ARB Chairman Alan Lloyd said, "Caltrans' leadership in the use of cleaner low-sulfur diesel fuel in their fleet operations will help protect Californians, especially those in sensitive inner-city areas, from health effects resulting from diesel exhaust exposure."
Caltrans uses approximately six million gallons of diesel fuel per year. This voluntary effort to help reduce diesel emissions will increase demand for low-sulfur diesel fuel, allowing refiners to produce the fuel in larger volume. In addition, Caltrans will allow fleets to use their refueling yards, giving others an early introduction to the benefits of the cleaner fuel. Caltrans expects to convert its fleet over the next five years to incorporate soot traps in current vehicles.
In 1998, the ARB identified diesel particulate matter from exhaust as toxic. Last year, a Diesel Risk Reduction Plan was approved by the Board. One of the 14 separate rules to be considered by the Board is the statewide use of low-sulfur diesel fuel by 2006. Low-sulfur diesel fuel is critical in the implementation of the rules; all of which are expected to be implemented by 2007. Coupled with soot traps, the clean diesel fuel can significantly reduce diesel emissions from heavy-duty trucks, buses and equipment.
CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The CARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.