CARB has a mandate to meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards and protect public health. CARB has also set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
Some of the major sources of air pollutants and greenhouse gases in our state include on-road and off-road vehicles. For instance NOX, a criteria pollutant emitted during combustion, is critical in the formation of ground level ozone. Reducing NOX from vehicles and equipment which burn fossil fuels is a major strategy in cleaning California's air. Historically both on-road and off-road vehicles have been major sources of NOX and are projected to continue to emit a significant amount statewide.
However, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants such as NOX from vehicles is complicated by the various applications and duty cycles of these vehicles. For instance, heavy duty trucks include those that travel long distances under highway speeds as well as vocational trucks that make frequent stops in urban centers. Off-road vehicles have an even wider range of applications and duty cycles encompassing construction and agricultural applications as well as cargo handling equipment and transportation refrigeration. Previous regulatory efforts have already had a positive impact on the emissions of mobile sources but more work is needed to further reduce these emissions.
CARB performs cutting edge research to investigate the efficacy of current regulations and inform new regulatory efforts. This research is accomplished in conjunction with external stakeholders such as universities, government agencies and private industry. Many of our research efforts are also performed in-house.