This Thursday, August 4, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Agency (Metro) is going to vote on whether to adopt one of the strongest green construction policies in the nation. As I blogged about this about a month ago, Metro has been considering a policy that would require that all the equipment, vehicles, and generators used to build LA’s transportation system meet strict clean air standards.
This policy is critical to make sure that as Metro ramps up construction to build a more effective transportation system, all this new construction will not bring dirty diesel pollution into our neighborhoods. Without this policy, communities around LA County will be subjected to years of toxic diesel pollution whenever Metro builds a new project in their neighborhood.
However, the policy currently going before the Board applies only to projects on Metro property and rights of way. While this is a great step, this does not cover all of the construction projects that Metro is responsible for. Much of Metro’s money goes to construction projects that are administered by other entities—namely the California Department of Transportation (known as Caltrans) and the various cities across LA County.
Metro is considering phasing-in the application of the Green Construction Policy to these other entities. NRDC urges Metro to move forward with the phase-in as quickly as possible. These other jurisdictions receive Metro funding for a range of construction projects that bring diesel equipment—and diesel pollution—into communities across LA. These projects must not get a free pass to pollute.