What's at Stake
Despite recognizing the project’s significant contributions to worsening air quality, increased traffic congestion and climate change, the city required only meager steps to reduce those harms. The project area itself is one of the best raptor habitats in the state.
Environmental justice and conservation groups are suing the Southern California city of Moreno Valley over its approval of the World Logistics Center, a sprawling 40-million-square-foot warehouse project that would add 14,000 truck trips to town every day, worsen already poor air quality and harm birds and other wildlife in the nearby San Jacinto Wildlife Area.
The lawsuit follows the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Riverside County Transportation Commission and Riverside County’s decision to file lawsuits challenging the warehouse project because of the severe air pollution and traffic problems it will bring to the region.
The warehouse project was approved by the city in August 2015. This lawsuit in Riverside County Superior Court challenges Moreno Valley’s failure to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act when reviewing the proposed project and its substantial impacts on nearby communities and wildlife. Despite recognizing the project’s significant contributions to worsening air quality, increased traffic congestion and climate change, the city required only meager steps to reduce those harms.
About the size of 700 football fields, the World Logistics Center is expected to generate 400,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and have more than 14,000 truck trips to the site every day. Those trucks would be transporting goods more than 80 miles from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Moreno Valley, often on two-lane roads that are already congested.
The World Logistics Center is also adjacent to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, which is home to many threatened and endangered wildlife and plants, including the Los Angeles pocket mouse, California golden eagle, numerous hawk, raptor and other bird species including the burrowing owl, tricolored blackbird and endangered San Jacinto crownscale. The project area itself is one of the best raptor habitats in the state.
Adrian Martinez, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice: “The developer failed to address the diesel air pollution and other harms it will impose on the community. But, even more fundamentally, it violated an important California constitutional bar on private companies using the ballot process to pad their pockets.”
Adrian Martinez, Earthjustice attorney: “This is an incredibly important case about the health and welfare of the people in Moreno Valley and the Inland Empire.”