The South Coast Air Quality Management District in California has targeted the warehouse industry with a new emissions rule.
The rule requires warehouses of greater than 100,000 square feet to directly reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions, or to otherwise cut emissions and exposure reductions of these pollutants in nearby communities.
“About half of the air pollutants that contribute to smog come from the goods movement industry, with the largest source being heavy-duty trucks heading to warehouses across Southern California,” said Wayne Nastri, the district’s executive officer.
“After many years of development, today’s adoption of the warehouse rule is a major step towards reducing air pollution and protecting the millions of people directly impacted by this type of pollution.”
The warehouse rule is a menu-based points system requiring warehouse operators to annually earn a specified number of points, according to the district.
These points can be earned by completing actions from a menu that can include acquiring and using natural gas, Near-Zero Emissions and/or Zero-Emissions on-road trucks, zero-emission cargo handling equipment, solar panels or zero-emission charging and fueling infrastructure, or other options.
Alternatively, warehouse operators can choose to pay a mitigation fee. Funds from the mitigation fee will be used to incentivize the purchase of cleaner trucks and charging/fueling infrastructure in communities nearby.
The warehouse rule is expected to reduce smog-forming emissions by 10-15% from warehouse-related sources. The program will be phased in over three years, beginning with the largest warehouses.