A controversial proposal which would have limited warehouse development in the Inland Empire will not be moving forward in the state legislative process.
AB 2840, which was authored by Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-47th District), was held back due to âconcerns around maintaining the integrity of the bill after committee-proposed amendments,â Reyes said in a news release. Her district includes Fontana and several other cities in San Bernardino County.
Reyes said she is âlooking at other opportunities to address the issue of warehousing next to sensitive receptors such as schools and homes during the remainder of this legislative session, as well as in future ones. â
AB 2840 was strongly opposed by business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce and the Fontana Chamber of Commerce. The bill was supported by members of environmental justice organizations, including residents of Fontana who did not want more warehouses to be built in their community.
âToday I made the difficult decision to hold AB 2840 in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee,â Reyes said.
âThis legislation would have put in place a 1,000-foot buffer between warehouses, 100,000 square feet or larger and sensitive receptors, which included schools, daycares, and homes. It was also specifically tailored to Riverside and San Bernardino counties, given the proliferation of warehouses that weâve seen in the Inland Empire, and our dubious status as having some of the poorest air quality in the country.â
Reyes said she thanked area residents, including Liz Sena from the South Fontana Concerned Citizens Coalition, for traveling to Sacramento to testify on behalf of this bill.
âHaving testimony highlighting the human face of the impacts of air pollution, attracted by warehousing, was critical. They emphasized the negative effects on the health of our community, specifically that of our children,â Reyes said.
âI also want to be clear that my intention has never been to stop development. We did not move forward today despite an offer to put in place a moratorium on warehouse development in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties for a full year. I decided not to accept this proposed amendment of a one-year moratorium because I am looking for true solutions for those most harmed. I know we can find that solution and ensure our families in the Inland Empire are protected.â
—– FONTANA Chamber of Commerce President Phil Cothran said AB 2840 would have directly hurt the jobs related to supply chain management, logistics, development, construction, and the related transportation industries.
âOur area has worked hard for decades, if not centuries, to assure that Inland Southern California can produce jobs and grow businesses by supporting goods movement through rail, truck and trailer transport, the ports, and education programs that build a workforce,â Cothran said in a letter to Reyes in May, while elements of the bill were still being debated.
Legislation like AB 2840 âwould stop job creation and limit our local commitment to provide for a good quality of life for all,â he said.
Cothran said that existing laws and regulations âalready require qualifying logistics-use projects and warehouses to comply with a long list of local, state and federal environmental laws.â
âIn other words, existing law already forces new projects or the expansion of an existing facility to undergo the most rigorous environmental analysis and mitigation measures in the country,â he said.