CARB launches loan program for offroad diesel vehicles

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The California Air Resources Board is offering $5 million from the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help California small businesses replace, repower or retrofit their offroad diesel vehicles. CARB has partnered with the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, part of the State Treasurers Office, to offer loan assistance to help small businesses upgrade their offroad diesel vehicles used in construction, agriculture, mining and industrial operations.

The objective of the program is to encourage early compliance with CARB’s offroad diesel regulation. “Small businesses can take advantage of the loan program and modernize their vehicles, improving air quality and public health ahead of state deadlines,” says Mary Nichols, CARB chairman. “This funding program comes at a time when small businesses are trying to survive in a tough economy.”

CARB forecasts 320 loans will be issued under this loan assistance program to small businesses who cannot obtain financing for upgrading their offroad vehicles through conventional methods. “Assisting small businesses is an important part of getting California’s economy back on track,” says State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, chair of CPCFA. “This funding will help us achieve that goal and at the same time help rid the air of harmful pollutants.”

Eligibility requirements for the loan assistance program are:
• The company must be a small business with 500 or fewer employees;
• The majority of the employees must live in California;
• Most of the business operation takes place in California;
• Fleets of all sizes are eligible; and
• The business owner has a Diesel Offroad Online Reporting System (DOORS) identification number.

CPCFA will process the loans through its existing California Capital Access Program (CalCAP). Interested borrowers can apply for a loan by completing an application at a participating CalCAP Offroad Lender. The lender determines the applicant’s eligibility for a loan. For vehicle purchase or engine replacements, the borrower or dealer must provide to CalCAP verification of destruction of the older engine within 90 days of the loan date.

Loan assistance is available to cover any or all of the following:
• Engine repowers: Upgrades to a cleaner Tier 2 to Tier 4 engine that is either a CARB-certified or remanufactured engine;
• Replacement of an older vehicle with one of the same type and similar horsepower that is equipped with a cleaner Tier 2 to Tier 4 engine; and
• CARB-verified diesel emissions control devices or exhaust retrofits.

In addition, applicants may apply for projected maintenance costs for exhaust retrofits, installation and extended warranties for purchased vehicles. For more information on the offroad vehicle loan program, go to www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/ordiesel/documents/calcap_ag_off_road.pdf, call 866-6DIESEL or e-mail 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov.