For Immediate Release
Matt Vespa, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 632-5309
Settlement Reached to Reduce Global Warming Impacts of Walmart Supercenters in Southern California
SAN FRANCISCO - The Center for Biological
Diversity has settled two lawsuits brought against Walmart over the global
warming impacts of proposed Supercenters in Perris and Yucca Valley, California.
The settlement requires Walmart to install three rooftop solar facilities of at
least 250 kilowatts, incorporate cutting-edge efficiency measures into the
design of the proposed stores, and implement a refrigerant audit and improvement
program at certain existing Walmart stores in California. The suits, brought under the
California Environmental Quality Act, challenged the adequacy of the
environmental review for the projects for failure to properly consider measures
to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution resulting from the Supercenters.
"This settlement is yet another example of the
California Environmental Quality Act working to improve new development, reduce
greenhouse gas pollution, save energy, save money, and promote a vibrant green
economy," said Matt Vespa, a senior attorney with the Center's
Climate Law Institute. "The settlement raises the bar for future
projects. If big-box stores are to be built in California, measures like the installation
of solar-power systems must be adopted to minimize the project's
greenhouse gas pollution."
The lawsuits are part of series of court challenges brought
by the Center to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from new development through
the California Environmental Quality Act, which mandates that projects with
significant environmental effects adopt all feasible alternatives and
mitigation measures to substantially lessen their impact.
The Yucca Valley settlement also includes a $120,000
contribution to the Mojave Desert Land Trust for land-conservation purposes and
acknowledges the right of the Coalition for Environmental Integrity of Yucca
Valley, also a party to the Yucca
Valley settlement, to
endorse a ballot initiative prohibiting development of the Supercenter and
other discount superstores in the Town of Yucca Valley.
Walmart also agreed to implement a similar set of greenhouse
gas reduction measures to settle a separate challenge to a proposed Supercenter
in Riverside, California, brought by Riverside Citizens
for Smart Growth.
The major substantive terms of the settlements are available
Visit the Center's Web site for more information on our efforts
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the California Environmental Quality
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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.