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AB 1547 (REYES) OPPOSE – Coalition Letter – DEAD for 2021!! It will be back in 2022

APRIL 12 Update – AB 1547 has been pulled by the author and is now a two year Bill. This means it will not be heard this year, we can expect to see it in 2022.

April 11, 2021


Members, Assembly Committee on Natural Resources



The California Chamber of Commerce and the organizations listed below must respectfully OPPOSE AB 1547 (Reyes), as amended on March 25, 2021, which seeks to override zoning regulations and duplicate the California Environmental Quality Act and regulations of the Air Resources Board by imposing arbitrary buffer zones, additional environmental analysis, and all-electric equipment before a warehouse development project can bring business to a community.

Creates Substantial Limits on Local Government’s Siting Decisions

As currently drafted, the bill imposes onerous burdens on a local government before it can approve a development that will bring jobs and economic development to an area. AB 1547 removes local government’s authority to determine where best to situate development projects by imposing an arbitrary 3,000 yard “buffer zone” and inserting this warehouse-specific limitation into the general zoning code. This automatic buffer zone restraining local government siting decisions would be the first of its kind under the state’s zoning law, and would restrict an undefined “warehouse development project” from undefined
“sensitive land uses.” Without additional information, entities will not be able to determine which projects (new? expanded?) are prohibited within 3,000 yards of which uses (what are sensitive land uses?)

Requires Additional Reporting Already Covered Under the California Environmental Quality Act AB 1547 requires a “cumulative analysis of the air quality impacts of the warehouse development project, taking into consideration air quality impacts from other nearby sources of pollution and air quality impacts of reasonably foreseeable future projects.” This language is almost identical to the environmental analysis that must be prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which will also apply to a project that requires zoning approval. CEQA also specifically requires that an applicant evaluate air quality impacts, and that it evaluates cumulative impacts that result from the project when combined with other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions. See, California Code of Regulations § 15355. The author has not provided reasons why it believes a secondary and duplicative air quality analysis, using almost the same terms, would be required specifically for warehouses, nor why the zoning code is the appropriate place to impose such new requirements.

Duplicates Existing and Pending Environmental Regulation The bill imposes additional requirements that the local agency require that all equipment used at the warehouse to be powered by electricity, requires all construction equipment to meet Tier 4 emission standards, and requires all loading and unloading docks and cold storage spaces to provide electric plug in ports. These requirements duplicate existing Air Resources Board regulations that have already been enacted or are in process. For example, the Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted in July 2020 the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, which requires manufacturers of all Class 2b-8 trucks to begin meeting escalating zero emission sales starting in 2024, and by 2035 requires Class 2b-3, Class 7-8, and Class 4-8 trucks to be 55%, 40%, and 75% zero emission by 2035. Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20 requires the ARB to continue that rulemaking, making 100% of all trucks and buses zero emission by 2045 everywhere feasible, and for all drayage trucks to be zero emission by 2035.

In addition, the ARB is conducting workshops anticipating the introduction of the Advanced Clean Fleets Rule by the end of this year, which will require that large public and private fleets be 100% zero emission by 2035, and looking at feasibility for specialized equipment. Under that rule, ARB plans to ban the registration of any new non-zero emission vehicle from California’s ports and intermodal railyards after 2023. CARB is also developing the Transportation Refrigeration Unit Rule to address cold storage trucks.

AB 1547 undermines the public process underway at the ARB, where, as directed by Governor Newsom in Executive Order N-79-20 and other executive orders, stakeholders are evaluating where it is feasible to electrify trucks, buses, and equipment. This bill would instead require that all warehouses electrify all equipment without regard to feasibility, ignoring the technological development already underway to use low-emission equipment on-site.

Because this bill is duplicative and inserts environmental regulations into the zoning code that unnecessarily target warehouse developments, CalChamber and the organizations listed below must respectfully OPPOSE AB 1547 (Reyes).


Leah Silverthorn Senior Policy Advocate

On behalf of the following organizations:

African American Farmers of California, Will Scott, Jr.
Agricultural Council of California, Tricia Geringer
Building Owners and Managers Association of California, Matthew Hargrove
California Beer and Beverage Distributors, Victoria Horton
California Builders Alliance, Damon Conklin
California Building Industry Association, Nick Cammarota
California Business Properties Association, Matthew Hargrove
California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, Roger Isom
California Farm Bureau Federation, Taylor Roschen
California Fresh Fruit Association, Ian LeMay
California Grocers Association, Kelly Ash
California Food Producers, Trudi Hughes
California Manufacturers & Technology Association, Dawn Koepke
California Railroads, (BNSF Railway Co./Juan Acosta
Union Pacific Railroad Co./Francisco Castillo, Jr.
California Short Line Railroad Association/Kennan H. Beard III)
California Trucking Association, Chris Shimoda
California Walnut Commission, Michelle M. Connelly
Carson Dominguez Employers Alliance, Trini Jimenez
EMA Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association, Tim Blubaugh
FuturePorts, Marnie Primmer
Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Christopher Valadez
International Council of Shopping Centers, Matthew Hargrove
Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Jeremy Harris
NAIOP of California – The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Matthew Hargrove
Nisei Farmers League, Manuel Cunha, Jr.
Orange County Business Council, Jennifer Ward
Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange, Tim Murphy
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Christian Robinson
Western Agricultural Processors Association, Roger Isom
Western Growers Association, Gail Delihant
Western Independent Refiners Association, Craig Moyer
Western Plant Health Association, Renee Pinel
Western Propane Gas Association, Joy Alafia
Western Wood Preservers Institute, Dallin Brooks

cc: Legislative Affairs, Office of the Governor Melissa Cosio, Office of Assembly Member Reyes