Over the past decade, warehouses for online retailers as well as logistics and distribution companies such as Amazon, UPS and FedEx have reshaped southern California’s landscape. To satiate a growing hunger for one-click, doorstep delivery, colossal structures to store and sort our online orders have risen across the region.
About 1,100 warehouses have been constructed since 2010, encompassing more than 12,500 acres, according to a data tool developed by researchers at the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College and Radical Research LLC. The data, shared exclusively with the Guardian, for the first time maps this sprawl of warehouses across the region and estimates their impact on the local environment.
Each day, more than 1m truck trips out of these warehouses cloud the air with 1,450lbs of toxic diesel particulate pollution and 164,000lbs of nitrogen oxide pollution, which are linked to health problems including respiratory conditions.