Nearly 100 So Cal Bakeries Must Switch to Electric Ovens Under New Rule

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has approved a new rule requiring nearly 100 commercial bakeries and confectioners to switch to zero-emission electric ovens by 2027. Over 200 ovens in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties will have to be replaced.

According to Earthjustice, this is “the first zero-emission standard in the country for an industrial source.” The goal is to cut down on the emission of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a poisonous gas that contributes to pollution and respiratory problems. 

Industry leaders are calling the idea half-baked.

“We don’t believe SCAQMD is doing a full technology assessment before writing its regulation,” Rasma Zvaners, vice president of regulatory and technical services for the American Bakers Association (ABA), said back in April. At that time, SCAQMD had identified only one type of oven that met its zero-NOx standard. 

The ABA also has questions about the reliability of the state's electric grid.

SCAQMD Deputy Executive Officer Sarah Rees said relatively few companies would be impacted by the new rule. This is just a starting point for regulations that are almost certain to expand in the future.