CARB workshops disclose regulatory direction

CARB workshops disclose regulatory direction

Via a recent workshop it hosted online, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) discussed regulations it plans to officially unveil in mid-2008 regarding methods and guidelines for further reducing harmful emissions in the state

Via a recent workshop it hosted online, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), an eleven-member board working under the umbrella of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA), discussed regulations it plans to officially unveil in mid-2008 regarding methods and guidelines for further reducing harmful emissions in the state.

The workshop was the first in a series of ten to be held over six days throughout California to discuss the draft version of the proposed legislation.

CARB has developed the State Implementation Plan (SIP) identifying how to meet federal clean air deadlines and committing to reducing emissions from trucks and buses. They aim to improve health-based 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 standards, which the group claims several areas of the state are currently violating.

The board’s Global Warming Solutions Act requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 standards by 2020, with early action measures enforceable by 2010.

CARB said a combination of the federal SmartWay program and improvements in engine efficiency for medium- and heavy-duty trucks can reduce greenhouse gases, while reduced aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance can make trucks more energy-efficient.

EPA certified SmartWay tractors include the Freightliner Cascadia, Century Class, and Columbia, Kenworth T660 and T2000, Volvo VN 780 and VN 730, Mack Pinnacle, Peterbilt 387 and 386, and International Prostar.

The retrofit requirements will require fleets with more than 19 trailers to be 50% retrofitted by December 31, 2012 and fully retrofitted by December 31, 2014. Fleets with 19 or less trailers do not have the 50% requirement but must also be fully compliant by 2014.

The proposed regulation, which would phase in between 2010 and 2021, affects diesel vehicles operating in California, shuttle buses, vehicles with greater than 14,000 GVWR, or any person, business or government agency that owns or sells a vehicle in the state.

Excluded from the regulation are pickups and other vehicles with a GVW rating less than 14,000 lbs., with the exception of shuttle buses, emergency vehicles, tactical military vehicles and personal use motorhomes.

According to the proposed plan, small fleets must be 2007-equivalent by December 31, 2013 at the latest, depending on the size of the fleet. CARB projected that the plan would affect 315, 966 Class 8 vehicles and 106,783 smaller vehicles, with preliminary costs ranging from $4 to $6 billion in 2008 dollars.

Phase One, which will run from 2010-2013, requires pre-2004 model years emissions to reduce NOx by over 70% and 2004-2006 model year emissions to reduce NOx by more than 40%. Phase Two, which will run from 2017 to 2021, would require 2004-2006 model year emissions to reduce NOx by at least 85% and the 2007 model years to reduce it by at least 70%.

Other proposed changes include requiring utilities to upgrade to 2010 engine emissions between 2017 and 2021, offering a double credit for hybrids and an expanded credit for existing alternative fueled vehicles.

CARB also said it is currently considering changes to vehicle types and uses including cabover tractors, farm use vehicles, motor coaches, transfer dump trucks, and cranes. The board plans to do outreach through postcard mailings and flyers, review additional data, and conduct further workshops.

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