EHC and community activists win the fight against Mitsubishi Cement Corporation’s (MCC) proposed mega-cement warehouse at the Port of San Diego. The massive distribution center could have doubled lung-damaging diesel truck traffic in Barrio Logan and West National City
SAN DIEGO, CA, FEBRUARY 1, 2023 – In response to years of opposition from Barrio Logan and National City residents, community organizations, and environmental groups, the Port of San Diego announced today that negotiations with MCC have stalled in it’s bid to construct and operate a mega-cement warehouse at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Ave. Terminal in Barrio Logan.
This massive industrial operation would have imported cement materials and up to 10,500 diesel-polluting lung-damaging truck tripspast homes, schools, and parks in Barrio Logan and West National City. Diesel pollution is known to cause cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases.
“This would never have been proposed in a community like Coronado, so why do Logan and National City have to continually fight for the right to breathe clean air?” asked Julie Corrales, Barrio Logan Policy Advocate, Environmental Health Coalition. “The reason is environmental racism. Today, we celebrate our victory but also send a clear message to decision-makers: do not allow proposals like MCC to come forward again. The community is clear – no more diesel death.”
The Board of Port Commissioners rejected the same proposal from MCC in 2020. They gave MCC a strong and clear directive to develop measurable zero-emission (ZEV) truck requirements for the project. In those two years, MCC failed to present any plans for ZEV trucks.
“Mitsubishi disrespected the community by refusing to come forward with any plans to use zero emission trucks,” said Diane Takvorian, co-founder of the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC). “They also underestimated the strength, commitment and persistence of residents who pushed back hard – refusing to allow more deadly pollution in our communities,” she continued. “EHC is hopeful that the Port and other potential tenants are mindful of their promise to be a good neighbor and we look forward to working with the Port to recruit responsible industries.”
Barrio Logan and West National City, low-income communities of color, breathe more diesel pollution than 90% of the state. MCC’s warehouse, which would distribute 600,000 metric tons of cement materials a year- 35% of MCC’s total production – would be locatedwithin a mile of Cesar Chavez Park and Perkins Elementary School. Children in these communities already have double the overall county’s asthma hospitalization rate.
“Our children and families deserve clean air, good health and a decent place to live,” said Maritza Garcia, a second-generation Logan Heights resident. “The MCC proposal would have created more deadly pollution, more asthma, and more cancer risk. We said NO and we won!”
More than 800 community members emailed or wrote letters to the Port Commissioners calling on them to reject MCC’s proposed cement warehouse. A coalition of community activists, environmental justice advocates, educators, and faith leaders rallied and protested at the Port building in December and more than 30 testified in opposition to the proposal.
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Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use, and climate change. Visit www.environmentalhealth.org to learn more.