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The California Air Resources Board March 6 announced proposals to change elements of its Truck and Bus Rule emissions regulations that would mostly impact contractors with low-milage work trucks, very small fleets and owner-operators, though some elements could impact fleets.
CARB’s rule required that all truck owners running in the state with pre-2007 model engines either by Jan. 1 replace their equipment with a 2007 or later model engine or install a particulate matter filter.
Changes to the regulations that will directly affect contractors are a redefinition of “low-mileage construction trucks” and extended compliance dates for those trucks.
Under the proposed update, low-mileage construction trucks are now referred to as “work trucks.” These trucks travel less than 20,000 miles per year and owners were tasked with a compliance deadline schedule that required fleets with work trucks to have 33 percent of their fleet in compliance by January 1 2014, 66 percent by January 1 2015 and 100 percent by January 1, 2016.
The new schedule has been extended over the next four years and the full-compliance date is now 2018 as is shown below.
According to CARB, if the fleet owner meets the compliance schedule above for the entire fleet of heavier or lighter vehicles, except vehicles that are using the Low-Use Exemption, the remaining heavier or lighter low mileage work trucks in the fleet may be exempt from meeting compliance for that year. And any vehicle that meets compliance may be counted towards the schedule even if it is not a low mileage work truck.
Owners of a lighter or heavier low-mileage work truck must meet compliance by January 1, 2016.
Plus, an extension for properly labeling low-mileage work trucks has been added. By January 31, 2015, fleet owners of work trucks must affix or paint an identification label on all low-mileage work trucks and within thirty days after notification that any additional trucks have been approved as follows:
1. The letters WT or CT shall be white block lettering on a black background. Both letters shall be at least three inches high on a five by eight inch background.
2. The label shall be located on the left and right door of the vehicle and be in clear view at all times.
Beth White, CARB’s manager, said other proposed changes include:
CARB is accepting public comment on the proposals until April 21, and then the board will meet the same day to discuss the changes and consider public comments before either voting to approve them or making changes and then having another 15-day comment period.
CARB previously implement its “good faith” efforts extension for owner-operators and small fleets (three trucks or fewer) in November, and it allows a delay in compliance with the regulations to July 1 if truck owners either (a) have an agreement with an authorized installer for a particulate matter filter retrofit, (b) have signed a purchase contract and ordered a replacement truck equipped with a particulate matter filter (engines must be 2007 or newer) or (c) have been approved or denied financing for a retrofit particulate matter filter or for a replacement truck equipped with a particulate matter filter.
To take advantage of the good faith efforts extension, truck owners can use the CARB TRUCRS system.