Warehouses are afflicting air and noise pollution on millions of Americans
Warehouses are cropping up all over the US thanks to e-commerce. That’s bringing truck traffic and tailpipe emissions closer to neighborhoods and disproportionately afflicting communities of color.
With millions of Americans now living in close proximity to a warehouse, it’s time to start treating these drab, feature-less buildings like pollution hotspots, says a recent report by the Environmental Defense Fund. Warehouses are quickly popping up all over the US, bringing truck traffic and tailpipe emissions with them. And yet there is no federal database to see where current or proposed warehouses are located, unlike other major sources of pollution like oil and gas facilities.
In the absence of federal data, the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) completed its own analysis of warehouses in the 10 states where they’ve gained tremendous ground recently. Over the past decade, warehouses have surpassed office spaces to become the most common type of commercial building in the US.
At least 15 million people, including more than a million children under the age of five, live within a half-mile of a warehouse, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) found. And a warehouse isn’t your average neighbor. Warehouses often operate around the clock, bringing in a steady stream of truck traffic and delivery vans. Communities of color were more likely to see one crop up in their backyard, according to the report, which suggests they’re disproportionately dealing with the public health risks.
The Verge, 03-05-23