On March 14, 2023, California Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes introduced (pending publication) AB 1000, also known as the Good Neighbor Policy. This legislation, if passed, would alter the siting and expansion of logistics facilities statewide.

Assemblymember Reyes introduced a similar bill in 2021 (AB 1547) which died pursuant to Article IV Section 10(c) of the California Constitution – as the bill had not been acted upon by January 31, 2022. AB 1547 would have prohibited local governments from allowing a warehouse development project where the distance between the project and a sensitive land use was less than 3,000 yards. Additionally, the bill would have required all onsite equipment to be powered by electricity, among other requirements. Opposition to this bill asserted that the passage of AB 1547 would have made it nearly impossible to permit warehousing.

Current bill AB 1000, if passed, would prohibit local governments from permitting warehouses less than 1,000 feet away from a sensitive receptor. The bill includes an exception for projects meeting several specific mitigation measures. However, even if a project meets the mitigation measures, the bill stipulates that a warehouse must still impose a minimum setback of 750 feet from the sensitive receptor to be permitted. The proposed mitigation measures are as follows:

  • Cumulative air quality and public health analysis on the impacts the project has on public health
  • Require heavy duty commercial fleets on-site to be ZE by 2026
  • Require light – and medium-duty vehicles fleets onsite to be fully ZEV by 2029
  • Require onsite equipment to be ZE with the necessary charging or fueling infrastructure provided
  • Requires off-road construction to be zero-emission where available or hybrid and all diesel fueled equipment to follow CARB’s most stringent diesel standards or better
  • Require electric plugs for electric refrigeration transport at every dock door
  • Require solar and battery storage that is equal to or greater than the building’s projected energy needs
  • Prohibit trucks on site to idle more than three minutes
  • Prohibit idling of heavy construction equipment of more than 5 minutes

According to Assemblymember Reyes’ Announcement, the catalyst for the introduction of this legislation includes a public health crisis in the Inland Empire, caused in part by over 1 billion square feet of warehouses in the region. In particular, the 600,000 daily truck trips necessary to service the large amount of warehousing activity in the area have been credited with contributing to cardiovascular and pulmonary problems and the development of cancer and asthma as well as to a significant uptick in unhealthy air days. Assemblymember Reyes’ announcement notes that these human health impacts are especially concerning as they are disproportionately located next to low-income communities of color. This bill, then, addresses a recent statewide push for the recognition of environmental justice in permitting facilities that have significant human health impacts.

Once the bill is published it can be read and its path through the legislature can be tracked at the California Legislative Information website.

A PDF version of this article can be found here.

David Temblador is a Partner and Sabrina Barr is an Associate at Harrison, Temblador, Hungerford & Guernsey LLP in Sacramento, California.

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