Worries about air pollution also underlie the report that a committee will present today to freeway planners. The report says construction should not begin until pollution from the ports and the trucks and railroads serving it is reduced below 2002 levels. The committee is made up of members appointed by cities in the 710 corridor, including health experts, labor representatives and community activists.
The pollution debate is now shifting to the 710 Freeway, an 18- mile-long, 1950s-vintage highway that connects the ports with rail yards east of downtown Los Angeles. Big-rig trucks that jam the road are a major source of diesel fumes and other pollution, triggering widespread worries about health effects in cities from Long Beach to Commerce.
The community advisory group's report will be presented to the so- called Oversight Policy Committee, made up of officials overseeing improvement plans for the 710, in a meeting at 6:30 tonight at the Carson Community Center. The freeway expansion project has been on hold since spring 2003, when public outcry over potential air pollution increases and home demolitions forced the MTA board to rethink its planning efforts. That in turn led to creation of a community panel that has assessed how an expanded freeway would affect area residents.