the cumulative impacts of pollution in California. Despite progress made to the plan since its initial stage, EHC says it still means additional pollution for San Diego’s already over-polluted neighborhoods.

 “The adoption of a plan far better than what was originally proposed is certainly a victory for the community,” says EHC Executive Director Diane Takvorian. “Yet this expansion plan undeniably adds another layer of pollution to a community already suffering the brunt of environmental inequity. There is much more work to be done, but we’re hopeful that this is a step in the right direction and that the Port will continue to adopt practices that reduce impacts to the adjacent neighborhoods.”

Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), founded in 1980, builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use and unsustainable energy policies. For more information, visit

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