On June 1, Plug In IE, a program of the Inland Empire Labor Institute, organized panel discussions and workshops to gather insights on the challenges and opportunities of moving away from diesel trucks. UC Riverside’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Center for Environmental Research and Technology and Office of Sustainability joined Plug In IE, the IE Labor Institute, and the Inland Empire Labor and Community Center to host the ‘Create IE’ research workshop.
Emissions from diesel trucks moving goods through warehouses, railyards and ports are associated with respiratory diseases, heart problems, and premature death. Additionally, the average hourly wage of workers in the area falls 6 percent below the national average. Recognizing the urgency of the issue, policymakers, environmentalists and community leaders are holding conversations to underline the importance of a just transition for the Inland Empire economy. This means ensuring that communities disproportionately affected by pollution are not left behind, explained Hillary Jenks, co-director of the IE Labor Institute.