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The California Legislature is considering Assembly Bill 1000, which proposes a statewide setback of 1,000 feet from “sensitive receptors” for all new or expanded logistics use facilities of 100,000 square feet or larger in California. Others have proposed placing a moratorium on new warehouse construction in the Inland Empire. Below please find some frequently asked questions and answers regarding these two proposals.  

How would a proposed moratorium on warehouses and AB 1000 affect local communities?

In most states, including California, local zoning decisions are made by local government leaders, who directly represent the people in their communities. AB 1000 and a moratorium on warehouses in the Inland Empire would strip local governments of the control they currently have over business development in their communities, forcing them to cede power to Sacramento. Such proposals also ignore the reality that cargo will continue moving on state roadways, even if warehouses are placed elsewhere. In fact, moving them farther from the end consumer will create more, not less, emissions.

How would a proposed moratorium and AB 1000 affect the state’s economy?

Enacting either AB 1000 or a warehouse moratorium would severely damage the state’s supply chain and economy. It would shut down construction, destroy career-building jobs, slash investments in regions that rely on warehouses, and shrink revenue to communities. It would send new warehouses out of California, threatening an economic engine that drives one-third of the state’s economy and supports about one in three California jobs.

Why are the limitations imposed by AB 1000 considered to be too onerous?

AB 1000’s prohibition on logistics facilities boundaries being within 1,000 feet of “sensitive receptors” would be a de facto statewide ban on most new warehouse projects and expansions. It would create a new private right of action, giving anyone standing to sue to block projects. It would also require the 1,000-foot buffer zone to be measured from a warehouse’s property line, which means the buffer zone would encompass a huge area, and it could prevent construction of any commercial building of warehouse size.

Why do people say that a moratorium on warehouse construction and AB 1000 are based on outdated and erroneous data?

AB 1000’s 1,000-foot buffer is based on outdated 2005 CARB guidance document – meaning the entire bill is based on bad science. Neither the bill nor a proposed moratorium takes into account the significant progress the logistics industry has made during the last two decades in reducing emissions and associated health risks.

What environmental progress has the logistics sector made?

Warehouses are incorporating more energy-efficient construction materials in their warehouses, turning their roofs into solar farms, building systems of charging stations for trucks and employing a host of other green technologies.

Heavy-duty truck emissions and their associated health effects are significantly decreasing, even as the number of logistics facilities increases. The trucking industry is spending almost $1 billion annually to upgrade its equipment to cleaner technologies, including purchasing new engines and installing filters that have virtually eliminated diesel soot and reduced smog-forming emissions by over 90 percent. Since 2005, heavy-duty trucks have reduced particulate matter emissions by 98 percent. They have also made substantial progress on reducing NOx emissions,  and these emissions will be reduced by 90 percent or more once the industry fully phases in new regulations by 2031.

Why has the California Chamber of Commerce determined AB 1000 is a job killer bill?

The state’s leading business organization says AB 1000 would “lead to the elimination of high-paying jobs, quash critically needed housing associated with mixed-use developments, increase vehicle miles traveled for heavy-duty vehicles coming to and from California ports, incentivize frivolous litigation with a new private right of action in California law, and exacerbate supply chain issues and increase goods movement costs that will have the practical effect of increasing the cost of living for every Californian.”

Why has the California Building Industry Association determined AB 1000 is a housing killer bill?

The building industry association said it named AB 1000 a housing killer bill because the proposed legislation would “create a statewide, arbitrary setback of 1,000 feet from hospitals, homes, schools, daycares and/or elderly housing for logistics use facilities. Given how expansive this is, it is regarded as a de facto ban on warehouses throughout the state. A ban on warehouses will inevitably exacerbate supply chain issues, increase the threat of frivolous litigation for California businesses, push more trade away from California ports and devastate housing production in the process.”