FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice Responds to South Coast AQMD's Enforcement Initiative Against Non-Compliant Warehouses
Jurupa Valley - September 20, 2023 - The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) is issuing a response to the South Coast Air Quality Management District's (AQMD) recent launch of an enforcement initiative to address non-compliant warehouses. The initiative comes as a result of the AQMD's Warehouse Indirect Source Rule, which was passed in May 2021 with the aim of protecting the environment and the health of communities in the region.
Under the Warehouse Indirect Source Rule, warehouses larger than 100,000 square feet are required to take measures to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions or limit air pollution exposure in neighboring communities. Shockingly, approximately 55% of these warehouses have failed to provide information reports on the actions they have taken in the first year of implementation. This is a direct violation of the rule, and it poses a significant threat to public health, hope, and protection that our organization has long fought for.
At CCAEJ, we have consistently and tirelessly advocated for environmental justice and the protection of public health and safety in our communities. We take a stand against the majority of warehouse developers who have demonstrated a blatant disregard for the well-being of our neighborhoods. It is clear that these entities do not value being good neighbors, nor do they prioritize the best interests of the communities they operate in.
“The noncompliance demonstrated by a substantial number of warehouses is deeply concerning. It not only undermines the progress made by the Warehouse Indirect Source Rule but also compromises the health and safety of the residents living in the vicinity of these noncompliant warehouses. The consequences of such noncompliance cannot be understated, as air pollution poses severe risks to human health, particularly for vulnerable BIPOC communities,” stated Executive Director, Ana Gonzalez.
CCAEJ urges the South Coast AQMD to enforce strict penalties against violators of air quality rules. We believe that holding these warehouses accountable is crucial in ensuring a clean and healthy environment for all residents. Violators should be subjected to civil penalties of up to $11,710 per day of noncompliance, as per the strict liability standard. Accountability is necessary to incentivize compliance and protect the communities we serve, and if noncompliance persists, permits should be terminated for continued operations.
We call upon local leaders to recognize the urgent need for action. The health and well-being of our communities are at stake, and it is imperative that they stand with us in demanding compliance from these noncompliant warehouses. Together, we can create a future where environmental justice is upheld, and the protection of human health takes precedence.
For media inquiries or further information, please contact:
CCAEJ, Executive Director
About The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice:
The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental justice, community empowerment, and the protection of human health in underserved communities. Through advocacy, education, and grassroots organizing, CCAEJ works to address environmental issues and create sustainable and equitable communities for all. For more information, please visit www.ccaej.org or follow us on Instagram @ccaej_ or X & FB @ccaej.