Op-Ed: Improving Health Outcomes Through Climate-Change Action

Assessment of state’s clean trucks program reveals a plethora of positive health impacts, particularly for communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.

DAVID HENRY and DR. GEORGE T. DIFERDINANDO, JR. / NJ SPOTLIGHT – Over the past decade, research has pointed to the substantial contribution that economic, environmental and societal forces contribute to our health — as much as or more, studies show, than genetics, individual behavior and access to health care. Examples of these social determinants of health include quality of housing and schools, access to healthy foods, living-wage jobs and environmental exposure to pollution and other hazards.

To better understand the impact that a recent rule proposal by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection may have on New Jerseyans’ health, the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance prepared a “rapid Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of the state’s proposed Advanced Clean Trucks Program and Fleet Reporting Requirements rule-making. If finalized, the proposal would adopt, by reference, California’s Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Program, which requires manufacturers of vehicles over 8,500 pounds to increase the percentage of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) or near zero-emission (NZEV) (only those using battery technology) sold in New Jersey …