Pollution regulators impose new rules on the warehousing industry as the “diesel death zone” spreads across California

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Southern California air quality authorities are unique to warehouse distribution centers to reduce truck pollution, promote electrification, and reduce the health risks of communities most hit by diesel emissions that damage the lungs. Adopted the rules of.

The South Coast Air Quality Control District Board approved the rule on Friday with a 9-4 vote after an hour-long hearing.

The rule applies to nearly 3,000 warehouses throughout the region and represents the first comprehensive effort to limit the environmental impact of the booming goods movement industry. Close to homes, schools and neighborhoods already burdened with some of the country’s dirtiest air due to the proliferation of large distribution warehouses in areas with an imbalance of blacks and Latinos The number of diesel trucks running on the road is increasing.

“The adoption of today’s warehousing rules is a major step towards reducing air pollution and protecting millions of people directly affected,” said Wayne Nastri, executive officer of the South Coast Aviation District. ..

Regulation is most effective in the Inland Empire. At Inland Empire, relatively inexpensive land within a reasonable drive from the country’s largest port facility has triggered the development of large-scale distribution and fulfillment centers, including over one million square feet of megawarehouses. Called the “American Shopping Cart” or “Diesel Death Zone,” these communities are busy as online shopping pushes the volume of cargo traveling through the region to record levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. became.

Under the rules, warehouses of 100,000 square feet or more (the size of two football stadiums) will take steps to reduce or offset operational emissions, or similar air quality improvements nearby. You will have to pay a mitigation fee to fund it.

Republican Ben Benoit, the mayor of Wildomar in Riverside County and chair of the newly sworn Air Quality Commission, has joined the Commission’s eight Democrats to support the bill. Four Republicans voted against it. The 13-member committee, consisting of eight Democrats and five Republicans, is made up of civil servants and other appointed members from the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino.

Voting follows hours of public testimony, many of which encourage action on behalf of children with asthma, relatives of lung cancer, and others who are struggling to breathe due to smog or truck contamination. It was from residents of San Bernardino and other inland communities.

Mirella Deniz-Zaragoza of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center said the rule would benefit the poor working class of people who live and work at the forefront of the logistics industry, calling the move “polluting industries like Amazon.” We called it “lifesaving regulations to ensure people.” Responsible, breathing air in our community and ensuring that family-raising people live longer and healthier lives. “

Inland Empire officials such as Mayor Fontana Aquanetta Warren said, “We will kill the warehouse work that supported us during this COVID period,” while board members are representatives of the goods movement industry. And other business people have also criticized the rules for being overkill and damaging profits. .. “

At the same time, the rules have gained support from several labor groups and industries that will benefit from the transition to cleaner technology. A representative of heavy-duty engine maker Cummins agreed with the move, saying that clean natural gas fuel trucks are widely available and maintained by local technicians with a “living wage union job”. It was.

Republican board members who opposed the move predicted that the industry would pass on the cost of compliance and prices for food and other consumer goods would rise. They also argued that the rules proved ineffective because they did not directly regulate the pollution of trucks, which is the responsibility of state and federal regulators.

San Bernardino County overseer Janice Rutherford, a Republican of the Air Quality Commission who opposed regulation, said state emission controls, technological advances, and markets will have more zero-emission trucks in the next few years. He said it would bring. Persistent this rule causes a lot of pain and a lot of money, and the goal cannot be achieved any faster. “

Los Angeles County supervisor Sheila Kühl, who upheld the rule, argued that people in the most affected areas “did not show that they were worried about the cost of grain. They were worried about their lungs.” ..

According to an aviation district analysis, large warehouses are heavily concentrated in black and Latino communities. The population living within 0.5 miles of at least one large warehouse is 62.1% Latin Americans and 7.6% Blacks, compared to 45.4% Latin Americans and 6.5% Blacks across the four county regions. .. According to the analysis, the community adjacent to the warehouse has a high incidence of asthma, heart attack and poverty.

Vanessa Delgado, a former state legislature, former Democratic senator, and Democrat, said the regulation was a life-saving “significant step towards measurable air quality improvement” “in a community of almost unfavorable colors.” I called it.

The environmental impact of the growing logistics industry is unevenly distributed. LA County has the most warehouses, but it’s smaller and older than the Inland Empire warehouses, where much of the recent growth is concentrated.

Inland Empire-based People’s Collective for Environmental Justice and the University of Redlands report survey e-commerce sales and find that online shopping is the most concentrated community in warehouses such as Ontario, Fontana and San Bernardino. I found that there were few. A large city in the Greater LA area.

Report author and environmental science researcher Ivette Torres said the impact of the community adjacent to the warehouse is often cumulative, with multiple facilities lined up in the same neighborhood, increased truck traffic, and diesel particulates. This is because the substance damages the lungs. People who live in Moreno Valley.

“Not only is there a warehouse next door, but across the street,” Torres said. “They add up, add up, and you pass hundreds or thousands of trucks.”

Despite decades of dramatic improvements in air quality, Southern California still has the worst air pollution in the country, and in recent years there has been a fight against smog stalls and reversals. .. In 2020, the region recorded 157 days of bad air days with ozone (the invisible lung-stimulating gas contained in smog). This is the highest number since the mid-1990s. Inland communities, many of the same communities where warehouse development is booming, have the most sustained levels of ozone.

Warehouse regulation is an important part of state and local authorities’ efforts to reverse the recent decline in air quality. To meet the federal smog reduction deadline, the South Coast Basin needs to reduce smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions by 45% below baseline levels by 2023 and by 55% by 2031.

Trucks are the largest source of these emissions, and warehouses have more responsibility than any other sector. This is about the same as all fixed facilities in the region, including all oil refineries and power plants. Enforcement of the regulation will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from warehouses by 11/2 to 3 tonnes per day over the next 10 years and by 10% to 15% for projects in the aviation district.

In accordance with the regulations, the facility will reduce and mitigate pollution by using trucks fueled by electricity or natural gas, installing charging stations, installing rooftop solar panels, and installing air filters in nearby schools and child care centers. Must be selected from the menu of options. The measures complained by some board members did not reduce pollution, but only exposed it to pollution.

The aviation district estimates that compliance with the rules can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, which will prevent hundreds of premature deaths from air pollution and reduce asthma in thousands. And so on, it outweighs the health benefits that are about three times as valuable. Attacks and holidays for the first 10 years.

In adopting the bill, the board of directors called on the freight industry to limit job growth, not clean the air, impose taxes, and deny authorities beyond the legal authority of the aviation district. Overcame the opposition. State and local governments have challenged these claims. An analysis by the office of State Attorney General Rob Bonta confirmed the aviation district’s authority and obligation under the Clean Air Act to adopt regulations on warehouse emissions. It also dispelled the idea that it was a tax.

The Air Quality Commission’s decision to regulate warehouses follows more than a decade of proposals to regulate ports and other cargo handling facilities as “indirect sources of pollution” using state law authority, 2017. This is the first rule announced in the year. A smog reduction program designed to clean the air in the area to meet federal health standards. Authorities have approved voluntary emission reduction agreements with commercial airports in the region, but have not acted on ports, rail yards, and new development projects.

California distributor approves warehousing regulations for air quality

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Quote: As the “diesel death zone” spreads in California, pollution regulators acquired the warehousing industry from https: // on May 10, 2021 ( We will set a new rule on May 10, 2021). california-pollution.html

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Pollution regulators impose new rules on the warehousing industry as the “diesel death zone” spreads across California

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