CARB rules: DPF sales spike prompts gratitude from emissions controls makers

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 8/6/2014

Truck owners may not be cheering on new regulations from the California Air Resources Board, but there is one national organization supportive of new emissions rules.

Sales of diesel particulate filters for trucks and buses in California jumped in late 2013 and early 2014 due to the implementation of CARB’s On Road Truck and Bus Regulation.

According to the Manufacturers of Emissions Controls Association, or MECA, the total number of CARB-verified DPFs sold by MECA company members between January and June 2014 to comply with the Truck and Bus Rule was 5,780. The sales figures show an increase of 65 percent over the 3,508 DPFs sold during the same six-month period of 2013 and also show that sales kept pace with the 5,457 DPFs sold in the second half of 2013.

MECA said its companies sold 6,261 DPFs to California truck and bus owners in 2012.

“Retrofit manufacturers are encouraged by the recent increase in DPF sales for trucks and buses in California,” MECA Executive Director Joseph Kubsh said in a news release. “MECA applauds ARB for their increased outreach and enforcement efforts to ensure compliance by vehicle owners with the truck and bus regulation.”

Predicted to cost the industry more than $1 billion, the Truck and Bus rule requires most trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds to be upgraded either with diesel particulate filters or by upgrading to cleaner and newer engines between 2012 and 2023.

In CARB’s recently published advisory on the Truck and Bus Rule, CARB says fleet owners who reported by Jan. 31, 2014, to use existing compliance options may “continue to use them without taking any additional action this year.” Truck owners who reported “good faith efforts” to meet the rule’s Jan. 1, 2014, compliance date must have completed those upgrade actions by July 1, 2014, unless they are able to use newly approved options including an economic hardship provision.

CARB approved several changes to the rule at its April 2014 board meeting, including the allowance of more time for truck fleets of three or fewer to comply. Those changes should continue to keep sales robust, MECA said.

“We also thank ARB for including diesel retrofits as a compliance option under the economic hardship extension as part of the recent amendments to the truck and bus regulation,” Kubsh said, according to the release. “MECA member companies look forward to continuing to work with ARB staff and fleet owners to help reduce harmful emissions from on-road vehicles in California.”

MECA said about 100,000 retrofit DPFs have been sold in the U.S. since 2001 for both on-road and off-road vehicles.

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