SoCal industrial boom may prompt tighter air quality regulations

New rules aimed at reducing emissions from warehouse, trucking operations

(Getty, iStock)
(Getty, iStock)

Southern California’s industrial market has been surging, but that has come at a cost to the environment.

Warehouse operators may soon have to meet new air quality regulations or pay hefty fines for their emissions, according to the Los Angeles Times. Regional air quality officials on Friday are set to vote on a suite of rules aimed at reducing emissions from trucking and warehousing operations in the area, according to the report.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District’s proposed measure is a point system that gives warehouse operators several options for reducing emissions, including using electric trucks and installing solar arrays.

As an alternative, operators could pay a fee for their emissions. That money would fund other emission-reduction efforts in the region.

Around 3,000 large warehouses would be subject to the regulations. Industry groups claim that those regulations wouldn’t be effective and would hurt businesses.

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Southern California’s logistics and warehousing sector is among the most robust in North America, and that demand has only increased since the pandemic.

But more active warehousing operations and trucks on the road mean locals breathe in more harmful pollution and more smog hangs overhead, experts say.

San Bernardino had 130 bad air days last year and violated federal health standards almost every day last summer, the Times noted. Downtown L.A. had 22 bad air days.

The industry is responsible for more smog-forming emissions over the region than any other sector. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said that cars and equipment used for warehousing operations account for 12 percent of nitrogen oxides released into the air above L.A., Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

[LAT] — Dennis Lynch

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