CARB's Greenhouse Gas Rule 2.0 includes idling expansion among changes

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Thursday, October 24, 2013

By late fall, California plans to consider an apparently relaxed version of its Greenhouse Gas Regulation – also known as the SmartWay Rule, which required a combination of low-rolling-resistance tires, EPA-designated SmartWay truck body designs, and aerodynamic equipment for trailers.

The California Air Resources Board will hold a public hearing about the proposal at 9 a.m., Dec. 12, at the Byron Sher Auditorium in Sacramento.

The proposed changes would eventually sunset CARB’s SmartWay requirement for 2013 sleep cab and day cab trucks, but would keep in place requirements for trailers and older tractors.

The proposal will also bring CARB’s greenhouse gas emission standards in line with the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Phase 1 program for truck engines made for model years 2014 through 2019.

In addition to the changes to the SmartWay program, CARB will also consider an update to the state’s five-minute idling limit. It would expand enforcement to include truck owners and “the motor carrier that dispatched the vehicle.” The change also would add hotels, motels and schools to the list of restricted areas. Trucks wouldn’t be allowed to idle diesel engines or diesel-powered APU’s within 100 feet of restricted areas under the proposal.

“The proposed amendments will ensure that emissions benefits from the existing (rule) are realized by enhancing ARB’s ability to enforce the (rule), and would provide those members of the public who attend schools, or work or reside at hotels and motels additional protection from exposure to diesel particulate matter and other toxic air contaminants,” CARB staff wrote.

A third leg of the proposed rule would allow truck engine manufacturers to offer engines that meet NOx or oxides of nitrogen standards that are more stringent than required by California or the EPA. In background for the proposal, CARB staff said engine manufacturers began meeting optional NOx standards in 2004 that were stricter than required by existing CARB standards.

“Such optional standards allowed local air district and ARB to preferentially provide incentive funding to the purchasers of cleaner trucks, which encouraged the development of cleaner engines,” CARB staff wrote.

The proposed NOx changes would allow for newer standards to be met that are stricter than existing 2010 model year engine requirements.

For more information on the public hearing, click here. For more in-depth explanations of the proposals, click here.

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