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Profit vs Pollution: the Inland Empire’s Logistics Quandary




A warehouse manager in Mira Loma, California, checks stock at the end of the day.
A warehouse manager in Mira Loma, California, checks stock at the end of the day.
Andrew Cullen for KPCC

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Since the Great Recession, the Inland Empire has become the site of massive growth for the logistics industry and warehousing.

It’s brought an estimated 84,000 jobs to the region in the last ten years, and with that toxic diesel fumes that some physicians say can increase the onset of asthma, as well as bringing steady, disruptive noise that has activists calling for sound barriers and subsidized double pane windows.

To mitigate the community impact in Riverside, the Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors Kevin Jeffries spent two years crafting a “Good Neighbor Policy” that required new warehouses to be built at least 1,000 feet from homes, but when the policy made it to vote last month, where it passed, the required distance was knocked down to 300 feet and included an opt out policy for each district. Jeffries ended up voting no and opting out, hoping to pursue larger buffers in his district.

How might a balance be struck between allowing new logistics companies to keep joining the IE economy, while reducing health and safety risks for residents? Today on AirTalk, we look into the debate between warehousing and public health that is facing the Inland Empire.

Guests:

Paloma Esquivel, LA Times reporter covering the Inland Empire; she tweets @palomaesquivel

Kevin Jeffries, Riverside County District 1 Supervisor, representing Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, and Canyon Lake, and much of Riverside; he tweets @SupJeffries

John Husing, owner of Economics and Politics, Inc., and publisher of Inland Empire Quarterly Economic Report