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Choosing concrete over people

September 29, 2023 / By Daniel Flaming

Large warehouses, some covering more than 20 acres, are being developed in existing neighborhoods, sometimes just across the street from people’s homes. The impacts of cargo handling spillover onto resident who live in close proximity to large warehouses and the diesel trucks that come and go create emissions, noise, congestion and traffic risks.

Warehouses are a last-gasp gesture toward economic development. Each year, heavy-duty diesel truck traffic in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties creates $1 billion in uncompensated public costs and 6 million tons of greenhouse gases that accelerate global warming. When city and county officials approve building permits for these giant boxes without requiring impact fees to offset public costs, they are choosing concrete over people.

In our report, Exhausting Our Air, we urge local officials to assess the full environmental and economic impacts of warehouses before approving any new warehouse construction or the expansion of air cargo facilities. And we recommend establishing a living minimum wage for warehouse workers.