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CARB adopts new In-Use Locomotive Regulation; zero emissions in state starting in 2030

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted the In-Use Locomotive Regulation—a new rule aimed at reducing emissions from all switch, passenger, industrial and freight line haul locomotives when they operate within the state.

Under the In-Use Locomotive Regulation, operators will now be required to pay into a spending account, with the amount determined by the emissions they create while operating in California. Companies will be able to use the funds to purchase, lease, or rent Tier 4 or cleaner locomotives, or for the remanufacture or repower to Tier 4 or cleaner locomotive(s). Companies can also use the funds at anytime to to purchase, lease, or rent zero emissions (ZE) locomotive(s), ZE capable locomotive(s), ZE rail equipment, or to repower to ZE locomotive(s) or ZE capable locomotive(s).

Locomotives also will have a 30-minute idling limit. Additionally, switch, industrial and passenger locomotives built in 2030 or after will be required to operate in zero-emissions configurations while in California, and in 2035 for freight line haul.

Beginning in 2030, only locomotives less than 23 years old will be able to operate in the state.

CARB expects the emissions reductions from the new regulation to be equal to almost double those emitted by all passenger vehicles in the state between now and 2050. CARB projects that the In-Use Locomotive Regulation will contribute the largest reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions toward meeting California air quality standards by the 2037 deadline.

The new rules offer flexibility to come into compliance, including alternatives to meet milestone deadlines and extensions for reasons that can include issues with available technologies or emergency situations. Funding programs are available, particularly for companies that are taking early action or those looking to go beyond the regulation’s requirements.

Funding support may be available through the Carl Moyer Program, Community Air Protection Incentives, Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, and other programs such as Advanced Technology Demonstration and Pilot Projects funded through the Low Carbon Transportation program. Additionally, billions in federal grants and rebates to reduce air pollution are available for operators, CARB said.


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