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Date and Location

February 14, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET


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​Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring Priyank Lathwal, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Belfer Center's Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program. Dr. Lathwal will speak on "Pollution from Freight Trucks in the Contiguous United States: Public Health Damages and Implications for Environmental Justice." Q&A to follow.

Freight trucking in the United States is responsible for carrying 70% of the nation’s overall freight by value. However, the combustion of fossil fuels from freight trucks is responsible for mortality from fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and its precursors, which burden some racial- ethnic groups disproportionately, and climate impacts due to greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., CO2 emissions). Recent literature has evaluated some of these impacts and their distribution. However, no research study has looked at the impacts of freight trucking pollution on racial and ethnic minority groups based on a spatially resolved bottom-up emissions inventory. Using open- source data from the US Department of Transportation, combined with integrated air quality models and data from the United States Census Bureau, this study attempts to provide a clearer picture of the extent to which heavy freight contributes to environmental injustice in the country.

Our findings indicate that the trucking sector is responsible for nearly two-fifths, or $47B (in 2017 US $) of all transportation related air pollution damage across the country. Further, we find that counties with a higher proportion of Black and Hispanic residents are also more likely to be net importers of pollution damages from other counties. Altogether, we believe that this work lays the groundwork for a new approach to understand environmental justice in America while providing policy recommendations to clean up legacy pollution under the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Attendance: This event is open to the public and hosted on Zoom. For those who cannot attend live, the seminar will be recorded and available to watch on the Energy Policy Seminar Series page.

Accessibility: Persons with disabilities who wish to request accommodations or who have questions about access, please contact Liz Hanlon ( in advance of the session.

Registration: Please RSVP at the link below. Registration will remain open until the event begins.

Speakers and Presenters

​Priyank Lathwal



Additional Organizers

​Harvard University Center for the Environment