Fresno neighborhoods still riskiest in state

Posted by Mark Grossi on April 22, 2014 

Maria Elena Avila Orozco Martinez looks at a glass of water from her tap in East Orosi in Tulare County where many residents fear nitrate contamination from the wells.

JOHN WALKER — Fresno Bee Staff Photo Buy Photo

The state this week released a more detailed ranking of the riskiest places to live in California -- and Fresno, by far, still leads the pack.

Last year, The Bee's series "Living in a Toxic Land" broke the news about the rankings, which showed west Fresno as the riskiest place to live in all of California. San Joaquin Valley ZIP codes dominated the list.

This analysis looks at air, water, pesticides, poverty, language barriers and many other factors. The cumulative-impact approach is gaining steam in science circles.

In the latest state analysis, drinking water quality has been added — a factor that kept many Valley locations among the riskiest places.

Fresno has 15 of the 20 worst places in the state, much of it focused downtown, south and west. The Valley accounted for 22 of the 30 worst places in California.

The big difference in this analysis compared to last year? The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has refined the analysis, breaking it down to 8,000 census tracts instead of the 1,769 ZIP codes.

You can check the map page and find out if your census tract is in a risky area.

OEHHA is having a webinar demonstration from 11 a.m. to noon April 30 to help people understand it. Public workshops will be in Sacramento, Fresno, and Los Angeles in May.

The Fresno workshop will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 6 at the Hugh Burns State Building, Room 1036, 2550 Mariposa Mall.

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