Off-Road Diesels Prove CARB Redundant

Larry Stewart | September 28, 2010

Regulations based on CARB off-road-diesel fleet estimates demand equipment owners reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) 5,200 tons in 2010. An accurate inventory, however, shows equipment is now and will be well below state targets through 2025. Current equipment doesn't exceed the particulate-matter (PM) target until 2014, when new Tier 4 Interim equipment will be available to address emissions concerns.

Projecting emissions from this year's accurate inventory of California's off-road diesel fleet shows that it is performing well below the Air Resources Board's ambitious emissions targets. The Associated General Contractors of America used the very same computer model that CARB applied earlier in the decade to project emissions levels for California's in-use off-road diesel engines. The only changes in AGC's analysis reflect this year's exhaustive inventory of the California off-road fleet.

"Builders and contractors won't have to retrofit, repower or replace a single piece of functional, modern and paid-for construction equipment to meet the state's emissions targets for years to come," said Mike Kennedy, chief counsel for the association. "The state's contractors, with help from the economy, are far more effective at cutting emissions than state officials ever antici-pated."

AGC asked CARB to revise its off-road-diesel emissions regulations. Most significantly, they suggest CARB eliminate distinctions between small, medium and large fleets and regulate "all fleets over the same period and to the same extent that ARB originally sought to regulate small fleets." This would put off further fleet requirements until 2015.

"This new data raises an important question," Kennedy says, "Will California's Air Resources Board let the data drive the final decision, or simply drive the data to conform to its earlier conclusions?"