CARB unveils $1 billion plan to reduce emissions

| 9/26/2007

California plans to spend beaucoup bucks cleaning up the state’s air, especially in southern California.

The California Air Resources Board has announced a proposal to “comprehensively modernize” all heavy-duty trucks that don’t meet 2007 emissions standards. The proposed restriction would apply to all trucks operating in southern California by the year 2014. The plan is part of an effort for the region to meet federal air standards by the year 2015.

CARB’s board will consider approving the new restriction at its meeting scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Sept. 27 and 28. The meeting will be Webcast here.

CARB developed the proposed rules after working closely with the South Coast Air Quality Management District – the air pollution control agency for heavily polluted Orange County and portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The plan is part of CARB’s planned $1.1 billion “goods movement emissions reductions” effort.

“This agreement signals the dawn of a new day in cooperation between state and local air quality agencies that will result in cleaner air,” said Mary Nichols, CARB chairman.

CARB estimates the plan could reduce combined emissions of NOx and diesel particulate matter by 250,000 tons over the life of equipment purchased through the bond program.

Other efforts to decrease emissions will include CARB pushing electrification of truck stop parking and rest stop parking spaces and lobbying federal authorities to reduce locomotive emissions prior to 2014 or providing funding for California officials to “achieve equivalent reductions,” a CARB news release stated.

Also, local governments will be asked to dedicate 40 percent of vehicle registration fees to pay for heavy-duty truck air pollution-related programs – an estimated $10 million annually.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer