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Environmental activists protest proposal for new warehouse in Barrio Logan

Environmental activists protest proposal for new warehouse in Barrio Logan
Posted at 6:03 PM, Dec 13, 2022

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — For decades, Barrio Logan has had toxic air quality.

“I don’t have asthma, but I need an inhaler when I do work there,” said Roddy Jerome, a protester.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, people living there have an 85-95 percent higher chance of getting cancer than the rest of the U.S.

“I had a lot of classmates that couldn’t participate in recess because their breathing would get really extreme,” said Maritza Garcia, a Barrio Logan resident.

Its location near the port and Interstate 5 makes it a popular spot for big corporations and diesel-powered trucks. But activists say it’s also a result of what they call “environmental racism”.

“Right over the bridge, Coronado has a very similar environment close to the bay and they don’t get any pollution,” Garcia said.

So when Mitsubishi Cement Corporation proposed to build another warehouse nearby. Locals couldn't keep quiet.

“Whether or not we can stop this cement plant affects my patients basically," said Dr. Vi Nguyen, a local pediatrician.

Commissioners overseeing the San Diego Port put the project on hold two years ago because of health concerns, but the plan has resurfaced.

“Come to find out two years later we’re fighting for the same thing, it’s frustrating it’s definitely upsetting,” Garcia said.

Environmental activists plan to speak against this at the next Port Commissioners meeting.

The Port’s Chairman says: "The Port is acting thoughtfully and rigorously to address feedback raised by various stakeholders. The discussions with Mitsubishi will continue to be informed by listening carefully, engaging robustly, and collaborating closely with stakeholders.”

Mitsubishi Cement Corporation sent 10News a statement saying:

“After meeting with community members over the past several months, we wanted to take additional time to engage with the community more directly and in a more substantive way. That’s why, nearly two weeks ago, we asked the Port Commission to remove our item from the Dec. 13 agenda.

Due to Port public meeting procedures, the item could only be removed during the meeting. Mitsubishi Cement Corp is a good company, and we believe that with the right amount of effort and determination this project can be a win for the Port and a win for the community. We understand the sensitivities surrounding developing a project at the Port, which is logistically close to residents. We embrace those concerns and are working to be true partners by being transparent and responsive to questions and concerns about truck traffic and possible emissions.

This state-of-the-art Cement Warehouse and Loading Facility will repurpose an existing on terminal warehouse, create jobs and establish a local source of cement, which currently can only be obtained by being trucked in – long distances – from the high desert or the Port of Long Beach. This is an environmentally clean, electrified project, with an emissions reduction plan and installation of electric infrastructure that will support Port and community efforts to decrease local impacts and actually promote an environmentally cleaner Port. This same operation has won awards for environmental innovation in Long Beach. We look forward to continuing our coordination with Port and community.”