ARB announces planned changes to California’s Truck and Bus Regulation
SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board yesterday announced that it will provide relief to truckers working to meet state deadlines for upgrades to their aging diesel fleets. The relief is detailed in a regulatory advisory which recognizes ‘good faith’ efforts of fleets to meet upcoming compliance deadlines. The advisory also provides ‘early access’ to planned regulatory changes to be considered by the Board in April 2014.
The move comes as larger fleets are required under the Statewide Truck and Bus Regulation to complete the upgrade for most of their trucks with diesel particulate filters by Jan. 1, 2014, and as smaller fleets are just beginning to undertake similar actions.
“The Air Resources Board is implementing new, flexible compliance options for truck owners who show they have made good faith efforts to comply with the regulation before Jan. 1, 2014, and is providing additional time for many fleets to complete their clean-up efforts,” said ARB Executive Officer Richard Corey. “These changes will help businesses meet the clean-up requirements in a way that will not compromise the health benefits or emissions reductions that this vitally important regulation will achieve over its lifetime.”
Funds for fleet upgrades are available to qualified applicants, including $30 million in Prop 1B grants targeted for use by small fleet owners with three or fewer trucks. In addition, state-sponsored loans through the Truck Loan Assistance Program, which recently received $20 million to help small businesses comply with the regulation, are also available. Owners of logging trucks may also be eligible for $3 million in grant monies. (For more on funding opportunities, visit: ARB TruckStop/Funding).
Next month, Air Resources Board staff will conduct workshops throughout the state to hear comments from local elected officials, industry representatives and stakeholders on staff’s planned regulatory changes. For a list of locations, click here.
Proposed amendments to the regulation, which are still under development, are expected to provide additional time for owners in specified regions to complete their clean-up efforts. Also, owners of lower-use vehicles throughout the state are expected to gain flexibility options as well.
For more information on the specified regions, what constitutes a “good faith effort” to comply with the Truck and Bus Regulation, or which fleets are being afforded with additional time to comply, truck owners are urged to view today’s advisory here: Truck and Bus Regulation Advisory.
Anyone with questions on regulatory requirements can visit ARB’s TruckStop website, call 866-6DIESEL, or email 8666Diesel@arb.ca.gov. We do ask for extra patience as call volumes are extremely high as the Jan. 1 deadline draws nearer.
- 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.
- The Truck and Bus Regulation (Regulation) was adopted in 2008 to clean up harmful emissions from nearly all heavy-duty diesel trucks operating in California. The Regulation was amended in 2010 to provide economic relief to truckers affected by the recession, particularly small fleets, by delaying the first compliance requirements by one year and extending the time the truck could be operated before needing to be replaced.
- The Regulation requires most heavy trucks in California to install soot filters or upgrade to newer models with filters by Jan. 1, 2014, and that nearly all trucks have them installed by Jan. 1, 2016.
- Out of the 260,000 trucks registered in California that need a soot filter, about 140,000 are already compliant, with another approximately 100,000 using regulatory flexibility to delay their compliance date.
- About 20,000 still need filters by the end of 2013, with 5,000 of these being in large fleets.
- For small fleets (three or fewer vehicles), Jan. 1, 2014, is a critical compliance milestone because for the first time at least one vehicle in each fleet will need to comply. ARB estimates that about 15,000 vehicles in small fleets still need to retrofit or upgrade to meet this compliance deadline.
- At its October Hearing, the Board heard an update on the Regulation and agreed with staff’s proposal to move forward with a number of near-term strategies to provide flexibility while not compromising the overall reduction and health benefits to be achieved by the Regulation.
- In 2000, the ARB adopted its Diesel Risk Reduction Plan, a blueprint for developing regulations to address diesel emissions from all sources including garbage trucks, urban buses, construction equipment, port trucks and fuels. For more information, see Diesel Risk Reduction Plan