CARB revamps in-use retrofit rule – small carriers given more time

| 3/17/2009

The California Air Resources Board recently highlighted specific diesel engine requirements for its on-road truck and bus rule – and at first glance small trucking businesses appear to have gained some time to repower their fleets.

The truck and bus rule, also known as the “retrofit” rule, requires trucks and buses to meet new diesel emissions performance standards between 2011 and 2023. By January 1, 2023, all diesel trucks must have a 2010 model year engine or newer.

CARB announced in mid-March that it is allowing small fleets (fleets of three or fewer trucks) to keep one truck with a 2004 through 2006 engine with a particulate matter filter until Jan. 1, 2019.

Also, a one-truck operation with a 2007 or newer engine originally equipped with a PM filter would not be subject to any of the retrofit rule’s requirements until 2021.

In a fact sheet, CARB stated that the truck and bus regulation includes less stringent requirements for small fleets due to the slower turnover and less financial resources small fleets generally demonstrate compared with larger fleets.

“Almost 50 percent of the affected vehicles registered in California are owned by fleets that have three or fewer diesel vehicles,” CARB stated. “Because of the limited number of vehicles in each of these fleets, small fleets are typically not able to effectively take full advantage of flexibility options provided in the regulation.”

The increased time will also allow truck owners more chances at grants and other emissions funding through government and other sources.

For more information, click here.

The updated fact sheet allows for several years more than the previous interpretation of CARB’s retrofit rule, which was approved in December 2008. Under earlier interpretations, small-business trucking companies would have been banned from using trucks with 2003 model year engines by 2014, and trucks with 2004 model year engines would have been banned either in 2017 or in 2018. Now, small fleets that have trucks with 2003 engines with a PM filter will be good until 2016, and trucks with 2004 model year engines can enter the state until 2019.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer