Warehouses and “last-mile” facilities are popping up with little regulation. A new city plan calls for more use of waterways, bike deliveries and other measures to cut truck traffic. But increased pollution concerns are fueling criticism against a new wave of “environmental racism.”
Online retail may make holiday shopping easy, but the local impact is anything but virtual.
To meet a growing demand for speedy shipping, companies are increasingly putting warehouses and so-called last-mile facilities throughout the city — largely unregulated and without the public’s ability to weigh in on threats to health, safety and the climate.
“This is straight-up environmental racism,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE, a Sunset Park-based environmental justice group. “When everyone is talking about racial justice and equity and green jobs, this is contrary to how everyone is thinking about how we move forward.”