California Air and Climate: New Indirect Source Rule for Warehouses in Southern California; CARB Adopts Clean Miles Standard for Ride-Hailing Companies; BAAQMD Finds Tier 4 Diesel Engines are Best Available Control Technology for Standby Applications

May 2021

California Air and Climate, Vol. 19

South Coast Air Quality Management District Adopts Indirect Source Rule for Warehouses

Earlier this month, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) adopted Rule 2305 or the Warehouse Indirect Source Rule (WISR), which requires warehouses that are greater than or equal to 100,000 square feet (of indoor floor space in a single building) to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions. SCAQMD has jurisdiction over large areas of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. According to SCAQMD, approximately half of air pollutants that contribute to smog in Southern California come from the movement of goods, including by way of heavy duty trucks heading to warehouses. Moreover, air pollutant sources associated with warehouses account for almost as many NOx emissions as all of the refineries, power plants, and other stationary sources combined. Under the WISR, warehouses must earn a specified number of “points” each year through the implementation of various measures including but not limited to acquiring and using near-zero-emissions and/or zero-emissions trucks, zero-emission cargo handling equipment, and through the use of solar panels to help reduce NOx and PM emissions. Warehouses subject to the WISR may also comply by paying a mitigation fee that will be used to incentivize the purchase and use of cleaner trucks and/or charging or fueling facilities in nearby communities. Warehouses will begin to phase into the WISR program over the next three years (starting with large distribution warehouses first). For additional information about SCAQMD’s WISR, please click here.

CARB Adopts Clean Miles Standard for Ride-Hailing Companies

On May 20, 2021, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted its Clean Miles Standard that will force ride-hailing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to ensure that 90% of their vehicle miles are fully electric by 2030. Ride-hailing companies accounted for 1.2 percent of light-duty vehicle miles in California in 2018. On average, ride-hailing vehicles have lower CO2 emission rates than other autos in the state, however, because more than one-third of ride-hailing vehicle miles traveled are without a passenger (awaiting a passenger or traveling to pick up a passenger), CO2 emission rates per passenger mile traveled are significantly higher than other autos. The standard will also require ride-hailing companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero through increasing electric miles beyond 90%, reducing miles traveled without a passenger, pooling passengers or earning credits by connecting to mass transit, and funding bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Ride-hailing companies must submit their first compliance plans in 2022 and meet the first targets in 2023. More information is available here.

BAAQMD Finds Tier 4 Diesel Engines are Best Available Control Technology for Standby Applications

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) recently held a workshop to announce its finding that diesel engines meeting EPA Tier 4 emission standards are the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) for standby operations at several types of facilities. Under BAAQMD’s new source review (Regulation 2 Rule 2), new or modified sources with a potential to emit more than 10 pounds per day of any pollutant must install BACT. BAAQMD requires BACT to be more stringent than what is achieved in practice for a type of source or what is technologically feasible and cost-effective. In making this BACT determination, BAAQMD cites emergency standby engines at facilities, a communications tower, the Chase Center, a wastewater treatment plant, and a data center as types of sources where Tier 4 is achieved in practice. More information is available here.