The California Air Resources Board issued regulatory advisories in December regarding the large-spark ignition engine fleet regulation that became effective in the state of California on Jan. 1, 2009.
One advisory notified fleet operators that CARB would not enforce compliance of the regulation before April 1, 2009. The advisory was prompted by a meeting with the California Manufacturers and Technology Association in October. “We met with them because they were concerned that some of their members were only now finding out about the regulation. They were just exploring what flexibility we had,” says Mark Williams, air pollution specialist at CARB.
In response to growing concern that some operators were becoming aware of the regulation too late, the board has allowed for purchase orders for new equipment and retrofit kits to be factored into fleet calculation. The purchase orders must be obtained by March 31 and the equipment must be implemented into the fleet by 2010. “We knew that especially since some of the operators were only recently becoming aware of the regulation, that they would have difficulty either getting new equipment into the fleet or getting existing equipment retrofitted prior to the Jan. 1 effective date, and so we said that if operators had a purchase order for either new equipment or a retrofit kit, then they could use the emissions standard for that piece of equipment or retrofitted piece of equipment in place of the emissions standard or default emission rate that applied to the piece of equipment that was either being replaced or retrofitted,” Williams says. “And we additionally said they had until the end of this year, 2009, to either get that new piece of equipment into the fleet or to get that existing piece of equipment retrofitted.”
Exclusion of Gasoline-fueled GSE
The board issued an additional regulatory advisory concerning model-year-1990-or-newer gasoline-fueled GSE with uncontrolled engines for which no verified retrofit kit was available by Jan. 1, 2007. Based upon existing language in the regulation, the advisory stated that those pieces of GSE may be excluded from the fleet average calculation until Jan. 1, 2011.
Though CARB has yet to issue an additional advisory on the matter, Williams says a subsequent deadline for an available verified retrofit kit for those pieces of gasoline-fueled GSE — Jan. 1, 2009 — has lapsed and thus the equipment can be excluded from fleet calculation until 2013. But, according to Williams, the exclusions stop there for the aging GSE units. “So what happens now is basically that gasoline-fueled equipment is allowed to be excluded until Jan. 1, 2013, but then the regulation says after Jan. 1, 2013, all uncontrolled GSE shall be included in calculations for determining compliance,” he says. “So at that point, because it’s still uncontrolled, I would expect that operators would want to retrofit it or retire it at that time, and in our discussions with the air carriers and the Air Transport Association, it was our impression that because of the age of the equipment at that time it would most likely be retired.”
For additional information, visit http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/offroad/orspark/orspark.htm or contact Mark Williams at 916-327-5610 or [email protected].