South Coast Air Quality Management District Votes to Impose New Taxes on Critical Supply Chain More than 100,000 Jobs Could be Eliminated
Santa Ana, CA (May 8, 2021) – The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Board of Governors voted late yesterday afternoon to impose $1 billion in new taxes and onerous regulations on over 3,000 warehouses throughout Southern California.
Despite having no control over fleets, the rule mandates warehouse operators to either reduce truck emissions or pay substantial taxes to the SCAQMD. The rule will impose additional, permanent costs on warehouses of approximately $1.0 per square foot, totaling close to $1 billion annually. No plan was presented by the SCAQMD staff on how the new tax revenues will be spent.
“NAIOP SoCal strongly supports reducing air emissions, improving air quality and adopting zero emissions (ZE) vehicles as the industry standard for trucks and equipment. Unfortunately, this new rule is flawed and won’t achieve these goals," said Timothy Jemal, CEO, NAIOP SoCal. "The rule will cost jobs and raise consumer prices with no quantifiable emission reductions. The Board’s attempt to regulate trucks through warehouses and impose new taxes on the region’s critical supply chain is misguided and will be challenged.”
Warehouses and the supply chain are vital to Southern California's economy, distributing COVID-19 vaccinations, food and essential goods for approximately 18 million people. SCAQMD staff ignored hundreds of comments from employers and local elected officials to modify the rule to ensure real emissions reductions occur, jobs are protected and that it becomes feasible to acquire electric trucks in the marketplace. SCAQMD staff admitted that sufficient quantities of zero emission vehicles will not be available in the market for many years.
The following SCAQMD Board members voted “Yes” to impose new taxes and regulations:
- Chairman Ben Benoit
- Vice Chair Vanessa Delgado
- Dr. William Burke
- Sheila Kuehl
- Joe Buscaino
- Michael Cacciotti
- Gideon Kracov
- Manny Perez
- Rex Richardson
The following SCAQMD Board members voted “No”:
- Janice Rutherford
- Carlos Rodriguez
- Larry McCallon
- Lisa Bartlett
During sharp questioning from San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford, SCAQMD staff conceded they are trying to regulate trucks – not warehouses – and that emissions have dramatically decreased over the past 20 years.
“As warehouses have increased (in the South Coast basin), we have seen improvements in Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). So our solution is clean trucks. This rule does not increase the number of zero emission trucks that will be on the road," said Rutherford. "The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the federal government have authority over the mobile sources that create the biggest pollution.” Rutherford asserted the rule will cause "a lot of pain and a lot of higher costs that will not achieve that goal (use of heavy duty zero emissions trucks) any faster and that’s a shame."
“While SCAQMD staff chose to sow divisions and demonize the logistics industry, we look forward to working with elected officials and environmental justice advocates to genuinely reduce emissions, help advance technology of zero emission trucks and preserve jobs for working families,” added Jemal.
About NAIOP SoCal-- NAIOP SoCal is the premier association representing commercial real estate in Los Angeles and Orange counties with approximately 1,000 members. NAIOP is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial and mixed-use real estate, with more than 18,000 members in North America. NAIOP advances responsible commercial real estate development and advocates for effective public policy. For more information, visit www.naipsocal.org