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newsrel -- Landmark Rule to Reduce Diesel Emissions

Posted: 26 Jul 2007 18:49:40
Please consider the following Air Resources Board press release
announcing the Board's decision regarding in-use off-road diesel


Release 07-26
July 26, 2007

Leo Kay
(916) 322-2990 
Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728

ARB adopts landmark rule to reduce toxic emissions from off-road

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board today adopted a
pioneering regulation aimed at reducing toxic and cancer-causing
diesel emissions from the state's estimated 180,000 "off-road"
vehicles used in construction, mining, airport ground support
and other industries.

"This regulation will prevent thousands of premature deaths and
reduce health care costs for those suffering from respiratory
disease such as asthma," said Mary Nichols, ARB Chairman. "It is
also the first of its kind in the nation, and, as has occurred
with other California regulations, could serve as a model for
other states to follow."

Diesel particulate matter, or diesel "soot," was identified as a
toxic air contaminant in 1998. In 2000, the ARB established
California's Diesel Risk Reduction Plan, which aims to reduce
diesel emissions to 85 percent below 2000 levels by 2020. Other
sources of diesel particulate matter such as transit buses,
trash trucks, cargo-handling equipment and ship auxiliary
engines have already been addressed through regulations, along
with diesel fuel.

Because many diesel engines lack emission controls and can
remain in use for 30 years or longer, they will remain a major
contributor to air pollution for years to come. The regulation
adopted today will dramatically reduce emissions by installation
of diesel soot filters and encouraging the replacement of older,
dirtier engines with newer emission controlled models. By 2020,
diesel particulate matter will be reduced by 74 percent and smog
forming oxides of nitrogen by 32 percent, compared to what
emissions would be without the regulation.

The new rule also includes a provision allowing areas that are
currently unable to achieve clean air standards set by the US
EPA for particulate matter to opt in to stricter regional
requirements if incentive funds are made available. The air
districts that could take advantage of this provision are the
South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin
Valley Air Pollution Control District; both are considered
"non-attainment areas" for particulate matter. Depending on the
amount of incentive money made available, these provisions could
as much as a double the NOx emissions benefits in these
districts, setting them on a faster track to meeting their clean
air goals.

The requirements and deadlines vary depending on fleet size. For
small fleets, which include small businesses or municipalities
with a combined horsepower of 2500 or less, implementation does
not begin until 2015. Medium fleets, with 2501 to 5000
horsepower, have until 2013, while large fleets, with over 5000
horsepower, must begin complying in 2010. Affected vehicles
include bulldozers, loaders, backhoes and forklifts, as well as
many other self-propelled off-road diesel vehicles.

ARB performed a comprehensive economic analysis of the rule's
impact on business, concluding that the regulation will cost
industry up to $3.5 billion over its lifetime. Staff reviewed
individual companies' financial records and conducted numerous
workshops to discuss the cost of the regulation as well as
impacts on individual businesses. ARB also gave special
consideration to small businesses (e.g., small fleets have until
2015 to begin compliance, while large fleets must begin in 2010)
to ensure that the regulation would not provide undue economic

The Board's action today also sets the stage for efforts next
year to develop similar requirements for the hundreds of
thousands of on-road trucks that travel on California's roads
every day.

According to ARB estimates, over its course, this rule will
prevent at least 4,000 premature deaths statewide and avoid $18
- $26 billion in premature death and health costs.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.


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