Friday, July 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Nishi and New Harmony differ

By
From page A6 | March 11, 2014 |

Comment has been made about my recent letter giving my opinion that no residences be built in the Nishi property versus my prior support for the New Harmony project.

I will post the full New Harmony analysis on the UCD Delta website, http://delta.ucdavis.edu, next week, but in summary, my support of New Harmony was based on five main factors:

* The dominant southwest winds almost always blow from New Harmony toward the freeway. The exceptions are strong northwest winds that have high dilution factors, which will be enhanced as the trees I requested grow taller;

* The freeway is at-grade, unlike the elevated section upwind of Nishi;

* The traffic north of New Harmony usually flows freely, with relatively little braking and acceleration (unlike just upwind of the Nishi property;

* In 2002, I actually measured for five weeks, every three hours, pollution just south of Interstate 80 about 1 ½ miles east of New Harmony as part of an American Lung Association (now Breathe California of Sacramento) valley transect. It was at about the same distance south of the freeway as New Harmony. On the average, the aerosols at that site were slightly less than at my house in Davis well west of Highway 113; and

* New Harmony has done clever things with air intakes, placing them farther from the freeway, and has excellent air filters.

Tom Cahill

Davis

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 4 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich RifkinMarch 08, 2014 - 10:25 pm

    If one is to believe that it is too dangerous to build housing at the Nishi property due to freeway-borne air pollution, then it follows that it must also be too dangerous to have businesses or schools there or close by. I have looked at some of the latest studies on this topic--a UCLA research team recently reviewed all the various studies on the dangers from vehicle exhaust near freeways and other roadways with heavy traffic--and that is their conclusion: It can pose a long-term health risk living or working or going to school near a roadway where auto exhaust is sourced nearby. Yet, all of the people now making this argument--including Tom Cahill--have stressed only that housing should not be allowed at Nishi. I am not sure why he has not mentioned the possible dangers of locating a business park near Interstate-80? or a university? Perhaps UC Davis needs to be moved to the south side of I-80, because Tom Cahill thinks we don't have winds blowing from north to south?

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  • DougMarch 11, 2014 - 8:52 am

    Honestly, this is a non-story to me. People make many choices in life based on various risks and rewards. There are so many bigger issues facing our community and our world, I just can't believe that anyone could be so obsessed with such a relatively minor issue. Try living in Beijing, and then you'll have an air pollution issue I can relate to.

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  • Alan MillerMarch 11, 2014 - 10:28 am

    That is some scant science there. What were the results of the air tests for aerosols on the Nishi site for the transect you did there? Yeah, I thought so.

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  • Rich RifkinMarch 11, 2014 - 12:20 pm

    CAHIL: "The dominant southwest winds almost always blow from New Harmony toward the freeway." .............. In a 365-day year, I think it is fair to say that our predominant wind is the Delta Breeze which blows from the South or Southwest. However, it is not the case that we only get a SW wind. For about 6 months of the year, from October to April, we will get more wind from the north or northwest than from the southwest. (All road cyclists in our region can confirm this.( Today (3-11-15) happens to be one of those days. The north wind is blowing all those pesky aerosols from I-80 right into Mr. Cahill's lovely New Harmony housing project (which, by the way, has one really ugly paint job). And even in the late spring and the summer, when most winds hit Davis from the southwest, we will still get an occasional (and often very strong) north wind. My guess is that Tom Cahill has never done any real study of the year-round air conditions at the Nishi site. Most likely, he's just blowing hot air, like our summer north wind.

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