Inland Empire industrial strength is health hazard, opponents say

While the region has seen one of the biggest upticks in warehouse construction, municipalities are beginning to push back on developers for what they see as bringing increased pollution and truck traffic

Dec.December 02, 2019 01:00 PM
Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries (Credit: Inland Valley Development Agency, Riverside County) 
Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries (Credit: Inland Valley Development Agency, Riverside County)

The Inland Empire has seen one of the biggest increases in industrial and warehouse development in the country, which local governments have allowed to go unchecked, some opponents say.

In Riverside County, Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said the proliferation of distribution centers — more than 150 million square feet of industrial space has been built in the Inland Empire over the past decade — has led to a dramatic rise in truck and vehicle traffic, the Los Angeles Times reported. That has created a health hazard.

Jeffries pushed for a policy of minimum standards for industrial projects, including a buffer of 1,000 feet between large warehouses and homes.

While the countywide measure — called “Good Neighbor Policy” — passed, Jeffries ended up voting against it, claiming it had been too watered down.

In San Bernardino, Amazon is rumored to become an anchor tenant for a new airport logistics center, where some advocates worry that not enough is being done to address environmental and quality of life issues, according to the Times. They have urged project developer, Hillwood Enterprises, to guarantee measures to limit noise and pollution from trucks as well as implement tougher job protections.

Amazon and Hillwood representatives declined to comment.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra waded into the debate last year when his office required federal aviation and airport officials to conduct further environmental analysis of the project’s impact under the California Environmental Quality Act. [LAT] — Pat Maio

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