Reduce Diesel Pollution and Protect Health

Greenaction works with communities heavily impacted by harmful diesel emissions to reduce exposure to these toxins at their sources. Diesel emissions can contribute to asthma, cancer and other health problems, as well as to air pollution and climate change.

Most diesel emission pollution can be attributed to vehicle emissions, notably those made from diesel trucks and buses. One heavy duty diesel engine contributes the same amount of pollution as 150 regular sized cars. When trucks that have diesel engines are on but the vehicle is not moving (idling), these engines are not able to burn their diesel fuel properly. Idling creates toxic gases (ozone) and soot (containing small particulates called PMs) that are harmful to human health and contribute to the effects of climate change!

Greenaction’s community outreach workers talk with truckers, school bus drivers and businesses about how and why to reduce diesel pollution. They give them information about the health effects of their exposures and how to convert their diesel trucks into models that produce less pollution with the help of available grants and incentives.


Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP) is the only place in the City of San Francisco where major freeways intersect, where commuter trains run through, and trucking companies park their diesel trucks and let them idle with engines on. The main school bus yard is here, as well as delivery businesses that use diesel vehicles. Due to increased construction activities, BVHP is experiencing even more diesel pollution. This program was expanded to include not only Bayview Hunters Point but also the adjacent neighborhoods of Potrero Hill, Visitacion Valley and Portola. Greenaction had great success with its initial anti-idling program, gathering local businesses and community members together to reduce diesel pollution. This plan was so successful that Greenaction is now running a similar campaign in San Joaquin Valley.

California’s San Joaquin Valley, a mostly rural area known for its agriculture, has some of the worst air quality in the entire country. Sitting in a bowl surrounded by mountains, low air flow and stagnant weather combine to trap smog pollution and heavily affects the health of the communities that live along the busiest truck traffic routes that connect California to the rest of the United States. Greenaction is working in the towns of Avenal and Kettleman City in Kings County to reduce diesel emissions by targeting freight transport companies and businesses that use diesel fleets or diesel trucks and buses. Greenaction organizers are talking with schools and bus drivers and community members about how diesel pollution affects their health. In conjunction with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the US EPA, Greenaction’s community leaders are working to educate residents, truckers, bus drivers and businesses about the dangers of diesel emissions and how to reduce diesel pollution.



TOOLKIT: (being updated)

FORM/TEMPLATE: Sample Good Neighbor Agreement (Eng / Span)

FORM: Diesel Idling Trucker Outreach and Observation Sample Form



Diesel Vehicle Idling: Myths or Facts (Eng / Span)

California Anti-Idling Laws and Regulations (Eng/Span)

The Lungs of Truck Drivers (Eng/Span)

Diesel Idling & Children’s Health (Eng/Span)

Schoolbus Brochure English (Eng)

Schoolbus Brochure – Folleto – El autobus (Span)

Health Factsheets (Eng/Span)



HANFORD SENTINEL: “Deal made to cut diesel truck emissions” (January 15, 2013)