CARB on reefer rule: 2004 reefers expire in December

| 9/8/2011

Truck owners who haul reefers in and out of California have until New Year’s Eve to replace 2004 model year engine trucks, according to a recent announcement by the California Air Resources Board.

CARB staff announced Wednesday, Sept. 7,  that it is not recommending a delay for enforcement of the agency’s Transportation Refrigeration Unit rule, which requires upgrades or replacements of reefer engines by Dec. 31 of the seventh year following the model year of that reefer unit.

CARB’s board is slated to formally consider the staff proposal at its October public hearing.

OOIDA Regulatory Affairs Director Joe Rajkovacz said reefer owners should pay attention to Wednesday’s announcement.

“If you have an ’04 unit, you better make plans to get a rebuilt engine in it or buy a new unit,” Rajkovacz told Land Line Now. “I don’t mean to sound so glib about it, but there are no really inexpensive options here.”

In an announcement that won’t likely surprise truckers, CARB staff says its previous trucking and reefer estimates – used during years of regulatory proposals, and rulemaking – are wrong.

“Staff has learned that TRU engine activity at distribution centers is greater than understood to be in the 2004 rulemaking,” CARB said in a news release. “Therefore, extending the operational life of Model Year (MY) 2004 and newer TRU engines beyond seven years would increase the duration of the public’s exposure to diesel PM emissions and delay the reduction of public health risks near the facilities where TRUs congregate in large numbers. Given this, ARB staff is not proposing to extend the operational life of MY 2004 and newer TRU engines.”

OOIDA’s Rajkovacz said CARB’s newfound data on reefers at distribution centers is hypocritical. CARB has rejected consideration of reefer units by hours operated, Rajkovacz said, which would offer a more accurate picture of TRU emissions than a simple model year approach.

“This is a joke because CARB never ever did any studies to show the difference of emissions based on engine hours,” Rajkovacz told Land Line Now. “Not the number of years of age, but engine hours. That’s the key metric in looking at increased emissions. You can have a seven-year-old unit with say 25,000 hours on it, and somebody else could easily have 5,000 hours on the unit, but they’re regulating them all as if they’re the same.

Land Line Now Reporter Reed Black contributed to this article.