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California ARB releases DPF evaluation report

15 May 2015

The California Air Resources Boards (ARB) released a report that discusses their findings regarding the cost, reliability, and fire safety of diesel particulate filters (DPF) in on-road applications.

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Many stakeholders—particularly California truck operators—voiced concerns regarding the cost, reliability and fire safety of DPFs, and perceived adverse impacts of PM filters on the performance of their trucks. In response to these concerns, the ARB conducted an investigation that focused on three main questions:

The ARB evaluation concluded that (1) PM filters do not increase the likelihood of truck fires and are manufactured in accordance with federal and state safety requirements; (2) PM filters are effective in removing more than 98% of toxic diesel PM emissions; and (3) PM filters are operating properly, and most trucking fleets are not having problems with their engines or PM filters. While some fleets are experiencing problems with their PM filters, engine durability issues and inadequate maintenance practices are the primary reasons for these problems, found the report.

The report includes five recommendations in regards to future ARB efforts:

  1. Continue Working to Hold Manufacturers Accountable. New in-use emission measurement programs will help better enforce engine certification standards. Additionally, the ARB is considering amendments to their Emissions Warranty Information Reporting regulations to hold manufacturers accountable for high warranty claims that can result in excess emissions.
  2. Educate Truck and Bus Owners and Operators. The ARB will identify best preventive maintenance practices to maintain properly functioning engines, and to disseminate this information to fleets.
  3. Enhance Certification Programs. Improvements to ARB’s certification program requirements will provide broader in-use protections, greater warranty protections, and better assurances of engine component durability.
  4. Develop Stronger Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Requirements. ARB is developing a proposal to expand heavy-duty truck inspection and maintenance requirements to help ensure these vehicles and their emissions control systems are properly maintained.
  5. Continue to Provide Assistance to Fleets Operating Retrofits in On-Road and Off-Road Applications. The ARB will continue to investigate fleet concerns with retrofit performance in on-road and off-road applications.

Source: California ARB