Tuesday, May 15, 2018

California Hopes to Ramp Up Emissions Regulations

By Karen Robes Meeks

In a narrow 7 to 6 vote that will likely have major industry and environmental consequences to Southern California, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) board members agreed to consider new rules aimed at curbing pollution from the ports, warehouses, airports, rail yards and new development.

A proposed indirect source rule is being developed for warehouses, rail yards and construction projects by the SCAQMD, the air pollution control agency for Orange County and much of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The indirect source rule seeks to regulate pollution coming from vehicles linked to a facility, such as trucks serving a warehouse or ships ferrying cargo to and from ports.

Meanwhile, SCAQMD will be working with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to enact emission-lowering measures in the port’s Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) and helping the area’s five major airports to commit to their own CAAPs that would include efforts to lower emissions coming from non-aircraft sources.

Some weren’t thrilled with the decision.

"It would be akin to Vons or Whole Foods telling their customers you can only shop at their store if you’re willing to drive a Chevy Volt there," Thomas Jelenic, the vice president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, told KPCC radio.

“When it comes to meeting clean air standards, an ‘all of the above’ approach must be taken, and these measures could have the potential to further reduce emissions in some of the communities hardest hit by air pollution,” said Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer.

“Every sector and industry must do its fair share to clean up the air we breathe,” Nastri added. “At the same time, we are committed to a transparent process that is sensitive to the impacts of any new requirements on the region’s businesses, jobs and overall economy.”