Release 00-29
November 20, 2000
CONTACT: Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990
Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730

California Air Resources Board Plans Tougher Requirements for 2005-06
Model Year Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines, Other States to Follow

Washington, DC.--  The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB) today announced plans to extend requirements limiting nitrogen oxide emissions from 2002-04 big-rig diesel truck engines to include 2005 model-year and later diesel engines.

       A coalition of 13 other states, including New York and Texas, is expected to adhere to the new California diesel engine requirements if the ARB adopts them, in effect making the rules de facto national regulations.

       California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Winston Hickox said, "I have asked other states to join California in adopting these requirements for 2005 and later.  These new rules are needed to prevent diesel manufacturers from deliberately designing and building higher polluting trucks in those years than they will build between 2002 and 2004."

       ARB is expected to adopt measures to extend the 2002-04 requirements for heavy-duty vehicles above 14,001 pounds through 2005 and later at its December 7-8 meeting in Sacramento.  The measure would preserve in 2005 about 8.4 tons per day (TPD) of nitrogen oxide (NOx) reductions.   By 2006, those emission reductions would rise to about 17.3 tpd.  According to ARB estimates, California's reduction represents about 8 percent of the national total.   ARB is the only state air quality agency with authority to adopt emission requirements different than U.S. EPA standards.   Other states can either adhere to U.S. EPA standards or opt for the ARB’s California requirements.

       The 1998 Consent Decree is the result of violations between 1988 and 1998 by seven manufacturers: Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel Corp., Mack, Renault, Navistar, and Volvo that resulted in more than one million diesel vehicles being equipped with defeat devices designed to override emission control systems.   Nationwide, those trucks in 1998 alone emitted about 1.3 million tons of excess NOx, the major component of photochemical smog.

        Federal heavy-duty standards containing the NOx reduction requirements have been adopted for 2007 model year and later vehicles. However, because of Clean Air
Act requirements, the U.S. EPA is restricted from adopting heavy-duty emission standards for 2005 and 2006.

       In addition to paying more than $83 million in fines, six of the seven (Navistar was excluded from test requirements) companies agreed to use specific engine tests to ensure emissions compliance during 2002-04.   These engine tests were adopted federally for the 2007 model year and later.   But because those requirements were never adopted for 2005-06, those companies will be able to revert back to weaker requirements between 2004 and 2007. The proposed ARB rule would prevent such an action.

       "California is urging other states to adopt these standards to better protect the health of their citizens from diesel pollution," Hickox added.

       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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