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Why Should Warehouse Owners and Operators Reach Compliance for WAIRE Program?

By January 3, 2023January 9th, 2023Blog, News
Aerial view of solar installation on a California warehouse roof surrounded by green trees and landscaping.

Are you a warehouse owner, or do you operate one? Either way, you must be well aware of the WAIRE program and why it is important to qualify. Understanding the WAIRE program can be quite difficult if you are not well acquainted with it. It stops the owners and operators from using warehouse equipment that can contribute to harmful emissions.

Here is a complete guide to help you get a better idea of what the WAIRE program is and how you can comply with its requirements:

What Is The Purpose Of The WAIRE Program?

Downtown Los Angeles skyline shrouded in air pollution.

The WAIRE Program, also known as the Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions, is designed to create a better environment. Climate change is alarming, and if we don’t take care of the environment as we should, it may be too late to fix them. This is why this rule helps curb the emissions of harmful gasses to ensure the environment’s safety. This program focuses on areas like Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and Orange County.

The ruling is for all the local and regional warehouses within Californian Counties. The WAIRE program pushes owners and operators to use environmentally friendly alternatives. It is an indirect source rule that applies to warehouses with at least 100,000 square feet of indoor floor space and should have a single building for them to be eligible for the rule.

The main aim is to reduce emissions of Nitrogen oxide and diesel. The WAIRE program can help improve the public health of all the people living in those counties. The warehouses need to opt for alternatives that are friendlier to the environment, but they should also adhere to the quality standards determined by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD).

WAIRE program was introduced in May 2021 after alarming studies that highlighted the dangerous amounts of nitrogen oxide. There are great chances the Nitrogen oxide collects in the Mississippi Atchafalaya River Basin, which can result in severe environmental pollution.

How Does The WAIRE Program Work?

Semi trucks parked at warehouse loading docks.

If you are a warehouse owner with over 100,000 square feet of space all within one building, then the WAIRE program is exclusively for you. In all of the Californian counties, there are 3,995 warehouse operators and 2,902 warehouse owners. All these owners and operators are required to adhere to compliance and reporting standards. Many warehouses have been operating without any care for the environment, which has negatively contributed to the environment. They do not have the right equipment and the vehicles to ensure zero harmful emissions.

To go by the program, they must come up with zero-emissions vehicles for transportation and other pieces of equipment within the warehouse, such as the transport refrigeration units.

If you as the owner or the operator make changes outlined in the program, you will start getting points for all your efforts. The WAIRE program is a menu-based points system, and you can start making more and more points on every trip you make with the alternative. It is not easy to make all the changes abruptly, and SCAQMD understands when it comes to that. Not all warehouses will have the money to make the big changes right away. This is why they also offer some leniency through mitigation fees.

To help you get started, they offer you the option to purchase the WAIRE points for a mitigation fee. With the mitigation fee, you will be able to reach compliance easily. The more points you have, the better benefits you will be able to unlock. This is why warehouse owners and operators need to invest their time and energy in adhering to the provisions sent by the WAIRE program. This program is beneficial not only for the environment and the masses but also for the warehouse owners and operators.

What Are WAIRE Points, And How Can You Earn Them?

Row of electric semi-trucks plugged into charging stations.

One of the most important components of the WAIRE program is the points. All the warehouses within the Californian vicinity have to earn a certain amount of points every year to be compliant. To collect these, you need to make as many trips as possible, all the while using alternative transport vehicles. The trips are counted as from the warehouse and to the warehouse. If the trips are made by large vehicles such as tractors or tractor trailers, then the trips will be multiplied by 2.5.

There are some other ways to earn points too. For instance, you can complete any of the combinations of actions offered in the WAIRE Menu that will help you get the predetermined number of points. Other than that, if you take actions that are approved according to the site-specific custom plan, you will also receive points in return. Last but not least, one of the easiest ways to get WAIRE Points is to pay the mitigation fee.

During the compliance period, a warehouse should accumulate the right number of points. If the number of points increases, they can always bank it for the preceding year. Another option is for a warehouse to transfer it to another warehouse that is under their supervision.

How To Comply With Rule 2305?

To comply with rule 2305, the warehouse must get enough WPOC. This is the number of coins every warehouse must obtain or earn. To make the right amounts of points, you must completely understand how they are calculated.

The truck trips are considered one-way trips. On these trips, the trucks or tractors deliver the goods from the warehouse to the location decided. The trip is counted as soon as the truck enters or leaves the premises. Every single visit from a truck is counted as two trips. Rule 2305 counts all the trips made in the compliance period as Weighted Annual Truck Trips. This is calculated using a simple equation; here is the equation to help you understand the mechanics:

WATTs = [Class 2b to 7 truck trips] + [2.5 × Class 8 truck trips]

To start with compliance, all the warehouse operators who fall under the requirements, such as those within the vicinity of Californian counties with 100,000 sq. ft of land in one building, are required to submit reports to South Coast AQMD. This report needs to include different details, such as all the details of the warehouse operations and their compliance with Rule 2305.

The exclusive instructions include that all the documents should be as recent as possible and no later than seven years. Moreover, they should be delivered to the SCAQMD within business hours. Here is all the information you must know with regard to compliance rules for different circumstances.

Warehouse Operations Notification (WON)

For Warehouse Owners

  • Warehouse size and area that may be used for warehousing activity
  • Warehouse operator(s) name and contact information
  • Lease end date (if applicable)
  • Previous warehouse operator(s) information
  • Square footage used by the warehouse owner for warehousing activities
  • On or before September 1, 2021
  • Within 14 days of a new warehouse operator having access to at least 50,000 square feet of space for warehousing activities
  • Within 30 days after a renovation that alters the size of the warehouse
  • Within 3 days of a request for the report from the South Coast

Initial Site Information Report (ISIR)

For Warehouse Operators

  • Warehouse size and space used for warehousing activities
  • Number of truck trips in the previous 12- month period
  • Number of truck trips anticipated during the compliance period for which the upcoming AWR must be submitted, • Anticipated actions to meet the WPCO for the current compliance period,
  • Details on the following potential onsite equipment: owned or leased truck fleet, onsite alternative fueling stations, yard trucks, and onsite energy generation systems (e.g., solar)
  • On or before July 1 of the first compliance period when the warehouse operator must submit their first Annual WAIRE Report for that warehouse
  • Within 30 days of a request for the report from South Coast AQMD

Annual WAIRE Report (AWR)

For Warehouse Operators

  • Truck trip counts for the compliance period,
  • Number of WAIRE Points earned for each action,
  • Associated metrics for the WAIRE Menu actions used to earn WAIRE Points
  • No more than 30 days after January 1 of the compliance period
  • If an operator vacates a warehouse before the AWR submission deadline in any year, they must submit an AWR no later than the date they vacate the warehouse.

You can follow the compliance guidance according to your circumstances meet the WAIRE program requirements.

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