In response to Amazon’s massive net sales surpassing expectations and growing 14% year over year, Alok Disa, Earthjustice, Senior Research and Policy Analyst of the ElectrifyNY Coalition, issued the following statement:
“With its announcement of over $170 billion in sales last quarter, Amazon has continued to boast its behemoth revenue and dominance of the e-commerce space. While these profits often garner widespread attention, the environmental and health impacts of these massive operations often go undiscussed. The deluge of mega warehouses springing up across New York state to meet the demand for same- and next-day delivery services brings a range of harsh health and environmental hazards, especially in disadvantaged communities already been overburdened by pre-existing air pollution. At least one in four New Yorkers live within a half mile of these warehouses, and the impacts of their pollution range from asthma to heart attacks and premature deaths.
“We need common sense legislation like the Clean Deliveries Act, which requires these facilities to track and reduce their pollution, to protect our air and curb the reckless environmental actions of mega-corporations.”
According to a report released last month by the Environmental Defense Fund, 4.8 million state residents – at least one in four – live within half a mile of a leased warehouse of at least 50,000 square feet. Of those, 315,000 are under age five and 649,000 are over age 64. Black, Hispanic/Latino, and low-income populations live near warehouses at rates that are more than 59%, 48%, and 42% higher, respectively than would be expected based on statewide demographics.
Warehousing activities account for up to one-quarter of all transportation sector emissions, yet there are no statewide regulations limiting the pollution that they cause, impacting the air that millions of New Yorkers breathe and jeopardizing the attainment of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
The report arrives as New York State legislators consider the Clean Deliveries Act (S2127A/A1718A) a bill that would direct the state to conduct a review of emissions related to large warehouses and require warehouse operators to choose from an array of actions to minimize pollution. The legislation would also commission a study of the feasibility, benefits, and costs of implementing low and zero-emissions areas for air pollution and congestion hotspots.
The ElectrifyNY coalition, along with bill New York Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (NY-District 12), Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (NY-District 51), and environmental justice advocates, launched a campaign to pass the bill in November of last year. The coalition is calling on the state legislature to pass the bill this session.
ElectrifyNY is a statewide coalition of advocates for environmental justice, public transportation, social justice, and good jobs fighting for a clean, equitable electric transportation future for New York. ElectrifyNY’s work aims to improve the environment and public health outcomes for the communities most affected by the negative impacts of the transportation sector’s dependency on fossil fuels.