New Warehouse Planned for Gateway Raises Health Concerns for Residents

Perth Amboy Gateway

The new warehouse distribution facility in the Perth Amboy entrance to town is also home to the residential Gateway community. This is the second warehouse to be placed in the Gateway neighborhood. This consolidation of warehouses operating in the Gateway increase diesel trucking air pollution in the neighborhood and has raised health concerns for Perth Amboy residents.

Truck related air pollution causes health risks for populations exposed, such as asthma and bronchitis.

Research from the Environmental Defense Fund found that the burden from truck related air pollution is not evenly distributed, but is disproportionately located in poor neighborhoods of people of color like in Perth Amboy NJ.

Perth Amboy is already designated by the state as an environmental justice community, which is disproportionally overburdened with environmental and health problems.

NJ environmental justice law went into effect in 2020, which is supposed to prevent land use that could negatively affect health. Even though warehouse truck traffic generates air pollution, warehouses themselves are not included in the list of facilities that could be denied.

Perth Amboy Councilman BJ Torres said ” I voted “no” on this project. This is opposite of the promises made during the 2020 campaign. No more warehouses. Our infrastructure cannot handle the increased traffic. The increased carbon emissions from trucks will impact our already poor air quality, our children will suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Warehouses pay poverty wages.”

The State Planning Commission said regarding warehouses “There is no denying that warehouse operations serve to increase truck traffic volume and that increased traffic volume increases mobile sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions when they are located near communities already disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks.”

Perth Amboy is 4.66 square miles of land with a 55,000 population which is 78% Latino and has a 17.9% poverty rate. Since 2019, Perth Amboy has past plans for over 3 million square feet of massive warehouses, some built some on the way. Two projects by Bridge Industrial who have a 1.3 million square foot distribution park with three buildings, and then another 243,000 square foot facility and a 800,000 square foot facility. The Elm St warehouse (Home Depot) is 1.4 million square feet with two logistics facilities. The new Viridina warehouse in the Gateway will be a 471,000 square foot warehouse.

Topology and the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Authority (PARA) developed the warehouse projects in Perth Amboy.

Mayor Caba held a press conference on April 10 praising the warehouse project as visionary.