LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Board of Directors of the South Coast Air Quality Management District today passed a rule requiring warehouses over 100,000 square feet to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and diesel particulates or pay a fee.
“Approximately half of the air pollutants that contribute to smog come from the goods moving industry. The largest source is heavy trucks driving to warehouses across southern California,” said Wayne Nastri, executive officer of South Coast AQMD.
“After many years of development, today's adoption of the storage rule is an important step in reducing air pollution and protecting the millions of people who are directly affected by this type of pollution.”
The rule was passed by a 9: 4 vote after a one-day board meeting that regulates air pollution for large parts of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside.
According to the agency, heavy trucks and other handling equipment that emit large amounts of emissions are often stored in warehouses, which contributes to local pollution. This causes almost as much nitrogen oxide emissions as all of the refineries, power plants, and other stationary sources in the United States' South Coast Air Basin combined.
Communities within a half mile of warehouses are more likely to be color communities, carry more environmental pollution, and residents suffer from health effects such as higher rates of asthma and heart attacks.
The adoption of the rule was celebrated by the Clean Air Coalition.
“Southern Californians have long subsidized the logistics industry with their health,” said Chris Chavez, assistant political director for the coalition.
“Camp ISR will bring life-saving air pollution reductions, especially for our most vulnerable communities.”
“Today's successful vote was made possible through years of organization and hard work by advocates for clean air, environmental justice, climate and public health. These new rules, while not perfect, go a long way in bringing clean air to all Southern California residents.”
According to the warehouse rule, warehouse operators can choose from a menu-based point system to earn a certain number of points per year or to pay a reduction fee.
The points can be achieved through the use of natural gas, zero-emission and / or zero-emission trucks, zero-emission handling equipment, solar panels or zero-emission charging and refueling infrastructure and more.
Funding from the mitigation fee will be used to motivate operators to buy clean trucks and the charging / refueling infrastructure, AQMD said.
Rachel Michelin, president and CEO of the California Retailers Association, spoke out against the rule Friday, saying it would make warehouse operations more difficult by “adding complex reporting requirements for data that operators often don't have” and requiring truck upgrades are that the operators do not own.
“Alternatively, there is a mitigation fee, which amounts to a tax of nearly $ 1 billion – a cost that is passed on to the consumer in the form of higher product prices. Southern California is already an expensive region. We don't need any additional costs,” she added.
The rule was developed through extensive research and discussions with environmental law groups, government agencies and industry representatives over a period of four years, AQMD said.
Officials believe the rule will reduce smog-forming emissions from storage-related sources by 10 to 15%. The program will be rolled out gradually over the next three years, starting with the largest bearings.