Victory! South Coast AQMD Moves to Curb Air Pollution from Warehouses

The Coalition for Clean Air (CCA) applauds the SCAQMD Governing Board for passing a new warehouse indirect source review (ISR) rule, Rules 2305 and 316. The warehouse ISR, which passed 9-4, is a key victory in the effort to reduce pollution from the goods movement industry.

“Southern Californians have long subsidized the logistics industry with their health,” said CCA Deputy Policy Director Chris Chavez. “The warehouse ISR will bring life-saving air pollution reductions, especially for our most vulnerable communities.”

The warehouse ISR will require large warehouses (more than 100,00 square feet in floor space) to earn points by choosing from a menu of options to reduce air pollution. Among other things, these actions include purchasing near-zero and zero-emission vehicles, deploying charging and fueling infrastructure, and installing rooftop solar panels. Warehouses that fail to earn enough points to meet compliance would have to pay a mitigation fee, which will be used for clean air projects in local communities near warehouses.

As a global hub of the logistics industry, Southern California is heavily impacted by ports and freight transportation. In addition to having the worst smog in the nation, Southern California’s air is plagued by toxic diesel particulate matter. SCAQMD studies show communities near goods movement facilities and corridors are at an elevated risk for cancer.

Warehouse growth has been virtually unchecked: More than 20 million new square feet of new warehousing space has been built every year for the past five years. Increasingly, warehouses are being placed near homes and schools. SCAQMD found that more than 2.4 million people live within half a mile of a warehouse in the district. Communities near warehouses have higher rates of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, are overwhelmingly low-income, and primarily Black and Latino.

“Today’s successful vote culminates years of organizing and hard work by clean air, environmental justice, climate and public health advocates,” said Chavez. “While these new rules are not perfect, they will go a long way in helping bring clean air to all Southern Californians.”



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