Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. County of Riverside

Date: February 14th, 2013

Topic: Air Pollution, Environmental Assessment, Environmental Justice

Type: Lawsuit v. Other Public Entity

Jurisdiction: California

Citation: Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. County of Riverside, RIC 1112063 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2013)

In September 2011, California AG Kamala Harris intervened in litigation challenging industrial development in Mira Loma. The development was expected to increase diesel traffic and related air pollution. The predominantly Latino community already suffered from some of the worst particulate and ozone levels in the nation. According to the state and the challengers, the Environmental Impact Report filed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) did not adequately address the impact on the local community. Despite the state’s recommendation for a “buffer zone” between industrial diesel areas and residential communities, the County argued that this was infeasible. After granting the Attorney General’s motion to intervene, the parties engaged in negotiations that resulted in a settlement agreement. The agreement provided for, among other things, air quality monitoring, landscaping setbacks, and a project site that includes solar PV cells, Silver LEED Certified buildings, and electric vehicle charging stations. The agreement also required the City of Jurupa Valley to adopt certain diesel vehicle restrictions and to consider environmental justice issues in future CEQA planning.

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