Report: 1 in 4 New York residents lives within a half mile of a mega-warehouse

Communities near large warehouses face higher rates of air pollution associated with health problems, like asthma.

January 17, 2024
Derek Schwabe,


(ALBANY – January 15, 2024) A new report released January 18 by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and ElectrifyNY traces the growth of mega-warehouses in New York communities, driven in-part by the e-commerce boom. Please find the full report here.


What: Launch of new EDF report on warehouse boom in New York State

Where: Join us online. Get details and register here.

When: Thursday, January 18, 2024, 11:00 AM ET  

If you would like to set up an interview, please contact Derek Schwabe.

Key report findings

  • 4.8 million state residents – at least one in four – live within half a mile of a leased warehouse of at least 50,000 square feet.
  • Of those, 315,000 are under age five and 649,000 are over age 64.
  • Black, Hispanic/Latino and low-income populations live near warehouses at rates that are more than 59%, 48% and 42% higher, respectively, than would be expected based on statewide demographics.
  • New York mega-warehouses attract hundreds of thousands of freight truck trips daily, making them top sources of air pollution in communities where they are located.

Aileen Nowlan, EDF’s U.S. Policy Director for the Global Clean Air initiative and lead author of the report, commented: "New York communities have been raising the alarm about trucks in neighborhoods for years. New science and analysis reinforce the disproportionate risk imposed by trucks serving warehouses. New York as a climate leader can lead the way in ensuring the cleanest goods transport starts in the most vulnerable communities.”

Advocates and lawmakers call for legislative action

The report arrives as New York State legislators consider the Clean Deliveries Act, a bill that would direct the state to conduct a review of emissions related to large warehouses and require warehouse operators to choose from an array of actions to minimize pollution. The legislation would also commission a study of the feasibility, benefits and costs of implementing low and zero emissions areas for air pollution and congestion hotspots.

Advocates from ElectrifyNY, the coalition supporting the bill, commented on the report’s findings and the need for legislators to act. “The NY Proximity Mapping Report provides further proof about the unregulated siting and operation of e-commerce mega warehouses in the state,” said Kevin Garcia, Transportation Planner with the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “These warehouses are causing further air pollution in communities of color that have historically been disproportionately impacted by polluting transportation infrastructure. The Clean Deliveries Act recognizes this disparity and is key legislation to protect frontline communities from increased vehicular traffic and tailpipe emissions.”

New York Senate Deputy Leader, Michael Gianaris, who authored the Clean Deliveries Act, also commented: “The proliferation of e-commerce warehouses has brought with it unprecedented vehicular traffic, with blatant disregard for its impact on the climate and health of our communities. My Clean Deliveries Act, S2127-A, would protect public health by addressing the repercussions of the harmful emissions caused by these warehouses.”

New York Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (AD51), co-sponsor of the Clean Deliveries Act, also commented on the report. "The recently released report by Environmental Defense Fund on New York’s warehouse boom highlights the obvious truth that many of our redlined working-class communities of color have experienced over the last several years: the proliferation of increasingly large last-mile warehouse facilities has worsened the effects of pollution, health risks and safety in their communities as our city and state stall behind enacting necessary health and environmental regulations for them. These results mirror EDF's findings in 10 other states, showing the urgency of action across the country. This is why New York should act and pass the Clean Deliveries Act (A1718-A) into law this 2024 legislative session."

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund ( creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund