K-town pollution among worst in California

April 24, 2014

According to California Environmental Protection Agency 
Pollution in California is worst in areas of low income

Buildings in central Seoul are shrouded in a cloud of ultrafine particles, Tuesday. The Korea Meteorological Administration announced that the average atmospheric concentration of particulate matter measuring 10 micrometers (PM10) on the day was 228 micrograms per cubic meter, the most dangerous level in its five-level air pollution scale. (Yonhap)

Pockets with the worst pollution in California include Koreatown nearby L.A. downtown.

By Tae Hong

Pollution in California is worst in areas of low income, among them Los Angeles County, a report says.

The California Environmental Protection Agency released a statewide assessment Tuesday detailing pollution in 8,000 census tracts within the 1,800 zip codes in the state.

According to the report, pockets with the worst pollution include areas in which low-income, immigrant residents reside: San Joaquin Valley, L.A. County — which includes Koreatown — and the Inland Empire.

The report takes into account not just environmental factors but 19 considerations, among them poverty, education, unemployment and existing health conditions, the agency said.

Sen. Kevin de Leon, who represents the 22nd district, wrote a law in 2012 that allocates 25 percent of proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas reduction.

The money would go toward communities that are screened by a tool called CalEnviroScreen as being disproportionately affected by pollution and climate change.

He said the report could bring about government regulation that directs more resources to those needy communities.

The proposed budget for 2014-15 sets aside $225 million of $850 million in proceeds from the program to disadvantaged communities, Gov. Jerry Brown said.