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Inland Empire Community Looking for Ways to Meet Environmental Standards
What's it like when your house gets surrounded by heavy industry? Jen Kinney spoke with Tommy Rocha, a resident of Bloomington, California, an unincorporated town in California's Inland Empire, about the situation unfolding there. Rocha was already living near some warehouses, but he suddenly finds himself in a booming industrial corridor. "Though the land behind Rocha’s house was zoned residential when he bought it, four years later, warehouses sprung up there too," Kinney reports in Next City. This presents numerous problems: from loud noises at all hours, to heavy trucks shaking the roads, to some of the worst air pollution in the country.
The government body in charge of air quality is looking for solutions. "South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will vote on a new plan to meet updated federal EPA air quality standards," Kinney writes. But Rocha is not at all pleased with the proposed solutions coming from the Republican-led SCAQMD. He sees giving subsidies to these businesses as rewarding the very companies that created the problem. "Southern California still fails to meet EPA standards around ground level ozone and particulate matter," Kinney writes. How the region will reach that standard and who will pay for it is yet to be decided.