Environmental Insights

Navigate the South Coast AQMD's WAIRE Program with Confidence

Mishka Binns, Industry Business Advisor

Date: 6/24/2024

Are you a warehouse owner or operator in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or San Bernardino counties? The South Coast Air Quality Management District's (AQMD’s) Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) Program might apply to you.

What is the WAIRE Program?

The WAIRE Program under Rule 2305 is designed to improve air quality by reducing emissions from warehouses and surrounding areas. This is especially important for communities located near warehouses, which can be disproportionately impacted by air pollution. The program focuses on cutting nitrogen oxides and diesel particulate matter, key contributors to smog and health problems.

Do you need to comply?

Warehouses with at least 100,000 square feet of indoor space are subject to the WAIRE Program. The program is phased in, with deadlines based on warehouse size.

Phases 1 and 2 are already complete. If your warehouse is larger than 150,000 square feet, you're already subject to the program. The first annual WAIRE Reports for these phases were due January 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Phase 3 applies to warehouses between 100,000 and 150,000 square feet. If your warehouse falls within this size range, the deadline to submit your Initial Site Information Report (ISIR) is July 2, 2024. The final report for Phase 3 compliance is due on January 31, 2025.

Not sure if your warehouse qualifies? We can help! Our environmental consultants can quickly determine your applicability and guide you through the next steps.

How does the WAIRE Program work?

The WAIRE Program uses a point system. Each year, warehouse operators must earn a specific number of points based on their annual truck traffic to and from the warehouse. Points can be earned by:

  • Completing actions from the WAIRE menu to reduce emissions, such as installing electric truck charging stations or using cleaner-burning vehicles;
  • Developing a custom WAIRE plan that allows you to tailor your approach to emission reduction based on your specific operations; and
  • Paying a mitigation fee that goes toward clean air initiatives in communities near the warehouse.

Here are a few key things to remember about points:

  • If you earn more points than required in a year, you can bank those extra points for future compliance periods.
  • If you operate multiple warehouses, you can transfer points between them to ensure all locations meet compliance.
  • Warehouse operators are required to submit two reports:
    • The ISIR is a one-time report that provides details about your warehouse operations and helps determine your point requirement.
    • The WAIRE Report is an annual report that documents how you achieved compliance in the previous year.

Warehouse owner vs. operator

While warehouse owners are required to submit basic building information, only warehouse operators need to earn WAIRE points. However, owners can choose to participate and may transfer points to their tenants.

J.J. Keller’s Environmental Consulting team can help you with the WAIRE Program:

  • Get WAIRE program expertise. We can help you determine whether your warehouse is subject to WAIRE and guide you through the compliance process.
  • Develop a WAIRE strategy. We can help you choose the most effective and cost-efficient way to earn WAIRE points, whether following the WAIRE menu, creating a custom plan, or a combination of both.
  • Manage reporting and recordkeeping. We can ensure your reports are accurate and submitted on time to avoid penalties.
  • Stay up to date. We can keep you informed about any changes to the WAIRE Program regulations.

Don't wait until the deadline! With the Phase 3 deadline approaching on July 2, 2024, proactive measures are key. Our environmental consultants can help you navigate the WAIRE Program and ensure your warehouse is compliant. Breathe easy and focus on your business — let us handle the environmental regulations.

J. J. Keller's EHS Consultants can help you navigate the WAIRE Program and ensure your warehouse is compliant!