It’s Monday, May 10, and Southern California is cracking down on warehouse pollution.

The air pollution agency for more than 18 million people in Southern California, which has the nation’s worst air quality, voted on Friday to implement a new rule that will force warehouses to cut emissions from the trucks that service them. 

The plan will affect 3,000 of the largest warehouses in the area, which has the highest concentration of warehouses in the country. Trucks coming and going from these facilities are major contributors to nitrogen oxide and particulate matter air pollution, which are linked to heart and lung disease. 

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The new rule adopted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District mandates that warehouses either reduce emissions from the trucks they use or take other action to improve air quality in Orange County and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. The rule is projected to result in 300 fewer nitrogen oxide related deaths and up to 5,800 fewer asthma attacks in the region between 2022 and 2031. The public health benefits of the plan are estimated to be around $2.7 billion — three times as much as the plan will cost. 

The plan could also help accelerate the electrification of delivery trucks, a significant step toward reducing American carbon emissions. The regulation follows California’s landmark 2020 rule requiring more than half of all new trucks in the state to be zero-emissions by 2035.

Jena Brooker

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The Smog

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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has signed a bill that will prevent local governments in the state from developing codes, ordinances, or regulations that ban the use of fossil fuels or mandate energy savings measures. The bill is similar to preemptions that were lobbied for by the gas industry and passed in many other Republican-led states over the past year. 

Emily Pontecorvo

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