Transportation Executive Summary: US EPA Announces Proposed Amendments to Air Emissions Reporting Requirements with Impact on Freight-Related Warehouses
Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“US EPA”) announced that it would extend the comment period for a proposed rule would make revisions to the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements. The announcement Warehouse Indirect Source Rule – Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) Program, 88 Fed. Reg. 70616-02 (proposed Aug. 13, 2023) (to be codified at 40 C.F.R. pt. 52). The proposed rule is available here.
The US EPA intends to approve a new rule (Rule 2305) which will grant it authority to enforce a Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) regulation for freight-related warehouses. The rule requires warehouses to introduce zero-emission operations in an effort to offset air pollution from the trucks/freight carrying cargo to and from their warehouse. This regulation can also extend to on-site stationary (manufacturing) equipment. The SCAQMD believes federal support behind this regulation will only improve their ability to reduce noxious emissions and assist in meeting State and Federal air quality standards.
The rule includes an additional element called the Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) Program. SCAQMD assigns WAIRE points based on different actions/investments made by warehouses and categorizes them into three parameters: cost, regional emissions reductions, and local emissions reduction. The points are then used to measure a warehouse’s annual compliance obligation. Warehouses will each have a WAIRE Points Compliance Obligation (WPCO) based on a number of calculations unique to its attributes and traffic in/ out of its site, which correlates to the emissions their operations produce.
From a procedural standpoint, once the EPA approves the rule, it will be in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) which, effectively, makes it federally enforceable even though SIPs are typically enforced by the states. Even if a SIP has been approved by a state, it is not federally enforceable until it is also approved by the EPA, which then vests the EPA with power to enforce and take action against violators of federally approved SIPs. This rule will only apply to the Southern California jurisdiction at this time. It is the promoters’ theory that with this showing of federal support, the rule could serve as a model for other parts of the nation who wish to make the same initiatives in the future.
For more information
For more information on trucking and transportation matters, contact John F. Fatino at (515) 288-6041. Abigail Goulding, Drake University Law School J.D. candidate, assisted in the preparation of these materials.