CA enviro groups celebrate ruling against big warehouse proposal
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Local environmental activists are applauding a big win in court against a large warehouse project proposed in Moreno Valley.
A Riverside Superior Court judge overturned approvals for the massive Compass Danbe Centrepointe project, ruling the city failed to fully consider the impacts of truck traffic, noise and air pollution.
Ana Gonzalez, executive director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice in the Inland Empire, explained the importance of the ruling.
"We are just here sending a message to those developers and local elected officials that don't listen to the community and don't have the community's best interests at heart," Gonzalez emphasized.
The city council approved the project last year, to include almost 400,000 square feet of industrial warehouses on a site zoned for commercial use across from a residential area.
A report published earlier this year by the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, the Sierra Club, and the Robert Redford Conservancy found the Inland Empire already has about 1 billion square feet of warehouse space, with an additional 170 million square feet either approved or pending. It also showed the warehouses generate more than truck trips per day, and those trucks emit more than 15 billion pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
Gonzalez argued the logistics hub in the Inland Empire is taking a toll on public health.
"Enough is enough," Gonzalez asserted. "The cumulative impact shows that asthma rates, COPD rates and cancer rates are going up dramatically every day, as more and more trucks come into our communities and poison the air that we breathe."
A recent state Enviroscreen report found the Inland Empire has the highest concentration of ozone pollution in the country. The company, Compass Danbe, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Moreno Valley interim city attorney said the ruling was disappointing - arguing that the court should have given the city's air quality study more weight, and that the company offered substantial mitigation in the form of more than a million dollars in grants to city programs, including those that promote clean air and renewable energy.
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