Calif. posts diesel plans online

Published October, 27 2008

California has posted proposals online that, if passed, will impact more than 400,000 state-licensed trucks, 500,000 out-of-state trucks operating in California and more than a half-million trailers.

The state Air Resources Board posted the plans Oct. 24, which will be voted on at its Dec. 11 meeting in Sacramento. The proposals require diesel exhaust filters, engine replacement, along with fuel efficient tires and aerodynamic devices added to trailers. The first proposal will require truck owners to install diesel exhaust filters starting in 2010, with nearly all vehicles upgraded by 2014.

Owners must also turn over engines older than the 2010 equivalent according to a 2012-2022 implementation schedule.

The plan will allow owners to choose among three compliance options. Exceptions to the regulation include low-use vehicles, emergency and military tactical vehicles, and personal use motor homes. School buses would be subject only to requirements for reducing diesel particulate matter and not for engine replacement.

California has more than $1 billion in funding to help state-based truckers comply with the proposals: Carl Moyer grants, for early or surplus compliance with diesel regulations; Proposition 1B funds, for air quality improvements related to goods movement; and AB 118, a low-cost truck loan program to help pay for early compliance with the truck rule.

The board is evaluating how to integrate these programs so truckers can get a grant and a loan at the same time to reduce the monthly payments for a new truck loan.
Non-residents are not eligible for this funding.

Heavy trucks are the largest remaining source of unregulated diesel emissions, responsible for 32 percent of the smog-forming emissions and nearly 40 percent of cancer-causing emissions from diesel mobile sources. CARB says this proposal will allow California to meet U.S. EPA-mandated air quality standards and deadlines, which will prevent the subsequent loss of billions in federal highway funding.

CARB adopted a Diesel Risk Reduction Plan in 2000 and has already passed regulations addressing urban buses, garbage trucks, school bus and truck idling, stationary engines, transport refrigeration units, cargo equipment at ports and rail yards, off-road vehicles and port trucks. Since spring 2007, CARB has held workshops and met with stakeholders about the proposals.

Information on the Statewide Bus and Truck regulation is available at www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2008/truckbus08/truckbus08.htm, while information on the Heavy Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Reduction Measure is at www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2008/ghghdv08/ghghdv08.htm.

Comments on the regulations may be made online by noon Dec. 10 PST at www.arb.ca.gov/lispub/comm/bclist.php or at the meeting; speakers are usually limited to three minutes to address the board.

Information about posting comments is available by calling (916) 322-5594.

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