5 Worst Orange County Places Based on State Pollution and Demographic Data

Categories: Environment

Daniel Weintraub, editor of the California Health Report, compared the census zip codes 92707 (Santa Ana) and 92657 (Newport Beach) on the online state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment tool and found stark contrasts. Despite those places being relatively close to each other, one is among the cleanest in California, the other is one of the dirtiest.

Can you guess which is which?

See Also:
*50 Reasons Why Orange County id the Worst Effing Place in America
*The Five Cleanest Cities in Orange County

As Weintraub points out, the southeast corner of Santa Ana is locked in by two traffic-choked freeways, and the neighborhood air is dirtied with diesel emissions and other pollutants. Nearby businesses release an unusually large amount of chemicals. The community has more hazardous waste clean-up sites than almost anyplace in the state, and groundwater there is threatened by contaminants leaking from underground storage tanks.

And yet, other Orange County census zip codes fare worse than 92707's "CalEnviroScreen" score of 40.3. A "pollution burden score," which is based on 11 environmental-quality measurements, is combined with demographic indicators such as asthma, poverty and low-birth-weight rates to determine the CalEnviroScreen results. The higher the score, the worse that place is. Below are Orange County's five worst.

5) Santa Ana
(census zip code 92704)
There's such a large concentration of clean-up sides, this entire zip code could pratically be one. Traffic, air pollution and diesel emissions are horrible. Hazardous waste is a major problem, and solid-waste woes are pretty bad. Low-birth weights are above average, the population is not well educated and the poverty rate is fairly high. Pollution Burden Score: 6.40. CalEnviroScreen Score: 41.6.

4) Santa Ana
(census zip code 92701)
This area is practically a traffic jam. Thus, air pollution and diesel emissions are high. There's a large percentage of clean-up sites and hazardous waste is a serious problem. The zip code ranks over 90 percent (very, very bad) in (low) education, "linguistic isolation" and poverty. Pollution Burden Score: 5.70. CalEnviroScreen Score: 42.18.

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n2bigmuscle topcommenter

I had a choice to buy with a house with a pool in 92806 or a house with a view in 92807.  So glad I took the 92807.


The Angels just keep getting cock slapped.  Theres no escape.


Why is cities spelled citys on the homepage?

tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

And I thought that the wind from the ocean was supposed to blow the pollution away?

But maybe I'm just stupid on the issue?

tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"The City of Costa Mesa is mathematically bankrupt, there is no job creation going on here". - Mayor Jim Righeimer in the OC Reg a few moths ago. I don't remember when he said this but I know that I saw it.


That's so freakin' rad!

Woohoo! Go Santa Ana! Oh, and guess what–our mayor sits on the Board for AQMD!

Don't even get me started on the Madison Materials lot that smells more like a rotting dump as opposed to its intended use as a 'construction waste processing facility'...

Chris J Caroselli
Chris J Caroselli

Anaslime, The Slater Slums of Fountain Valley, Santa Mexiforniana, Cuntington Beach..

Damien Trinkkeller
Damien Trinkkeller

Not surprising. Only thing Santa Ana and Anaheim are good for is finding cheap used tires.

vegandawg23 topcommenter

Hmm, is there some sort of demographic trend at play here? 


@tongue_twister_for_t At the start of the piece you find this:

 "Daniel Weintraub, editor of the California Health Report, compared the census zip codes 92707 (Santa Ana) and 92657 (Newport Beach) on the online state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment tool and found stark contrasts. "

That wind contributes greatly to the discrepancy.


@Debbie Matlow The only explanation can be racism.


@Damien Trinkkeller It used to be pretty easy to get weed right off the street, too.

Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@vegandawg23 Mexicanos, una gente de milagros. 

Though seriously, I'll bet when Stanton and flatland Anaheim and even Santa Ana were mostly white (well within living memory), they would have done poorly relative to other OC cities as well.


@GustavoArellano I suppose if you drive around these areas you'll find that the individual pieces of property owned by individuals are all kept in respectable order and it's only the white owned businesses that trash the area. Those same business owners park broken down vehicles in citizens' yards and they throw trash all over the street on their way to collect their riches.

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