Engine makers take on California emissions rule

The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) is seeking to invalidate tougher California Air Recourses Board (CARB) emission requirements that were recently adopted.

The EMA filed a legal motion in California Superior Court last week to declare CARB’s NOx Reflash Rule invalid and to issue a permanent injunction against any implementation or enforcement of the rule. The group cites legal settlements that engine manufacturers entered into with CARB, as well as a voluntary agreement to accelerate efforts to reduce NOx emissions from 1993-1998 model year heavy-duty engines in California.

“Engine manufacturers are parties to binding settlement agreements with CARB to develop and install retrofit kits to reduce NOx emissions from certain heavy-duty vehicles,” said Jed Mandel, EMA’s president. “The agreements require reprogramming the engine’s computer system at the time that the engine is rebuilt. Through litigation, engine manufacturers are simply asking that CARB be held to its commitment to the original terms of the settlement agreements.”

Mandel said CARB’s NOx Reflash Rule, adopted in December last year, requires reprogramming of older engines by a certain date and establishes penalties for truck owners and dealers if the software is not installed on time. This is contrary to the previously negotiated solution to install the new software at the time that an engine is being rebuilt, EMA said.

“This substantially increases costs to the entire regulated community,” Mandel said. “Even CARB agreed that costs and operational disruptions are minimized when the software retrofits are completed during the time of an engine's first rebuild.”

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