SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced the results of its audit of the Butte County Air Quality Management District's (district) Carl Moyer Program, a grant-funded effort to reduce vehicle emissions through the replacement or retrofit of dirty diesel engines.
The district's Moyer Program is the fourth to be audited by the ARB as part of a plan to examine the local air districts' allocation of a total of $50 million in the 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 fiscal years. ARB staff also reviewed whether the program's implementation in fiscal years 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 were compliant with current requirements.
ARB Chairman Dr. Robert Sawyer said, "Dirty agricultural diesel engines are significant contributors to poor air quality. Public health relies heavily on the work of rural air districts like Butte County to ensure that maximum reductions in air pollution are realized. An effective and efficient managed Carl Moyer Program is essential to accomplish cleaner air for California."
Over the past seven years of participation, the district has received over $900,000 in Moyer funds and has leveraged this amount with over $100,000 in staff resources and local monies. During the district's first five years of participation, over $500,000 of Moyer funds paid for 63 cleaner engines reducing smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by over 300 tons, and diesel soot by 17.3 tons over the life of the projects. The statewide program's cost-effectiveness for the first six years of the program is $2,600 per ton of NOx reduced, while the cost-effectiveness for Butte County during the same period is $2,200 per ton.
All projects reviewed during the audit met eligibility requirements and achieved real emission reductions in a timely manner. The ARB has only made three findings that require action from the district and are limited to administrative issues, such as lack of notification of incomplete application in files, and minimum contract and application requirements not included in the program's eighth year. The district has addressed and will implement the audit's recommendations.
The ARB audit made special notice of the operational and administrative efficiency demonstrated by the district in applying the program. The Butte County Air Quality Management District has made exemplary efforts to ensure emission reductions are verifiable and some of its practices should serve as a statewide model for the Carl Moyer Program.
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.