Seminar Speaker: Regan Patterson, Ph.D. – Quantifying the Impact of Transportation Policies on  Air Quality and Environmental Justice


On-road vehicles are a major source of urban air pollution. In goods movement corridors, some freeways and local arterial roadways are heavily trafficked by heavy-duty diesel trucks. Heavy-duty diesel trucks are major sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and
particulate matter (PM). Localized impacts of diesel exhaust have environmental justice implications for communities near goods movement truck activity. These communities are disproportionately burdened by exposures and associated health risks.
Predominantly nonwhite and low-income communities are concentrated in goods movement corridors due to sociospatial processes, such as residential segregation. Policies that mitigate heavy-duty diesel truck exposures have the potential to address
disproportionate exposure burdens. Two recently implemented policies that reduce exposures are the use of diesel truck emission controls and truck rerouting. This seminar will present quantitative evidence of the air quality benefits due to truck rerouting and discuss measures of environmental justice. Findings illustrate the importance of multidisciplinary analyses of transportation policies and planning to address air pollution disparities and improve environmental justice outcomes.


Dr. Regan F. Patterson is the Transportation Equity Research Fellow at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF). Prior to joining the CBCF, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Dr. Patterson earned her PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the intersection of sustainable transportation and environmental justice. She uses air quality models to quantify traffic-related air pollutant emissions and concentrations in urban, disenfranchised communities. Dr. Patterson holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Date(s) - Jan 19, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Zoom link:

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