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Air Quality

California Targets “Diesel Death Zones” With New Rule

Southern California air quality regulators approved a rule on Friday to cut down on air pollution related to the approximately 3,000 logistics warehouses that have proliferated in the region, disproportionately in and around Black and Latino neighborhoods.

“You don’t only have the warehouse next door but the one down the street,” Ivette Torres, an author of a report by the Inland Empire–based People’s Collective for Environmental Justice and environmental science researcher who lives in Moreno Valley, told the LA Times. “They add up and they add up. And then you have hundreds or a thousand trucks passing through.”

Those living in communities near warehouses have higher rates of asthma, heart attacks, and poverty, an analysis by the South Coast Air Quality Management District found.

The new safeguards aim to reduce pollution caused by diesel trucks that service the massive proliferation of warehouses in the Inland Empire where cheap land and proximity to port facilities have created “diesel death zones” that have only worsened as pandemic-driven online shopping has increased.

The population living within half a mile of at least one large warehouse is 62.1% Latino and 7.6% Black, compared with a population that is 45.4% Latino and 6.5% Black across the four-county region.

The 9–4 vote adopting the safeguard was welcomed by local residents and environmental justice advocates who have fought for such protections for years. “I’m just tired of living with warehouses, trucks — driving down the Sierra, having trucks pull up, having to put down your windows,” Daniel Reyes, a resident and member of Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, told the New York Times. “I’m tired of seeing warehouses next to schools. I’m over it, man.”

Diesel pollution rule: LA Times $, New York Times $, APCNN; campaign: LAistLAist

Originally published by Nexus Media.

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