With a construction industry beset by state-wide economic depression – and facing AGC proof that the downturn has already slashed off-road-equipment emissions more than amply to meet regulators' clean-air goals – the California Air Resources Board has postponed enforcement of its emissions regulations for off-road diesels.
Air Resources Board Executive Officer James N. Goldstene issued the following statement:
“Over the last several years, the construction industry has felt the sting of the faltering economy with reduced activity and idled off-road equipment. This has made it difficult for contractors to pay for required clean-air upgrades to their fleets. Along with this reduced construction activity has been a corresponding reduction in construction emissions.
“Because of this, ahead of a March 1, 2010, compliance deadline, ARB will issue an enforcement advisory to notify all stakeholders affected by the off-road equipment regulation that, effective immediately, and until further notice, no enforcement action will be taken for noncompliance. In addition, on March 11 an Executive Officer hearing will be held where stakeholders may testify on the question of whether the off-road regulations should be further modified to account for the down economy and subsequent emissions reductions. That information will be included in an already-scheduled update to the full Board at its April meeting.
“ARB will continue to evaluate the impact of the recession on emissions from all sources and make adjustments to our regulations as needed. However, the health of all Californians requires that all industries continue to use the cleanest, most efficient equipment possible. Clean air is not a luxury – it is a right. We need to continue to work toward goals that save us all money in healthcare costs, lost work and school days, and contribute to our quality of life.”