CARB’s emissions rules were ‘overkill’

Draft proposals and language for new on-road and off-road emissions regulations from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are expected to benefit the equipment rental industry as well as contractors and construction companies, according to the American Rental Association (ARA).

CARB is currently holding a series of workshops through Oct. 12 to present its draft proposals and language for new on-road and off-road emissions regulations.

A final draft is expected to be published in early November followed by a 45-day period for formal comments. CARB is scheduled to meet Dec. 16-17 and expected to then consider the revised regulations. ARA plans to submit formal comments as well as have representatives testify at the CARB meeting.

John McClelland, Ph.D, ARA’s vice president for government affairs, says ARA most recently focused on CARB’s model of how much fuel was used in off-road equipment to determine emissions.

“Our analysis was that the fuel use figures they used were four times greater than what we could verify using independent data sets, including data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency,” McClelland says. “A lot of evidence suggested they were over-estimating emissions from off-road equipment,” he says.

“We continued to work very diligently using data and scientific methods to show they were overestimating and the result has been that it appears that CARB staff members are now proposing a rule that eliminates the particulate matter requirements, which would have been the most difficult for rental companies to comply with,” he continues.

McClelland says it’s also been made “clear that using their compliance model and using the rental fleet data we had, that someone with the cleanest fleet could have been unable to comply with the rule as implemented and forced to needlessly eliminate certain pieces of equipment from a rental fleet before normal attrition. That means a company would have had to take virtually new equipment and eliminate it from use. The rule was overkill and we convinced them that it was overkill.”

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For off-road equipment, the rule has been delayed for at least two years and some fleets may not have to report again until Jan. 1, 2014.

CARB has made copies of its proposals and additional information about the rulemaking available online at