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newsrel -- ARB unveils proposed rules to reduce big rig pollution

Posted: 24 Oct 2008 11:03:00
ARB takes another step to reducing the California's exposure to
diesel exhaust. 

Release 08-96
October 24, 2008
Karen Caesar

ARB unveils proposed rules to reduce big rig pollution

Regulations expected to prevent 9,400 premature deaths, improve
air quality, reduce greenhouse gases;
more than $1 billion in funding assistance available for
business owners

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board today made available today
for public comment its latest draft version of two landmark
regulations that, if adopted at the Board's December hearing,
will clean up emissions from the estimated one million
heavy-duty diesel trucks that operate in California beginning in

The first proposed regulation will require truck owners to
install diesel exhaust filters on their rigs starting in 2010,
with nearly all vehicles upgraded by 2014. Owners must also turn
over engines older than the 2010 equivalent according to a
staggered implementation schedule between 2012 and 2022.
Further, long haul truckers must install fuel efficient tires
and aerodynamic devices on their trailers that lower greenhouse
gas emissions and improve fuel economy.

The state is offering truck owners more than a billion dollars
in funding opportunities to help with the cost of the proposed
diesel rule. Funding options include Carl Moyer grants, which
are designated for early or surplus compliance with diesel
regulations; Proposition 1B funds, for air quality improvements
related to goods movement; and AB 118, which establishes a
low-cost truck loan program to help pay for early compliance
with the truck rule.

Diesel emissions are toxic, associated with cancer, and can also
exacerbate cardiovascular and respiratory ailments. The truck
regulation is expected to save 9,400 lives between 2010 and
2025, and greatly reduce health care costs. These benefits have
a value of $48 to $69 billion. The cost of installing the
trailer greenhouse-gas-reducing technologies will be quickly
paid back through lower fuel use.

"This diesel regulation is absolutely vital to the well-being of
all Californians, but we know there are financial challenges,"
said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "The Governor, legislature
and voters have approved more than a billion dollars in loans
and grants to truckers and business owners to help them comply
with this crucial public health measure. If passed, these
regulations will ultimately help improve both public health and
the economy, especially when you account for the reduced health
care costs we will see thanks to fewer hospital visits,
mortalities and work days lost caused by exposure to big rig
diesel exhaust."

ARB staff held dozens of workshops and met with hundreds of
business owners and other stakeholders over the last 18 months.
Flexible funding options exist and the ARB is working to create
more so that this regulation can be fully implemented at the
lowest cost and we can all benefit from vastly improved air

Without this regulation, California will not be able to meet
U.S. EPA-mandated air quality standards and deadlines, and could
subsequently lose billions of dollars in federal highway

To provide flexibility, the diesel regulation is structured so
that owners can choose from among three compliance options to
meet regulation requirements. There are exceptions to the
regulation, including low-use vehicles, emergency and military
tactical vehicles, and personal use motor homes. School buses
would be subject only to requirements for reducing diesel
particulate matter and not for engine replacement.

To better assist truckers, ARB is evaluating ways to integrate
these programs so that truckers can get a grant and a loan at
the same time, minimizing paperwork and significantly reducing
the monthly payments for a new truck loan.

Heavy-duty big rigs are the largest remaining source of
unregulated diesel emissions, responsible for 32 percent of the
smog-forming emissions and nearly 40 percent of the
cancer-causing emissions from diesel mobile sources (other
diesel emitters include trains, off-road vehicles and marine
engines). The rules are expected to impact more than 400,000
trucks registered in the state, as well as about 500,000
out-of-state vehicles that do business in California, and over a
half million trailers.

To reduce diesel emissions and improve air quality and public
health, the ARB adopted a Diesel Risk Reduction Plan in 2000 and
has already passed regulations addressing urban buses, garbage
trucks, school bus and truck idling, stationary engines,
transport refrigeration units, cargo handling equipment at ports
and rail yards, off-road vehicles, port trucks and other

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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