"Hundreds of hazardous sites in California are at risk of flooding as sea level rises, study finds"

sewage treatment plan

Hundreds of hazardous industrial sites that dot the California coastline – including oil and gas refineries and sewage-treatment plants – are at risk of severe flooding from rising sea level if the climate crisis worsens, new research shows.

If planet-warming pollution continues to rise unabated, 129 industrial sites are estimated to be at risk of coastal flooding by 2050 according to the study, published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology by researchers from University of California at Los Angeles and Berkeley, as well as Climate Central.

Researchers also found that residents living within a kilometer — about 0.6 miles — of these contaminated sites tend to be more vulnerable: people of color, the elderly, unemployed and low-income communities. By the end of the century, the number of at-risk toxic sites could increase to 423, and the disadvantaged population around those sites is expected to grow as well.


Faculty Referenced by this Article

Dr. Lara Cushing
Lara Cushing
Environmental Health Sciences
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