CARB now to allow retrofits for reefer rule compliance

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 3/13/2015

It isn’t every day that a California Air Resources Board staff member can tell truck owners they may be able to spend less money than expected to comply with a state emissions regulation.

The good news explains the excitement coming through the phone line from CARB Staff Air Pollution Specialist Rod Hill concerning Transportation Refrigeration Units, or reefers.

“What we’re trying to make sure happen is to make sure these folks are aware that engine replacement as a compliance option has gone away,” Hill told Land Line Magazine. “The good news is, it’s actually cheaper to retrofit than replace the engine.”

“The compliance costs have effectively gone down,” he said.

CARB’s Transport Refrigeration Unit Rule first began enforcing emissions upgrades under its LETRU standards in 2008 for 2001 and older reefers. Because the regulation enforces emissions upgrades seven years after the model year, Hill said many reefer owners who last upgraded to meet the Low Emission Transport Refrigeration Unit (LETRU) standard in 2008 will need to meet CARB’s ULETRU standard in 2015.

Though many 2001 reefers may already have been replaced after so many hours of operation, Hill said CARB wanted produce haulers and other reefer owners to understand the compliance options in front of them before they invest in new equipment. Most importantly, Hill said, engine replacement is not a compliance option going forward.

To clarify compliance options, CARB emailed a message last week detailing possible solutions for reefer owners.

Hill said CARB estimates a Level 3 DPF retrofit for TRUs to cost $2,000 to $2,500 less than a reefer engine replacement.

“If they take a look at their engine and unit, and they say, ‘hey, this thing is still in good shape – I want to keep running it and bring it into compliance.’ They will be needing to retrofit it with a level 3 DPF.”

A list of DPF manufacturers who make level 3 compliance options for reefers is available at CARB’s TRU website. The website also details the plethora of possible compliance scenarios depending on OEM, replacements and other considerations.

To address individual questions, CARB has set up a TRU Help Line at 888-878-2826 or 916-327-8737.

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