Changes Approved for Moyer Clean Air Program
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – The California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (ARB) today approved changes to strengthen a highly successful incentive program that has already removed hundreds of tons of pollutants from the state's air.
"Changes approved today for the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program make the program even more effective in reducing smog-forming oxides of nitrogen and toxic particulate matter from diesel engines," said Dr. Alan Lloyd, ARB Chairman.
The Moyer Program reduces oxides of nitrogen (NOx), which contribute to ozone, one of the most health-damaging components of smog. A secondary benefit of the program has been particulate matter (PM) reductions, since some of the same strategies that reduce NOx also reduce PM. The program's emission reductions are made by funding the cost of cutting diesel engine NOx emissions below the levels called for by current standards or regulations. The state's local air pollution control districts (APCDs) administer grants from the program with funds provided by the ARB.
The 18 program changes reviewed today were recommended by the 13-member Carl Moyer Program Advisory Board and ARB staff. Major changes include:
- Establishing a PM reduction goal with a requirement that the San Joaquin Valley APCD and the South Coast Air Quality Management District reduce PM emissions by at least 25 percent from Moyer-funded projects while recommending that other districts voluntarily seek a 25 percent reduction in PM from Moyer projects.
- Making more projects eligible for funding by considering general cost increases in recent years and increasing the cost effectiveness limit for Moyer projects to up to $13,000 per ton of NOx reduced from the present limit of $12,000 per ton.
Under Moyer Program rules, a company may be able to buy a new truck, which meets the state's minimum NOx emission standards, for $100,000, or buy a truck that beats the minimum NOx standards by 25 percent to 30 percent for $125,000. Funding through the Moyer Program would pay the additional $25,000 for the cleaner truck. This framework is also used to determine other Moyer Program grants, including those for off-road and other equipment, large marine vessels, locomotives, forklifts, and airport ground support equipment.
Since its inception in 1998, the Moyer Program has been an overwhelming success. ARB distributed $24.5 million to 16 local air district during the program's first year. In 1999 Governor Davis and the Legislature approved an additional $23 million, and $50 million was approved for the 2000/2001 fiscal year.
During its first year, the program reduced NOx emissions by about 4 tons per day and PM emissions by about 100 pounds per day.
Demand for Moyer grants has been high-far in excess of available funding. In the program's first year, air districts received more than $80 million in grant applications from public and private sector applicants, more than three times the available funding.
Projects funded to date include: purchase of new natural gas transit and school buses; purchase of new natural gas and dual-fuel trucks; purchase of electric (rather than internal combustion) forklifts; and replacement of old diesel engines in marine vessels, agricultural pumps, and other off-road equipment with new cleaner diesel engines or cleaner rebuilt engines.
During its first year, the Moyer Program also helped clean up hundreds of other diesel engines by funding:
- More than 400 irrigation pumps upgraded with cleaner engines.
- More than 300 new natural gas trucks and buses.
- New diesel engines for more than 30 tugboats, ferries and fishing boats.
Also included in Moyer projects are purchase of 16 cleaner-burning natural gas buses to transport tourists at Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument (Hearst Castle) and converting the Napa Valley Wine Train from diesel to natural gas.
The Moyer Advisory Board recently recommended funding of at least $100 million per year through 2010. The program is named for the late Dr. Carl Moyer, who recommended incentives programs as a way to unite business, government and environmental groups in a common effort to reduce air pollution.