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Fontana settles lawsuit with California AG over warehouse and environmental concerns

California Department of Justice
California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaking during a press conference on April 18, 2022, to discuss the settlement made between the state AG and the city of Fontana.

On Monday, California's Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a settlement agreement over a lawsuit against the city of Fontana.

The settlement comes nine months after the state attorney general's office accused Fontana of violating the California Environmental Quality Act by approving a 205,000 square foot warehouse that would neighbor Jurupa Hills High School.

“For too long, warehouse development in Fontana went unchecked, and the city's most vulnerable communities paid the price with dirty air, traffic, and noise associated with the 24-hour warehouse operations,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Bonta says the first aspect of the settlement will require the developer Duke Reality to take several mitigation steps, including reducing its on-site emissions and funding a five-year supply of air filters to over 1,700 neighboring households.

“The second component of our settlement requires the city of Fontana to adopt the most stringent environmental standards in California for future warehouse development," Bonta said. Those standards have already been adopted in a new ordinance that would require the rerouting of trucks routes and keeping trucks away from homes and schools.

Liz Sena is with the South Fontana Concerned Citizens Coalition and was influential in the lawsuit. “Although we are saddened that the warehouse involved in this settlement will move forward, being built less than 100 feet from a high school, we are encouraged by the results that have come from this courageous and just lawsuit filed by AG Rob Bonta," Sena said.

Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren could not be reached for comment but released a comment in a city press release. "We are in agreement with Attorney General Bonta," Mayor Aquenetta Warren said. "This ordinance should serve as a model for other local governments across the State. We are proud to be leading the way once again."

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.