E-Commerce Mega-Warehouses, a Smog Source, Face New Pollution Rule

And the industry is growing. Last year, Inland Empire, a region near the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach where retailers and manufacturers offload billions of dollars in goods, added 23 million square feet of new warehouse space, covering nearly 500,000 square feet Football fields.

“Where we live, these warehouses are popping up like Starbucks,” said Ivette Torres of the People’s Collective for Environmental Justice, a local nonprofit that campaigned for warehouses to address their role in air pollution.

Operators of warehouses larger than 100,000 square feet (roughly two soccer fields) must earn points to offset the emissions from the trucks coming and going from the warehouses. Operators can earn these points by purchasing or using zero-emission trucks or farm vehicles, or by investing in other methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, e.g. B. by installing solar panels in the camps or installing air filters in local homes, schools and hospitals. Or they could choose to pay a fee if they fail to meet it.

Many camps are much larger. A planned site comprises 40 million square meters of industrial buildings, an area roughly the size of Central Park in New York.

Known as the “indirect source rule”, the effort is unusual as it targets primarily emissions from the trucks servicing the warehouses rather than the warehouses themselves. Similar approaches have been used in the past to deal with heavy traffic through sports stadiums or shopping centers to meet.

The regulator estimates their plan will cut nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 15 percent and result in up to 300 fewer deaths, up to 5,800 fewer asthma attacks and up to 20,000 fewer days off work between 2022 and 2031. The district estimates that the public health plan could be up to $ 2.7 billion, roughly three times the projected cost.

The region, which includes parts of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties and all of Orange County, has a population of 18 million people – more than most states.

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