Southern California air regulators have issued more than 100 notices of violation and could impose large fines on warehouse facilities across the region, citing companies that failed to comply with the bags. – a regulation that seeks to prevent smog-forming pollution.
“We’re in a place where we’re moving away from more traditional enforcement and taking a more aggressive, stronger approach,” said Terrence Mann, chief of enforcement for the South Coast Air Quality Management District. I think the vision of our agencies is enough. These warehouses have a lot of time.
Over the past decade, large warehouses and logistics centers have sprung up throughout Southern California to accommodate the boom in e-commerce and movement of goods. These facilities attract thousands of heavy-duty trucks that emit smog-forming nitrogen oxides and carcinogenic diesel exhaust.
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The air districts implementing the action primarily target non-compliant warehouses located in poor communities, including the Inland Empire, where residents suffer from the worst smog pollution in the country.
Several warehouses operated by Fortune 500 companies are on the list of violators cited by the air district, including: a Boeing facility in El Segundo; a UPS facility in Sylmar; a Home Depot logistics center in Irwindale; a Target distribution center in Rialto, two Wayfair warehouses in Perris; and a Costco in Jurupa Valley.
The new regulations, adopted in 2021, require thousands of warehouses to offset pollution from the truck traffic they generate with clean air projects, such as installing electric vehicles. charger or rooftop solar panel. Warehouse operators can also choose to pay a fee that goes toward air district clean air initiatives.
Although the rule went into effect for the regions largest warehouses in March, only about half of the 1,019 affected facilities have submitted reports detailing the actions they intend to take. Violators could face potential penalties of up to $11,700 per day for their failure to comply.
This week, the air district cited 109 warehouse operators across its four-county jurisdiction, marking one of the agency’s largest crackdowns in recent memory. Agency officials say this is the first wave of enforcement actions, and that they will continue to issue violations to the remaining 400 non-compliant facilities.
What I want to make clear for communities and companies is not to stop until we see 100% compliance, said Mann.
Some of the cited companies may have met or exceeded the requirements of the air districts, but failed to submit proper reports. Two Space X facilities in Hawthorne have been issued violation notices, including one with a large X-shaped solar panel installation on its roof.
Approximately 500 warehouses followed the rule and were found to exceed expectations, according to the air district.
Many facilities are actually starting to install these high-power chargers that are required for zero-emission cargo in these facilities, said Ian MacMillan, assistant deputy executive officer. They saw zero-emission cargo handling equipment, and they knew that technology would work for them.
Next month is the deadline for the region’s nearly 1,000 medium-sized warehouses to comply, marking the second phase of the program. The final phase, which includes all warehouses over 100,000 square feet, will take place in January 2025.
If the rule is fully implemented, it is expected to reduce smog emissions from warehouse operations by 10% to 15%. So far, the program has raised about $9 million in bills and reduced smog-forming nitrogen oxides by 3%, according to air district officials.
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