Port district board to decide on cement warehouse environmental impact
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego Unified Port District will consider the environmental impact of a cement warehouse in Barrio Logan Tuesday, an issue that has drawn significant attention from environmental groups who are demanding the applicant use zero-emission trucks.
The Mitsubishi Cement Corporation — a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Materials — has proposed a cement warehouse and loading facility at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal that could receive, store and distribute 600,000 tons of cement and related materials annually.
According to documents the company filed with the port, approval of the project would increase traffic through Barrio Logan by 8,000 trucks per month.
The Environmental Health Coalition is leading an alliance of organizations demanding the Port of San Diego require Mitsubishi use zero-emission electric trucks to reduce diesel air pollution for the warehouse to protect portside communities from continued exposures to air pollution.
The impacted communities of Barrio Logan and National City already rank in the top 5% for diesel air pollution in the state. Children’s asthma hospitalization rates are three times higher than the county average in the two communities, where COVID-19 infection rates are also disproportionately high.
“It’s time to stop diesel death zones. The quality of air our communities breathe should not be determined by ZIP Code,” said Diane Takvorian, executive director of the Environmental Health Coalition. “The port must protect public health by requiring the Mitsubishi Cement Corporation to use clean electric trucks.”
According to Mitsubishi, the majority of cement and related materials used in the county are trucked in from outside San Diego County. The company claims the warehouse will “eliminate or substantially reduce truck trips and distances from other more distant ports,” which will reduce emissions.
The environmental coalition, including the Climate Action Campaign, National Nurses United, Sierra Club San Diego Chapter and Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center, hopes to reduce emissions further.
The Port’s Board of Commissioners will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday.