Tejon Industrial Complexes
The partially-constructed Tejon Industrial Complex is a megabox site slated for major expansion and will dramatically increase the diesel-spewing truck traffic along Interstate 5—and southern San Joaquin Valley’s already serious air pollution. Tejon Industrial Complex–West is a development of big box warehouses in the middle of some of the richest agricultural lands in the world. The approved Tejon Industrial Complex–East will destroy an additional 1,100 acres of farmland and grasslands on the east side of Interstate 5. This site also severs a crucial wildlife linkage along the Kern County Valley floor. Air quality and infrastructure degradation will result from this project, too. Increased traffic will exacerbate substantial traffic problems in the Los Angeles basin and contribute to the aging of infrastructure along Interstate 5. Workers must commute significant distances, even from surrounding rural communities, to reach these isolated industrial developments. Since no public transportation is available, these projects represent a clear case of industrial sprawl.
1,100 acres of big box warehouses like these are proposed to cover prime agricultural land at the Interstate 5/State Highway 99 interchange.
Photo: I. Anderson © 2007, Center for Biological Diversity
When Kern County approved the development in January 2003, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment, the Sierra Club, and the Kern Audubon Society went to court to challenge the project under the California Environmental Quality Act and other laws. In October 2003, a Kern County Superior Court judge vacated Kern County's decision to approve the sprawling Industrial Complex.
The Court determined that the County’s Environmental Impact Report for the Industrial Complex failed to adequately disclose and analyze the project’s air quality impacts on public health and the environment. This omission is particularly significant in the San Joaquin Air Basin, which is in severe non-attainment with federal and state air quality standards.
In addition to striking down the County’s decision on the basis of its inadequate air quality analysis, the Court determined that the environmental analysis was deficient in its consideration of the project’s impacts to two special status species, the Horned Lizard and Swainson’s Hawk. Read the October 2003 Center press release about the original legal victory and the June 2006 Center press release about the appeal.