Air Board Modifies Rules for Diesel Trucks
Truck owners working to meet state deadlines for replacing or installing emissions control equipment on their diesel vehicles have been granted compliance relief and face a new deadline of Jan. 31, 2014 with the Air Resources Board agency.
The agency said it's implementing some flexible compliance options to provide more time for many fleets to install particulate matter (PM) filters. The regulation requires diesel truck and bus owners to take steps to reduce their engine emissions as part of a state plan to meet federal air quality standards.
"For growers who use diesel trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 14,000 pounds or more, this regulatory change could provide some breathing room," said Cynthia Cory, California Farm Bureau Federation environmental affairs director. "But this is a time-limited opportunity that will require folks to take action before Jan. 31, 2014, to take advantage of these new options."
Although many heavier 1996-2006 engine model year trucks and buses are required to have particulate matter filters by Jan. 1, certain agricultural and low-use vehicles, as well as vehicles that operate in specific counties, already had been granted compliance extensions under the regulation's flexibility options.
ARB proposed further expansion of these flexibility options to include increasing low-use vehicle thresholds, adding new opt-in opportunities, expanding regions that are "NOx exempt" and providing more time in some areas to meet compliance requirements.
Cory noted the ARB will hold a series of public workshops to provide more information about the proposed amendments to the In-Use On-Road Heavy Duty Diesel-Fueled Vehicle Regulation. At the workshops, vehicle owners will have an opportunity to comment on proposed changes; see workshop times and locations below.
"The workshops will allow vehicle owners affected by the rule to evaluate proposed amendments and suggest modifications to regulatory approaches for meeting emission reduction requirements," she said.
Cory recommended that truck owners print the 2014 reporting form and bookmark the link on their computers:
"The most important fact to know is this reopening of the reporting for ag trucks and any of the other options—log truck phase-in, low mileage construction, NOx exempt, etc.—closes on Jan. 31, 2014. That gives us a very short window to register trucks and achieve compliance," she stressed.
In 2000, the ARB adopted its Diesel Risk Reduction Plan aimed at reducing diesel emissions from all sources, including trucks used in agriculture, urban buses, construction equipment, port trucks and fuels. The Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted in 2008. In 2010, it was amended to provide economic relief to truck owners affected by the recession, particularly small fleets, by delaying initial compliance requirements for one year and extending the time a truck could be operated before requiring replacement.
Information about regulatory requirements and modifications is available at www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/truckstop/truckstop.htm. Questions may be emailed