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California delays enforcement of off-road equipment regulation

15 February 2010

The California Air Resources Board announced that no enforcement action will be taken to implement the off-road in-use diesel engine emission regulation. The regulatory deadline for large fleets was originally March 1, 2010.

The off-road regulation was postponed in response to a petition by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), who requested that the ARB delays the regulatory deadlines by a period of two years. The decision to postpone enforcement is also due to the fact that ARB has not yet received an authorization from US EPA to enforce the emission related requirements of the regulation.

The ARB said it will issue a formal advisory this week, notifying all stakeholders that no enforcement action will be taken. A hearing will be held in Sacramento on March 11, 2010 to determine the need to amend the regulation to address the economic recession confronting California and its adverse impacts on the construction and other industries that operate off-road vehicles.

Some requirements of the regulation remain in effect, including the idling, reporting, labeling, and sales disclosure requirements. This means that large fleets still must comply with the April 1, 2010 reporting deadline and must report their reduced activity and reduced horsepower to ARB.

The ARB assured fleets that, whatever further changes to the regulation may be enacted, ARB staff will strive to ensure that those fleets that have been proactive and taken steps to reduce their off-road vehicles’ emissions—by modernizing and installing exhaust retrofits—will receive full credit for those actions under the revised regulation.

The off-road equipment rule, adopted in 2007, imposed a combination of emission requirements, including installation of diesel particulate filters and replacement of older engines with newer models. For small fleets with a combined horsepower up to 2500 hp, implementation begins in 2015. Medium fleets, with 2501-5000 hp, have until 2013 to comply. The implementation was to start in March 2010 for large fleets with over 5000 hp. The rule affected an estimated 180,000 off-road vehicles, such as bulldozers, loaders, backhoes and forklifts, as well as many other self-propelled off-road diesel vehicles.

Source: California ARB