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How Bad is Redwood City Pollution? See What New State Figures Say

California officials released data about every zip code in the state that shows which communities are most burdened by pollution and eligible for funding. See how Redwood City and Woodside rank using the interactive map below.

How burned by pollution are Redwood City and Woodside residents compared to other cities in the state?  According to the state officials, most neighborhoods are in better shape than the average California town.

California released data this week that shows two of Redwood City's three zip codes are in the lower half of California zip codes. 

94062, which includes Woodside, ranks close to average in the 71 to 75 percentile of all California zip codes while 94061 fares a little worse in the 56 to 60 percentile.

But zip code 94063—the part of Redwood City closest to the bay—is in the bottom 11 to 15 percentile of California zip codes.

See a map of the data for every town in the state here

The figures come from a new state report issued by the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that compiles health risks based on 11 types of pollution, factoring in population, socioeconomic status, and education levels.  You can find more information about the methodology here

The purpose of the report is to identify communities that are eligible for grants from the state's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, according to Sam Delson, an OEHHA spokesman. The law governing that fund mandates certain percentages be spent on disadvantaged communities, making it necessary to include economic factors in the state report.

Unfortunately for Redwood City and Woodside, only cities that rank in the bottom 10 percent will qualify.

The state has a map of those communities that are eligible on the report website.

The map above shows scores from each of those categories as well as overall rankings for every zip code in California with a Patch publication. Simply click on any town to see the full report card for each zip code.

You can see a similar map showing every zip code in the state here, and see more details of the report on the state's website.

In general, Redwood City and Woodside fare poorly on traffic metrics as well as ground water and low birth weight categories. The towns did well in education metrics and on certain air quality metrics such as ozone pollution.


See More On Patch

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  • Redwood City's Unemployment Rate Drops Again
  • High School Graduation Rates Falling
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seafoamsue May 01, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Why isn't this front page news? This study shows much more than "which communities are most burdened by pollution and eligible for funding". It takes time to read thru all the data - a good reporter could definitely add value of they read the material themselves and at least shared an overview to entice the readers to look farther. Looking at the data for Redwood City several things jump out about the 94063 zip code ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that the city is happy to perpetuate more building without addressing the environmental impact. Part of the reason 94063 comes in so low is due to traffic congestion, Diesel particulate, Hazardous waste, groundwater threats, Number of cleanup sites. Funny how the city seems to think using old environmental impact reports to push through unwanted developments will actually work for them because the area has a high poverty rate - best way to solve it? seems the current strategy is to get rid of the people and continue to kiss the A$$ of the developers!
Claire Felong May 01, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Seafoamsue, while we do have a lot of particulate by the freeway, I'm sure this is true of every other zip code in it's path. Redwood City actually taking the lead in building mixed use housing/retail along transit corridors which makes it easier for residents to use the train, bus, bike & walk. I am not in favor of the development of the Saltworks, for many reason but am hopeful that the housing developments on Veterans, El Camino & other locations will be the stimulus to increase the number of bus routes that will be useful to all residents.
James Lee Han May 02, 2013 at 01:13 AM
Claire, I hope you're right. The developments in or close to downtown are encouraging, but Saltworks, One Marina, and the plans for Pete's Harbor seem to me to be going in the wrong direction. Transit-oriented development is a good thing, but what's missing is the word "public" before "transit." I wonder how many people who live or will live off Bair Island Road at One Marina or the planned development at Pete's will actually take Samtrans or Caltrain to commute to work when they are right next to the Whipple on-ramp to 101 (and the same with any development at Saltworks, which would be right down the street from the Woodside on-ramp)? Particularly when these are market rate units and it's the folks in more affordable units who tend to be the ones who need/use public transit the most. Note that in response to the new jail (on the toxic site at Chemical Way), One Marina, and the plans at Pete's Harbor, the city is looking to increase road capacity via the Blomquist extension and possibly through the upland portion of Docktown Marina to service these new developments and projects. Increasing road capacity to service all the unsistainable projects happening in 94063 when, as this report shows, 94063 already has way too many cars on the road, is worrying. Again, the downtown development is encouraging, but the rest leaves a LOT to be desired.


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