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Home / News / Newsfeed / SCAQMD’s Rule 2305 – Navigating the WAIRE Program

SCAQMD’s Rule 2305 – Navigating the WAIRE Program

December 12, 2023
semi truck waiting at warehouse dock

Initially adopted on May 7, 2021, the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD’s) Rule 2305, otherwise known as the Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) Program, regulates warehouse facilities to reduce emissions from warehouse operations. The rule is designed to address the environmental impact of warehouse facilities as indirect sources of air pollution and improve public health, especially in communities neighboring warehouses.  January 31, 2024, marks the continuation of the program into Phases 2 and 3.

 

Upcoming Deadlines in 2024

  • January 31, 2024: Deadline for Annual WAIRE Report (AWR) submission for warehouses between 150,000 and 250,000 sq. ft.; and
  • July 1, 2024: Deadline for Initial Site Information Report (ISIR) submission for warehouses between 100,000 and 150,000 sq. ft.

 

Compliance and WAIRE Points

For warehouse operators, the WAIRE Point Compliance Obligation (WPCO) is based on annual truck trips. The program uses a menu-based point system. Operators must earn or obtain WAIRE points annually to satisfy their WPCO. Points can be earned by completing actions in the WAIRE menu, following an SCAQMD approved custom WAIRE Plan, or paying a mitigation fee.

Trucks trips are classified into two groups: Class 8 truck trips and Class 2b-7 truck trips. Class 8 truck trips increase the facility’s WPCO more than Class 2b-7 truck trips. Points can also be earned for any Near-Zero Emission (NZE) or Zero Emission (ZE) truck trips. Any excess points earned can be banked for future use or transferred to other warehouses operated by the same entity.

The WAIRE Program is being phased in over time based on warehouse size. The table below outlines these phases and their respective key compliance deadlines.

Phase Warehouse Size   (Sq. Ft.) Initial Site   Information Report Due Date Initial   Compliance Period (WPCO and WAIRE Points) First Annual   WAIRE Report Due Date
1 250,000+ July   1, 2022 Jan.   1 – Dec. 31, 2022 Jan.   31, 2023
2 150,000   – <250,000 July   1, 2023 Jan.   1 – Dec. 31, 2023 Jan.   31, 2024
3 100,000   – <150,000 July   1, 2024 Jan.   1 – Dec. 31, 2024 Jan.   31, 2025
Once a facility enters their initial compliance period, the WPCO requirements increase over a 3-year period. Compliance deadlines are essential to track progress and ensure adherence to emission reduction measures.

The menu-based WAIRE points, while offering flexibility, demand strategic foresight. Inaccuracies in calculating truck trips, underestimating WPCOs, or failing to identify suitable compliance pathways can lead to financial setbacks and non-compliance penalties. Warehouse operators are urged to approach the WAIRE Program with a comprehensive understanding of their operations and a strategic plan to meet compliance requirements efficiently.

 

ISIR and AWR Requirements

ISIR for Warehouse Operators

Warehouse operators are required to submit a one-time ISIR describing their operations. This report serves as a comprehensive overview of the warehouse’s current state and allows the facility to approximate their expected WPCO and determine how they plan to generate WAIRE points. The ISIR is due July 1st of the year prior to the facility’s first AWR submittal.

AWR for Warehouse Operators

In addition to the ISIR, warehouse operators must submit an AWR documenting their truck trips each year. The AWR requires the facility to document the WAIRE points generated and/or pay mitigation fees to satisfy their WPCO.

Requirements for Warehouse Owners

While warehouse owners are not obligated to earn WAIRE points, they do have reporting obligations. Warehouse owners are required to submit basic information, known as the Warehouse Operations Notification (WON), about the building and its tenants. They will also be required to provide detailed records during field inspections to verify the accuracy of information submitted in the WON. In addition, owners have the option to voluntarily submit an AWR to earn WAIRE points and transfer earned WAIRE points to their tenants. For example, if the warehouse facility or land owner chooses to voluntarily earn WAIRE points by installing ZE infrastructure, they can transfer those WAIRE points to the warehouse operator(s) at that site.

 

WAIRE Exemptions and Mitigation Fees

Exemptions

Recognizing the diverse landscape of warehouses, exemptions are available for certain facilities. Warehouse operators may be exempt from parts of the rule under specific conditions, such as operating warehouses with less than 50,000 square feet for warehousing activities, truck trip counts that result in a WPCO less than 10, or facing underperformance due to circumstances beyond their control.

Mitigation Fees

The WAIRE Program also introduces a mitigation fee option for operators. If chosen, the funds from mitigation fees contribute to incentivizing NZE and ZE trucks and the development of ZE charging and fueling infrastructure in nearby communities. If mitigation fees are paid, 1 WPCO is equal to $1,000.

 

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Yorke staff have worked closely with the SCAQMD throughout the development of Rule 2305, gaining an in-depth understanding of the District’s requirements and expectations for reporting. Leveraging our extensive experience, we stand ready to provide invaluable support to warehouse owners and operators navigating the complexities of the WAIRE Program. From preparing your ISIR and AWR to creating a custom WAIRE plan, Yorke Engineering is your strategic partner in ensuring seamless compliance.  Learn more on our website here: SCAQMD Warehouse Rule 2305 | Yorke Engineering, LLC (yorkeengr.com).

For more information on the WAIRE Program, visit the SCAQMD’s site here: WAIRE Program (aqmd.gov).

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