Southern California Vehicle Emissions Requirements for Regulatory Reporting SCAQMD Rule 2202 COVID-19 Provisions and Reporting Relief

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If your company has 250 or more employees at your worksite, your company may need to know how employees travel to work.  Why? Because of South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Rule 2202: On Road Vehicle Mitigation Options. The goal of this rule is to reduce the emissions generated by employee commutes to work during the peak window hours of 6am to 10am.

Each regulated worksite is required to obtain emission reductions equal to the Emissions Reduction Target (ERT) which is based on the number of employees reporting to the worksite divided by the total number of vehicles reporting to the worksite. This value is called the Average Vehicle Ridership, or AVR.

There are 3 main ways your worksite can choose to comply with Rule 2202:

  1. AQIP: Air Quality Improvement Plan

Pay a flat fee per employee arriving to work during the peak window. You can use HR records or surveys to count the number of employees reporting to work during 6 am to 10 am and pay a flat fee per employee.

  1. ERS: Emission Reduction Strategies

Purchase mobile source emission reduction credits equal to your worksite’s calculated Emission Reduction Target and surrender these credits to AQMD. The number of NOx, VOC and CO credits you need to purchase is specific to your worksite and is calculated from your employee counts.

  1. ECRP: Employee Commute Reduction Program

A certified Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) must prepare the annual report and an Average Vehicle Ridership (AVR) survey is required. The survey represents a snapshot of a typical work week and requires you to survey your employees’ mode of transportation into work. The survey requires a response rate of at least 60% to be valid and must be conducted within 6 months of your report submittal. Based on the AVR Survey results, you must implement employee commute reduction strategies to meet the AVR goal.

While the rule itself has not changed, AQMD has recognized the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on regulated businesses and has granted temporary relief to this rule that you may not know about:

  • In determining if your workplace is subject to the rule (ie. 250 or more employees), do not count any furloughed employees. Telecommuting employees are counted toward rule applicability, but you don’t have to survey these employees – you can use HR/payroll records instead. These responses are counted toward the 60% response rate.
  • Reports are due annually from your site’s initial submittal. Rule 313 Extension Requests are normally $96.64 per worksite, but don’t pay this! Fees for extension request have been temporarily waved and automatically extended for 90 days. Upon request, up to 2 additional 90-day extensions with waived fees are granted.
  • If the number of employees on your payroll have dropped below 250 over a 6-month average, or less than 33 employees arrive during the peak window hours of 6am to 10am, you may request an Exemption Request and will not be subject to the rule requirements at all.

These provisions are temporary and may be changed at any time at the direction of South Coast AQMD.

As with all AQMD rules, the details and definitions are important in determining rule applicability and compliance requirements. If you have any questions about Rule 2202 COVID-19 relief, or need help calculating your AVR, conducting the AVR Survey, or filling your annual report, NV5’s experienced air quality professionals are certified Employee Transportation Coordinators (ETC) and can help you.

Contact Kristy Monji-Chung (626) 567-2383 for more information.