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Politics

Gianaris, Gounardes on Support of the Clean Deliveries Act

November 30, 2023

BROOKLYN, NY – ElectrifyNY coalition, lawmakers, and environmental justice advocates join advocacy forces in support of the Clean Deliveries Act (S.2127A /A.1718A) introduced by New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (NY-District 12) and Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (NY-District 51). The bill establishes an indirect source review (ISR) program for certain warehouse operations and requires the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a study regarding zero emissions zones.

Unlike traditional warehouses, these e-commerce warehouses are larger, some are over 1 million square feet, which equals the size of 15 football fields. These mega warehouses operate 24/7, and some span multiple stories – concentrating emissions and other impacts onto generally overburdened communities where logistics facilities tend to be sited, and onto the workers who support this industry. They require hundreds, sometimes thousands, of vehicle trips per day, including a large number of large heavy-duty and diesel trucks. These trucks emit pollutants such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds, which contribute to poor air quality and negative health effects in surrounding communities. The presence of these combustion vehicles worsens local air quality, increasing the risk of asthma, heart attacks, and premature deaths. Combustion and diesel delivery vehicles are also a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, specifically carbon dioxide (CO2), which heats the planet and exacerbates climate change.

New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes speaking during the press conference in Brooklyn on November 28 with Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris at left. Photo: Senator Gianaris

E-commerce mega-warehouses generate significant emissions from the large number of delivery trucks that come in and out of each facility, a problem that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the increase in online purchasing from e-commerce sites.

The Clean Deliveries Act addresses the impacts of e-commerce mega-warehouses by establishing an indirect source rule for transportation.

New York State has been a clean energy leader, passing the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in 2019, adopting the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Rule in 2021, and enacting the Advance Clean Cars II (ACCII) Rule in 2022 to reduce emissions economy-wide and advance a just transition towards a zero emission transportation sector. Passing the Clean Deliveries Act is a critical next step towards achieving New York State’s climate mandates, and ensuring that New Yorkers that are burdened with emissions from fossil fuels are prioritized for zero emission investments.

“We have fought hard to improve our air quality by enacting the nation-leading CLCPA, fighting fossil fuel power plants, and pushing for more electrification, but we cannot allow those to be stymied by the proliferation of e-commerce warehouses. We need action now, and that’s why I’m introducing the Clean Deliveries Act to ensure we live up to our environmental commitments,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris.

Assembly Member Marcela Mitaynes said: “Sunset Park and Red Hook, like many working-class communities of color across the State of New York, have been the sites of increasingly large last-mile warehouse facilities that send trucks out throughout our neighborhoods every day. Our communities experience real worsening effects from these facilities in the form of pollution, posing health risks, safety, as a result of traffic violence, and natural disasters, as we face a future of climate catastrophe. And yet, these effects are not recognized because either the trucking emissions are not sufficiently monitored or because regulations to oversee these facilities have not been effectively implemented. The rapid proliferation of vehicle-intensive e-commerce, in addition to New York State’s ongoing noncompliance with federal air quality standards, suggests that regulation for warehouses and other indirect sources is necessary to improve air quality and protect public health, particularly in Environmental Justice communities. The passage of the Clean Deliveries Act is a priority for our residents.”

“For far too long, our working-class communities of color have felt the harshest impacts – on their environment and their health – from the mega-warehouses in their neighborhoods,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “That’s why I introduced my bill to add a tax to online deliveries from last-mile trucking facilities like these, and why I’m proud to support The Clean Deliveries Act here today.”

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