By Manny Otiko | IVN
Proposed legislation by Assemblymember James Ramos (D-San Bernardino) shows he’s in favor of restricting the growth of warehouses in the Inland Empire.
According to a press release, Ramos has sponsored Assembly Bill 1748 that backs guidelines on the warehouse industry agreed upon in the 2022 Fontana settlement. The settlement was backed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the Sierra Club San Gorgonio Chapter.
AB 1748 requires new warehouses to use some of the scientific findings from the settlement and adhere to local restrictions.
“AB 1748 is a balanced approach to warehouse siting by allowing local jurisdictions to develop policies for their communities or follow the model set out last year after vigorous debate and hard-won compromise,” said Ramos in a press release. “It addresses the need to mitigate vital health concerns important to all of us while protecting critical product supply chains around the globe, nation and state. We saw what happens when ports and other transportation hubs are stalled for products such as baby formula, medicine, food products and building materials are held up.”
According to the details of the settlement, the agreement puts restrictions on the construction of warehouses, such as limiting how close they can build to schools and homes. The settlement also requires warehouses to implement measures such as using zero-emission vehicles and installing solar panels.
As part of the agreement, developer Duke Realty is required to establish a $210,000 community benefit fund.
“For years, warehouse development in Fontana went unchecked, and it’s our most vulnerable communities that have paid the price,” said Bonta in a 2022 press release. “South Fontana residents shouldn’t have to choose between economic opportunity and clean air. They deserve both. Today’s settlement demonstrates how innovative solutions can be used to address environmental injustices, without hindering development. Because when we build, we must build responsibly.”
He also stated, “Most importantly, the impacts of this settlement are not limited to mitigating the impacts of a single project. As a result of our lawsuit, the City of Fontana has adopted the most stringent environmental standards in California for new warehouse projects.”
Ramos’ bill will receive its first hearing on April 26.
Warehousing has exploded in the Inland Empire with online companies, such as Amazon, building dozens of huge facilities. However, there is a drawback because now the IE has some of the dirtiest air quality in the nation. This is mainly caused by truck fumes from vehicles that service distribution centers.
Ramos’ bill is the latest in an ongoing battle between developers and IE residents tired of dealing with environmental pollution.