The L.A. County Freeway That Belches the Most Smog

The 60 is a pollution monster of epic proportions

New research shows that a stretch of the 60 in Ontario is emitting the most lung-damaging pollution than any other freeway corridor in Southern California.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District recently installed smog monitors along four freeway segments: the 5 in Anaheim, the 710 in Long Beach, the 10 in Ontario, and the 60 in Ontario. The latter scored the worst in air quality in the four counties the district covers (L.A., Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino), even beating out levels in Riverside County’s Mira Loma, long thought of as SoCal’s most polluted enclave.

While the AQMD hasn’t set up monitors on freeways closer to Los Angeles proper, the eastern parts of the county and the Inland Empire are already known to have worse pollution, partly due to a lack of ocean breezes. But another reason for the worse air is the nonstop truck traffic that barrels through the area’s freeways. One Ontario local told the L.A. Times that truck traffic has exploded since the recession ended.

Clearly more has to be done to make trucks greener, because it’s not just Ontario residents suffering, but the over 1 million Southern Californians who live mere steps from the roaring freeways.