State of California

Summary of Board Meeting
December 12, 1996

Air Resources Board
Board Hearing Room, Lower Level
2020 "L" Street
Sacramento, California

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Hons. John D. Dunlap, III, Chairman
                                                 Joseph C. Calhoun, P.E.
                                                 Lynne T. Edgerton, Esq.
                                                 M. Patricia Hilligoss
                                                 Jack C. Parnell
                                                 Barbara Riordan
                                                 Ron Roberts
                                                 James W. Silva
                                                 Doug Vagim



Public Meeting to Consider a Report on the Proposed Federal Ozone and Particulate Matter Standards


Staff reported on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) proposals for revising the federal air quality standards for ozone and particulate matter released on November 27, 1996. Staff described the process for reviewing federal air quality standards, summarized U.S. EPA's proposals, discussed the development of implementation policies, and provided an initial assessment of the implications for California.

U.S. EPA has proposed changes to its health-based standards for both ozone and particulate matter following an extensive review of recent scientific studies. For ozone, U.S. EPA proposes replacing the current one-hour standard of 0.12 parts per million (ppm) with an eight-hour standard of 0.08 ppm. U.S. EPA also proposes adding new fine particulate matter or PM2.5 standards. The proposed PM2.5 standards include a 24-hour standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) and an annual standard of 15 ug/m3. For PM10, U.S. EPA proposes leaving the annual standard at its current level of 50 ug/m3 and retaining the 24-hour standard at 150 ug/m3 but allowing additional exceedances.

U.S. EPA has also proposed an interim implementation policy to guide the transition to the new standards. The goal of the policy is to ensure that states do not "backslide" on existing programs required by the Clean Air Act during the transition period. U.S. EPA will develop additional implementation policies over the next few years to address other critical issues.

Criteria for designating nonattainment areas and the schedule for attainment are due in mid-1998, followed by specific planning and control requirements in mid-1999.

Staff concluded that while the new standards would pose some challenges, California is well positioned to address them. The State already has the cleanest businesses and industries in the nation, and the approved 1994 Ozone State Implementation Plan will provide significant further air quality improvements statewide over the next fifteen years.

Following staff's presentation, Ken Bigos from U.S. EPA Region IX provided a brief overview of the health studies that U.S. EPA considered in its review of the standards.

Chairman Dunlap directed staff to hold two public forums in January 1997 to provide California stakeholders an opportunity to comment on U.S. EPA's proposals. Chairman Dunlap also requested that staff forward the public's comments to U.S. EPA.





96-10-2 Public Hearing to Consider Technical Status and Proposed Revisions to Malfunction and Diagnostic System Requirements for 1994 and Subsequent Model Year Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium Duty Vehicles and Engines (OBD II)


The Air Resources Board (Board) conducted a public hearing to review the technical status and implementation of California's OBD II requirements.

Regarding the current status of the OBD II program, staff reported to the Board that, in general, the systems were working properly and have been correctly identifying actual component malfunctions on vehicles. Because of the relatively low mileage of most OBD II-equipped vehicles (some 1994 and 1995 but mainly 1996 model year vehicles), most detected malfunctions have been traced to manufacturing problems. However, some manufacturers have experienced a small number of false malfunction indications and have taken swift action to address the situation.

The Board also considered amendments to the applicable regulations to address manufacturers' implementation concerns, to clarify the regulations where necessary, and to improve the effectiveness of the regulations for future model year vehicles.

Specifically, the Board considered amendments to the OBD II regulation to facilitate implementation of enhanced catalyst and misfire diagnostics. The Board also considered two new requirements for monitoring of the thermostat and the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system. Lastly, the Board considered amendments to increase the availability of service information to service technicians.


Steve Douglas                                  American Automobile Manufacturers
                                                        Association (AAMA)

Frank Krich                                      Chrysler

Greg Dana                                        Association of International Automobile
                                                         Manufacturers (AIAM)

John Valencia                                    California Automotive Wholesalers

Paul Haluza                                       Motor and Equipment Manufacturers
                                                         Association (MEMA) and eight other

Jack Heyler                                       Automotive Service Councils of California

Dave Ferris                                       General Motors

John Trajnowski                                Ford


Approved Resolution 96-60 by a unanimous vote.


STAFF REPORT:  Yes (91 pages)

96-10-3 Consideration of Research Proposals

The Board approved Resolutions 96-61, 96-62, 96-63, 96-64 by a unanimous vote.