A few years ago, I cited a peer-reviewed medical journal article that described the adverse effects on lung development in children who grow up close to a freeway as a major reason why the city of Davis should not locate the New Harmony project in South Davis so close to Interstate 80.
Noted UC Davis air quality expert Tom Cahill testified on the city’s behalf in support of the project. He argued that the adverse effects cited in the journal article could be “mitigated” by things like strategic landscaping and the “prevailing delta breeze.”
I must say that I was shocked to see the very same Tom Cahill’s letter to the editor in Thursday’s Enterprise speaking out against building residences at the Nishi site and citing similar peer-reviewed data as well as his own UC Davis Delta Group’s data showing the link between freeway proximity and adverse health risks! The current residents of New Harmony may be quite interested in referencing the health hazards that he posted on his group’s website.
At the very least, one would hope that our local elected leaders wouldn’t knowingly jeopardize the future health of our very own citizens for the sake of political gain but, in hindsight, that appears to have been the case with the New Harmony project.
That said, I commend Tom Cahill and the UC Davis Delta Group for their contributions to the important research linking proximity of residence to a major freeway with adverse health risks. I fully support his opposition to building residences on the Nishi property based on health concerns. At least as far as the Nishi property is concerned, it’s not too late to make the right decision. As a community, we can do better when it comes to affordable housing location!
Kris Kordana, M.D.