CARB Amends Off-Road Diesel Emissions Rule

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reports that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has amended the off-road diesel emissions rule, which had been proposed at a previous CARB meeting.

As agreed by the CARB, annual emissions reduction requirements have been eased and contractors will receive credit for their voluntary efforts to reduce the emissions of their off-road diesel fleets. These changes will save contractors a minimum of $1.5 billion compared to the earlier rule, according to the Board’s initial estimates, while ensuring greater overall emissions reductions, according to AGC.

“While we continue to work through a number of technical challenges associated with this new rule, we believe the changes now on the table will give California’s construction contractors the time they require to recover from the economic downturn,” said Mike Kennedy, the general counsel for the AGC. “More important, we are demonstrating that the best way to reduce diesel emissions is to give the latest technology time to make its way into the marketplace.”

Newly manufactured equipment is getting cleaner, noted Kennedy. And, as newer vehicles replace older ones, the debate over retroactive mandates will likely dissipate, he said. “This is how we have improved the gas mileage of our automobiles, and it remains the best way to reduce off-road diesel emissions. We encourage the Board’s members to approve this new rule during their December meeting,” he added.