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California ARB to hold public workshop on new GHG and emissions standards for heavy-duty engines and vehicles

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hold a public workshop on 11 March to discuss proposals for several regulations and regulation amendments related to on-road heavy-duty vehicles.

At this workshop, staff will be soliciting input on proposals multiple proposals: a new regulation to harmonize with GHG emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles that US EPA adopted in 2011; amendments to ARB’s existing Heavy-Duty Vehicle GHG Emission Reduction Regulation to align with the proposed new GHG regulation; a new set of optional oxides of nitrogen (NOx) standards for heavy-duty vehicle engines more stringent than the current 2010 model year standard; and amendments to the Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) to Limit Diesel-fueled Commercial Motor Vehicle Idling to expand compliance responsibility.

ARB intends that this workshop, to be held in Sacramento, be the only one prior to Board consideration of these proposals in October of 2013.

  • In September 2011, US EPA adopted a new regulation for controlling GHG emissions from new medium and heavy-duty engines and vehicles. (Earlier post.) ARB staff proposes aligning with the federal regulation in order to provide California with the ability to certify engines and vehicles to the new standards as well as enforce them. This new regulation would be the first California regulation to set GHG emission limits for heavy-duty truck and engine manufacturers.

    The federal regulation is currently in the implementation phase, with compliance requirements beginning with 2014 model year and extending through 2018 model year engines and vehicles.

  • In December 2008, ARB approved the Tractor-Trailer GHG regulation which reduces GHG emissions from long-haul tractor-trailer combinations by requiring them to utilize US EPA SmartWay verified or designated technologies that will improve fuel efficiency. The recently adopted federal regulation establishes national GHG emission standards for 2014 and newer model year heavy-duty tractors. To harmonize the tractor requirements of the federal and California regulations, ARB staff is considering modifications to its Tractor-Trailer GHG regulation.

  • ARB staff will be also propose optional NOx emission standards for California certified 2015 and later model year engines. Staff may propose more than one optional NOx emission standard that would be below the existing 2010 model year standard. If the optional standards are adopted, ARB’s existing incentive programs such as the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment program could be modified to give preference to engines certified to the optional standards.

  • In 2004, ARB adopted an ATCM to Limit Diesel-fueled Commercial Motor Vehicle Idling. The ATCM, among other things, requires that drivers of diesel-fueled commercial motor vehicles with gross vehicle weight ratings greater than 10,000 pounds not operate the vehicle’s primary diesel engine at idle for more than five minutes at any location.

    ARB staff is proposing to extend responsibility for complying with the requirements of the idling ATCM to the owner of the vehicle. Specifically, the owner may be held responsible for violations by the driver in instances where the owner failed to provide the driver with a compliant alternative to engine idling during rest periods.

    In addition, staff’s proposal would require California-based shippers and California-based brokers to share responsibility for compliance with the idling restrictions in the event that they utilized the services of motor carriers that violated the regulation and/or they did not settle their outstanding fines.

The workshop will be divided into three sessions to facilitate independent discussion of the individual rules.


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