State of California

Summary of Board Meeting
December 9, 1994

Air Resources Board
Board Hearing Room, Lower Level
2020 "L" Street
Sacramento, California

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Hons. Barbara Riordan, Acting Chairwoman
                                                 Eugene A. Boston, M.D.
                                                 Joseph C. Calhoun, P.E.
                                                 Lynne T. Edgerton, Esq.
                                                 M. Patricia Hilligoss
                                                 John S. Lagarias, P.E.
                                                 Jack C. Parnell
                                                 Doug Vagim



Continued from December 8, 1994

Public Hearing to Consider Delaying Implementation of the Periodic Smoke Self-Inspection Program for Heavy-Duty Diesel-Powered Vehicle Fleets

Health and Safety Code section 43701(a) provides that the ARB adopt regulations which require owners or operators of heavy-duty diesel vehicles to perform regular inspections of their vehicles for excessive emissions of smoke. In accordance with this statutory requirement, the Board adopted regulations establishing the periodic smoke self-inspection program on December 10, 1992. These regulations require that owners and operators of fleets based in California, and which are comprised of two or more heavy-duty diesel vehicles, conduct tests for excessive smoke emissions annually. At that time, the Board directed that the program not be implemented until January 1, 1995. This would allow time for the development and publication of a revised smoke opacity meter sampling methodology for the snap-idle smoke test by a SAE committee.

Subsequently, in September of 1993, Assembly Bill (AB) 584 was passed. This bill modifies the roadside program for heavy-duty diesel vehicles and specifies criteria related to smoke testing standards, procedures and measuring equipment. AB 584 states that the adoption of SAE J1667 would satisfy these criteria. The ARB is presently working closely with SAE to develop specifications for the smoke meter and other test criteria in an effort to comply with the provisions of AB 584.

Staff recommended that the Board amend the regulatory implementation date of January 1, 1995 for the periodic smoke self-inspection program for heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles to July 1, 1996.

This delay will allow sufficient time for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to complete and formally approve SAE Recommended Practice J1667 which specifies a standardized procedure to measure smoke emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles. The completion of the SAE J1667 work by the SAE committee has unfortunately been delayed due to a number of technical issues primarily related to the specification of a standardized opacity meter sampling methodology. These issues need to be resolved and the SAE must approve J1667 before the periodic smoke self-inspection program can be implemented. In addition, SAE J1667 must be completed for smoke opacity meter the properly configured meters on the market for heavy-duty diesel fleets to purchase. Consequently, the ARB has had to delay its regulatory effort to adopt SAE J1667.

There are no known or anticipated issues of controversy with delaying the implementation of the periodic smoke self-inspection program until July 1, 1996. In addition, the proposed program delay has no effect on the air quality and cost effectiveness values previously estimated for the periodic smoke self-inspection program. Furthermore, there have been no identified adverse fiscal and business impacts as a result of the proposed delay.

There is, however, a temporary negative environmental impact as a result of this program delay. There will be a minor loss of particulate matter reduction benefits that would be associated with this program during the delay period of January 1, 1995 to July 1, 1996. Consequently, the cost effects of implementing the program earlier is a substantial overriding concern as compared to the minor 18-month loss of air quality benefits with the staff's proposal to delay the program until July 1, 1996.


George Karbowski                       Los Angeles County Metropolitan
                                                    Transportation Authority

Howard Sargent                           Caltest Instruments, Inc.

Stephanie Williams                        California Trucking Association


Adopted Resolution 94-69 by a vote of 8-0 to include the following modifications: The regulations would be effective on January 1, 1996; after this date, fleets have 180 days to begin vehicle inspections.


STAFF REPORT:  Yes (12 pages)

94-12-5 Consideration of Research Proposals

Adopted Resolutions 94-70, 94-71, 94-72, 94-73 by unanimous approval.