LA’s biggest bakeries must curb emissions, says new rule


SoCal air quality officials are the first in the U.S. to require zero-emission commercial ovens. Photo by Shutterstock.

Thomas’ English Muffins, See’s Candies and Entenmann’s Donuts are all about to get a little greener – metaphorically at least. That’s because currently all of those locally-produced baked goods are made in giant commercial ovens that emit greenhouse gasses, but a new rule will require those ovens to stop emitting entirely.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has approved the rule requiring 218 ovens in Orange County, most of LA and Riverside Counties, and parts of San Bernardino County to cut their NOx emissions, which harm health and create smog.

“This is the first zero-emission standard in the country for an industrial source,” says Adrian Martinez with environmental legal nonprofit called Earthjustice. “That makes sense, because California has the largest number of food and beverage manufacturing facilities in the country.”

Already SCAQMD has tightened the standard for emissions on commercial ovens that can produce hundreds of loaves of bread per minute. The companies will be required to have zero-emission ovens by 2027.

“In general, it's a relatively small segment of the NOx emissions in our basin,” says SCAQMD Deputy Executive Officer Sarah Rees. “But it's one area where we're starting.”