CARB reefer rule includes March registration deadline

| 2/11/2009

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved California’s new limits on reefers entering and operating inside the Golden State, giving truck owners and drivers about five months to prepare before enforcement hits on July 17, 2009.

The CARB reefer rule in its entirety will be an expensive one for trucking businesses.

To comply with CARB’s reefer rule, reefers operating in California must meet CARB’s “in-use performance standards,” which phase in requirements every year for reefers seven years and older. For instance, if the rule is enforced in late 2009, transport refrigeration units – dubbed TRUs by the agency – and gensets for those units built in 2002 and earlier must meet the new standards. In 2010, 2003 and older models must meet the new standards.

CARB needed EPA approval to enforce the regulation on trucks entering the state. CARB decided in December to wait to enforce the new regulation until six months after its approval from the EPA.

“This decision affects not only persons in California, but also persons outside the state who would need to comply with California’s TRU (air toxic control measure) regulations to enter California with TRU engines,” CARB stated in an e-mail. “Therefore, this action has national applicability.”

For more information on the TRU rule, click here.

In addition to complying with the rule, trucks with reefers entering or operating in the state must be registered with CARB’s reefer registry. California-based businesses will be required to be registered with CARB’s reefer registry by mid-March.

California is the only state allowed to create emissions standards stricter than federal ones, though it must obtain a waiver from the EPA. After such a waiver is granted, other states can adopt California regulations.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer