California Air Resources Board to Consider Major Changes to Off-Road Equipment and On-Road Truck Regulations at December Hearing

On Friday December 17, 2010 , the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will consider making significant changes to the Off-Road Equipment Regulation and modifications to On-Road Heavy-Duty Truck Regulation.  The proposed changes will help reduce the enormous costs contractors must bear to comply with these regulations.  The changes to the Off-Road Regulation are expected to provide a larger measure of relief from the current rule requirements than will those proposed for the On-Road Truck Regulation.  While the proposed changes to the truck regulation are a move in the right direction, the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition (CIAQC) does not believe they go far enough to help the construction industry still suffering from the devastating impacts of the economic downturn.  For this reason, CIAQC is asking CARB to increase the low-use mileage threshold for trucks owned by contractors and those used to support the construction industry from 1,000 to 15,000 miles per year.  See below for more information.

Off-Road Equipment Regulation

Major changes to the Off-Road Regulation include a delay of the initial start date for emission reduction compliance requirements for all fleets, the removal of the requirement to retrofit equipment with particulate filters (it would be voluntary and applied toward NOx reductions), a reduction in the application of Best Available Control Technology (BACT) percentages for fleets not achieving NOx fleet averages, changes to credit provisions for early actions, an increase to the low-use threshold, an alternative compliance option for fleets with less than 500 horsepower, changes to the requirements for adding vehicles and other changes. 

  • A good summary of the proposed changes was prepared by CIAQC member company, Associates Environmental, and could be found by clicking here.
  • A copy of specific language changes to the Off-Road Regulation can be accessed here.  To view other materials CARB has made available on the proposed amendments including public comments submitted and the Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) click here.
  • You can submit comments to CARB on the proposed amendments for the off-road regulation from their webpage

On-Road Truck Regulation

CARB staff is proposing several changes to the On-Road Truck Regulation (diesel-fueled vehicles greater than 14,000 pounds).  These include revised compliance schedules for lighter trucks (gross vehicle weight rating less than 26,000 pounds) and trucks with higher duty ratings.  Proposed amendments also include a phase-in option for small fleets (one to three vehicles) and for fleets with four or more vehicles, changes to credit provisions and reporting requirements.  There are many other proposed modifications, far too many to list here. 

The construction industry utilizes a wide range of equipment and vehicles subject to CARB regulation.  The cumulative economic impact of the off-road and on-road truck regulations on contractors and fleets owners is significant.  For this reason CIAQC has developed a recommendation it has shared with CARB to increase to the low-use mileage exemption threshold for construction trucks from 1,000 miles per year, as currently proposed, to 15,000 miles per year.  This recommendation would certainly provide some flexibility to contractors struggling to stay in business and keep their doors open. 

Stay tuned and keep your calendar clear for Friday, December 17.  There may be a need for a direct appeal to the CARB board if their staff refuses to increase the low-use mileage exemption threshold.

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