California Approves Amendments for In-Use-Diesel Regulations

December 21, 2010

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) on December 17 voted in favor of amending the state’s controversial regulations for reducing diesel emissions. The amended regulations are aimed at offering users of diesel equipment a variety of options for complying with the standards.

“No other state, and no other nation has such an extensive set of rules to slash pollution from diesel engines,” said CARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “The diesel rules for vehicles cover almost everything that moves on or off the road, from trucks and buses to off-road construction equipment, and over the next 12 years they will prevent 3,900 premature deaths by removing thousands of tons of diesel soot from the air we breathe. The changes we set in place today will continue those public health benefits while reducing the cost of compliance by more than 60 percent.”

With the amended regulations in place, says CARB, diesel particulate matter emissions will be reduced from today’s levels by 50 percent by 2014, and 70 percent by 2020. Key amendments, says CARB, will:

•Reduce overall compliance costs by about 60 percent as California recovers from the recession;
•Exempt about 150,000 lighter trucks from having to retrofit with particulate filters;
•Delay initial compliance date for the retrofitting of heavier trucks and allow them to operate another eight years before being required to use a truck that meets 2010 emissions standards; and,
•Expand credits for fleet downsizing, adding cleaner vehicles ahead of any regulatory requirements, and for installation of early retrofits.