The California Air Resources Board March 6 announced proposals to change elements of its Truck & Bus Rule emissions regulations that would mostly impact very small fleets and owner-operators, though some elements could impact fleets of all sizes.
CARB’s rule required that all truck owners running in the state with pre-2007 model engines either by Jan. 1 replace their equipment with a 2007 or later model engine or install a particulate matter filter.
Beth White, CARB’s manager, said the proposed changes include:
- Delaying the filter retrofit deadline for trucks running exclusively in NOx exempt counties in the state until Jan. 1, 2015. These are rural areas where the amount of NOx in the air is below federal requirements and include counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Eastern Kern, Glenn, Humbolt, Inyo, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocina, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Nevada, Northern Sonoma, Plumas, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Northern Sutter, the Lake Tahoe Air Basin, portions of El Dorado and Placer, Trinity, Tehama, Tuolumne and Yuba.
- Allowing truck owners who were denied a loan to waive the PM filter requirement for up to three vehicles in a fleet if they make a commitment to replace the non-compliant truck with a truck with a 2010 or later engine by 2018, White says. This change would apply to owners with fleets of any size.
- Changing the low-use exemption requirements to include trucks that travel 5,000 miles or fewer in a year, in addition to those who run 1,000 miles or fewer within California. The 5,000 miles would be total mileage on the truck for the year, not 5,000 miles within California borders, White says.
- Allowing owners with three trucks or fewer an extended phase-in period for installing retrofit filters. Instead of requiring that the first truck be retrofitted by 2014, the second by 2015 and the third by 2016, the proposal would require the trucks be retrofitted by 2014, 2016 and 2018. One truck owners still were required to comply by the Jan. 1 deadline, but those with two trucks would not have to install a filter until Jan. 1, 2016, on the second truck.
- Pushing back the date that truck owners must replace an older truck with one with a 2010 or later year model engine to 2023 (from 2020) if they installed a PM filter on a truck with a 2006 year model or older engine by Jan. 1, 2014.
- Adding a provision that would not require truck owners to replace more than 25 percent of their fleet in a year to meet CARB’s replacement requirements.
CARB is accepting public comment on the proposals until April 21, and then the board will meet the same day to discuss the changes and consider public comments before either voting to approve them or making changes and then having another 15-day comment period.
CARB previously implement its “good faith” efforts extension for owner-operators and small fleets (three trucks or fewer) in November, and it allows a delay in compliance with the regulations to July 1 if truck owners either (a) have an agreement with an authorized installer for a particulate matter filter retrofit, (b) have signed a purchase contract and ordered a replacement truck equipped with a particulate matter filter (engines must be 2007 or newer) or (c) have been approved or denied financing for a retrofit particulate matter filter or for a replacement truck equipped with a particulate matter filter.
To take advantage of the good faith efforts extension, truck owners can use the CARB TRUCRS system.