South Tacoma Warehouse Project
A massive warehouse complex would be built on top of a community aquifer and a Superfund site. Three-quarters of the 147-acre site, which is presently undeveloped and contains wetlands, trees, and grasslands, would be paved over. This would create significant truck traffic, air and climate pollution and associated health impacts, and would undermine equity, and threatens to increase flooding and temperatures in the area and jeopardize the city’s aquifer and nearby streams.
Regional Office / Program
Despite vocal opposition from concerned neighbors and environmental and health advocates, the City of Tacoma approved a land use permit for a mega-warehouse project in April 2023, without requiring an Environmental Impact Statement to examine the project’s environmental, health, and community impacts.
The South Tacoma location of the mega-warehouse poses serious environmental justice concerns. The project is located in an already overburdened area of Tacoma with houses, apartments, day care facilities, schools, recreational centers, churches, and small businesses. The currently undeveloped parcel provides rare green space in an area where residents are already disproportionately affected by air, noise, and light pollution. The area has more residents of color than 80-95% of neighborhoods in Washington state and residents who live there have a greater risk of cancer from toxic air pollution and other poor health outcomes than 90-95% of other Washington residents.
The warehouse would create thousands of new vehicle trips each day from diesel trucks and other vehicles, generating air and climate pollution, traffic, and noise in an already overburdened area. The greenhouse gas emissions from gas- and diesel-powered vehicles and gas-powered heaters onsite could also thwart Washington’s progress on its climate goals.
Tacoma residents and local organizations submitted hundreds of public comments detailing concerns about the massive warehouse. In the absence of a full environmental review process, many other residents remain unaware of the potential impact of the looming development adjacent to their homes.
Under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act, projects that are likely to do significant harm to climate, water, and other aspects of the environment require an Environmental Impact Statement.
Community residents are asking for a full accounting of the project’s environmental impacts.
- Sign-On Letter Calling for a Health Impact Assessment: Add your voice to community voices calling for a comprehensive study of the cumulative health impacts of a proposed mega-warehouse and other sources of pollution on South Tacoma!
Across the country, a boom in e-commerce is driving demand for warehouse space, and these warehouses are often built in communities already overburdened with pollution. Many of these communities are fighting back. In Southern California, Earthjustice worked alongside environmental justice and conservation groups to reach a settlement that will mitigate the harm of a warehouse the size of three Central Parks, and in New York, we are working to strengthen zoning regulations for last-mile warehouses.
Earthjustice works to secure clean air and water for all, build a justice centered movement, and move to zero emissions.
Case page created on May 11, 2023.