Coalition for a Safe Environment (CFASE)


Community Perspectives

Life in the Diesel Death Zone

"I live in the Hispanic community of Wilmington in the shadow of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. When I wake up in the morning I do not smell the fresh clean ocean air or see beautiful blue skies that are only a distant childhood memory. Instead I smell tons of diesel exhaust from ships, cargo trains, and over 45,000 diesel trucks, and see a deadly brown smog cloud looming overhead. Almost every family I know has someone suffering from asthma, respiratory health problems, lung disease, or cancer. Our community is located in what is now called the “Diesel Death Zone.” Six people die prematurely every day so that Wal-Mart, Nike, K-Mart, and others can make billions in profits. In 2001 we created the Wilmington Coalition for a Safe Environment to fight for our right to a clean and healthy environment, where the benefits of international trade are shared by all communities."

-Jesse Marquez, Wilmington resident and Executive Director of CFASE

Source: "Paying with Our Health: The Real Cost of Freight Transport in California." A Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative Report by the Pacific Institute. November 2006.


The Coalition For A Safe Environment (CFASE) is a nonprofit community-based organization based in Wilmington, CA that seeks to improve environmental health and justice in the Harbor communities near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. CFASE is involved in policy issues at all levels of government.

Jesse N. Marquez, a lifetime Wilmington resident, founded CFASE in April 2001 as a committee to investigate Port of Los Angeles expansion projects environmental and public health impacts on Wilmington residents and the local Harbor community. 

CFASE works to mitigate, reduce and eliminate public exposure and public health impacts caused by air, land and water pollution generated by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, international cargo & cruise ships, the petroleum industry, energy sources and the goods movement transportation industry.




Contact Information:

Coalition for a Safe Environment (CFASE)
Wilmington, California
(310) 704-1265


Maintained by the Trade, Health & Environment Impact Project