The Air Resources Board is offering $5 million from the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to assist California small businesses replace, repower or retrofit their off-road diesel vehicles.
ARB has partnered with the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, part of the State Treasurers Office, to offer loan assistance to help small businesses upgrade their off-road diesel vehicles used in construction, agriculture, mining and industrial operations. The objective of the program is to encourage early compliance with ARB’s off-road diesel regulation.
“Small businesses can take advantage of the loan program and modernize their vehicles improving air quality and public health ahead of state deadlines,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “This funding program comes at a time when small businesses are trying to survive in a tough economy.”
ARB forecasts 320 loans will be issued under this loan assistance program to small businesses who cannot obtain financing for upgrading their off-road vehicles through conventional methods.
“Assisting small businesses is an important part of getting California’s economy back on track,” said State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Chair of CPCFA. “This funding will help us achieve that goal and at the same time help rid the air of harmful pollutants.”
Eligibility requirements for the loan assistance program are:
• The company must be a small business with 500 or fewer employees;
• The majority of the employees must live in California;
• Most of the business operation takes place in California;
• Fleets of all sizes are eligible; and,
• The business owner has a Diesel Off-Road On-line Reporting System, or DOORS, identification number.
The California Pollution Control Financing Authority will process the loans through its existing California Capital Access Program, or CalCAP. Interested borrowers can apply for a loan by completing an application at a participating CalCAP Off-Road Lender. The lenders determines the applicant’s eligibility for a loan. For vehicle purchase or engine replacements, the borrower or dealer must provide to CalCAP verification of destruction of the older engine within 90 days of the loan date.
Loan assistance is available to cover any or all of the following:
• Engine repowers: Upgrades to a cleaner Tier 2 to Tier 4 engine, that is either a ARB-certified or remanufactured engine;
• Replacement of an older vehicle with one of the same type and similar horsepower that is equipped with a cleaner Tier 2 to Tier 4 engine; and,
• ARB-verified diesel emission control devices or exhaust retrofits.
In addition, applicants may apply for projected maintenance costs for exhaust retrofits, installation and extended warranties for purchased vehicles.
Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems. In 2000, the ARB established California's Diesel Risk Reduction Plan, which aims to reduce diesel emissions to 85 percent below 2000 levels by 2020.
For more information on the off-road vehicle loan program, go to http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/ordiesel/documents/calcap_ag_off_road.pdf or call 1-866-6DIESEL or email at email@example.com.