New Transport Refrigeration Unit Regulation in Development
California needs to reduce public health risk from Transport Refrigeration Units (TRU) near distribution centers and other facilities where TRUs and TRU generator sets congregate; as well as achieve emission reductions while in transit, especially near the most impacted communities. Improving freight efficiency and transitioning to zero- or near-zero emission technologies will help reduce toxic air contaminant emissions, criteria pollutant emissions, and GHG emissions.
TRUs are currently defined as refrigeration systems that are powered by internal combustion engines (inside the unit housing). They control the environment of temperature-sensitive products that are transported in refrigerated trucks, trailers, railcars and shipping containers. They may be capable of cooling or heating. TRUs are used to transport and store many products, including, but not limited to food, pharmaceuticals, plants, medicines, blood, chemicals, photographic film, art work, and explosives.
Some companies use TRUs for extended cold storage during the four- to six-week period before major holidays and events. Distribution centers and grocery stores are known to run out of cold storage space in their buildings, so they store overflow goods in TRU-equipped trucks and trailers outside the grocery stores and distribution centers. Distribution centers and other cold storage facilities also attract large volumes of TRUs that contribute to higher localized health risk in nearby communities. The new regulation is developing concepts to reduce emissions from facilities with TRU activity by transitioning to zero-emission operation where practical.
July 27, 2021: Regulatory Documents Available for Public Comment
The Proposed Amendments to the TRU ATCM and a Draft Supplemental Environmental Analysis are now available on CARB’s Rulemaking Activity page for public comment. Other materials, including a fact sheet and prior workshop presentations are available on our Meetings & Workshops page.
January 22, 2021: Informational Document on Changes to the TRU Rulemaking
California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff are releasing a document that summarizes the recent changes to the TRU rulemaking and provides additional information on the key elements staff may include in amendments to the TRU Airborne Toxic Control Measure, which are expected to be brought to the Board in fall 2021 (staff proposal released in summer 2021).
This is an informational document and there will not be a formal comment period. However, stakeholders may continue to send questions or comments to Lea Yamashita throughout the formal regulatory process.
October 23, 2020: Update on the Draft Concept for the New TRU Regulation
On September 23, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order (EO) N-79-20, which directed CARB to develop and propose strategies to achieve 100 percent zero‑emission from off‑road vehicles, equipment, and operations in the State by 2035. Although the draft concept for the new TRU Regulation meets the direction of the EO for truck TRUs, it does not for the other TRU categories (trailer TRUs, domestic shipping container TRUs, railcar TRUs, and TRU generator sets). As such, staff are proceeding with bifurcation of the draft concept for the new TRU Regulation.
The 2021 regulatory proposal will transition truck TRUs to zero‑emission, impose a stricter diesel particulate matter (PM) emission standard for newly manufactured TRUs in the remaining categories, require the use of lower global warming potential refrigerant, include facility reporting requirements, and will be brought to the Board in the summer of 2021. The 2021 action will achieve oxides of nitrogen (NOX) reductions from the zero-emission truck TRU requirement, PM reductions from the diesel emission standard, and GHG reductions from the lower global warming potential refrigerant requirement.
Staff will assess zero-emission options for trailer TRUs and the remaining TRU categories as part of an additional rulemaking for Board consideration in the 2023‑2024 timeframe.