In California, people of color are dangerously close to oil train disasters

Hasn’t it always been so?


There’s been a lot of consternation over oil trains recently. In the U.S. and Canada, almost two dozen crude-carrying trains have derailed in the past two years — exploding into giant balls of fire in some cases, and in others, killing people. And while the Obama administration released new oil train safety rules on May 1, they remained so lax and full of holes that some environmental groups immediately sued.

In California, as more and more crude arrives by rail, more people will find themselves within the “blast zone,” a one-mile evacuation area recommended by the U.S. Department of Transportation. As a report released Tuesday finds, California’s “blast zone” lands squarely on the shoulders of people of color.

environmental-justice-and-race-chart-page-4ForestEthics and Communities for a Better Environment

The report, co-produced by Communities for a Better Environment and ForestEthics, shows that 80 percent of California residents within the blast zone live…

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