Attention Contractors!

After repeated requests to US EPA by the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition (CIAQC) and others to hold a hearing in California on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) request for a waiver to regulate off-road equipment, EPA has decided to conduct an informal conference call on Friday, October 19, 2012. The conference call will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 AM (Pacific Daylight Time). Each caller that wishes to speak will be granted approximately 3 minutes. The call-in number will be 1-866-299-3188 then you will be prompted to enter 202-343-9256 and then press the # symbol.

Planning to join the Call?

Please send us an email if you plan to join the call. An affirmative response will help estimate of the number of callers beforehand and better structure the call on Friday.

Background for Call

The US EPA is currently considering the request from CARB for permission to enforce all provisions of the In-Use Off Road Diesel Vehicle Regulation, including the fleet performance standards, prohibition of adding a Tier 0 engine to any fleet and the prohibition for large and medium-sized fleets from adding Tier 1 powered equipment starting January 1, 2013, among others.

On September 20, 2012 EPA held a hearing in Washington DC on CARB's request. CIAQC provided oral testimony at the hearing. EPA is also soliciting written comments on CARB's request, and anyone may submit written comments by October 22, 2012. Here is a link to the Federal Register Notice announcing the public comment period including background and instructions on how to submit written comments. The purpose of the conference call is to hear from those who could not travel to Washington for the hearing.

The October 19, 2012 conference call will be a unique opportunity to let EPA know what you think about the off-road regulation and why you believe a waiver should not be granted. The conference call is not a public hearing. However, EPA will take notes and place a memo into the public docket regarding the call. EPA will also consider input from the call in its waiver decision. EPA encourages the formal submission of written comments (due Monday, October 22, 2012). The set speaking time limit will be strictly followed. For this reason, it is good to prepare to make your testimony as succinct as possible so you do not run out of time.

Summary of Reasons Why CIAQC Believes EPA Should Reject CARB's Request for a Waiver

  1. CIAQC appreciates EPA scheduling a conference call for additional testimony from the California construction sector, but it should also hold a hearing in California.
  2. Off-Road Regulation is ill conceived and CARB has not demonstrated the necessity for a separate in-use rule and has not appropriately documented the special circumstances necessary for a waiver for a NOx specific rule.
  3. Regulation was initially approved in 2007 and it targeted a hypothetical fleets that was larger and had greater emissions than the actual California fleet.
  4. As a result of the recession, the California fleet is smaller than expected, and the emissions inventory decreased considerably. Further, CARB's 2010 amendments to the regulation assumed a far-too-large rate of recovery to pre-recession levels.
  5. California fleet will naturally meet emission levels that CARB sought to mandate without a rule.
  6. For these reasons, the cost-per-ton of actual emission reductions is exorbitant.
  7. The regulation's gross inefficiencies, amortized over a smaller-than-expected market, for smaller-than-expected gains should defeat the waiver as inconsistent with the standards EPA must consider including technological feasibility, the cost of compliance, safety, and lead time.
  8. EPA must consider that fleet owners and contractors are impacted in such a way that the regulation effectively devalues existing equipment (as collateral), affecting the ability to bond work. Further compounding the impact is that the sale of equipment is a compliance strategy, leaving less equipment in a fleet to do the work. All these factors impact the ability to buy newer equipment or purchase retrofits, and thus comply with the regulation.
  9. The number of construction companies in California has declined dramatically from 78,000 in third quarter 2007 to 65,008 in the third quarter of 2011. The elimination of these companies will further slow the recovery of construction activity and thus the increase in emissions projected by CARB.
  10. EPA's own Engine Replacement Regulation prohibits the repowering of a machine unless the engine has "prematurely failed."
  11. The PM2.5 health benefits analysis CARB relied on in 2007 was faulty and not sufficiently updated for the December 2010 amendments. CARB should be required to revisit the cost and health benefit analysis and make substantial revisions to those calculations.
  12. For these reasons EPA should reject CARB's request for waiver to regulate in-use off-road equipment.

Please remember to RSVP the call

Please send us an email if you plan to join the call. An affirmative response will help estimate of the number of callers beforehand and better structure the call on Friday.

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