Mailout #MSC 99-38

December 16, 1999


As you may know, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has asked the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to confirm the ARB's belief that the recent amendments to California's small off-road spark-ignition engine (SORE) regulations (effective March 23, 1999) result in standards that fall within the scope of the existing authorization that U.S. EPA granted to California in 1995. The ARB understands that some manufacturers are unsure of their regulatory obligations in producing model year 2000 (MY 2000) engines while the U.S. EPA reviews this pending request. I am writing to clarify those obligations.

Manufacturers of MY 2000 off-road spark-ignited engines produced for sale in California seeking California certification of those engines must demonstrate in their certification applications that such engines meet all requirements in Title 13, California Code of Regulations, Sections 2400-2409. Because state law will require, for example, that MY 2000 engines 65 cubic centimeters and less (typically handheld engines) demonstrate exhaust emissions durability at certification, and because the ARB believes the amended SORE standards fall entirely within the scope of the 1995 authorization, the ARB will not certify engines to standards less than those currently effective in Section 2400-2409. After December 31, 1999, the ARB will continue to issue Executive Orders only to those MY 2000 engines meeting all requirements of Sections 2400-2409.

The ARB has provided you with necessary certification materials at an April 1999 workshop, in mail-out MSO 99-08, and on our web site. In these forums and materials the ARB provided opportunities to seek clarification on certification and reporting requirements. The ARB staff is always available to answer additional certification issues as they arise.

Finally, a note about "stockpiling." Should the ARB determine that SORE manufacturers are producing 1999 calendar year engines in quantities that jeopardize the emissions reductions that the Board in 1998 counted on for the 2000 calendar year, the Board may seek an early hearing to strengthen California's standards. Similarly, if the current SORE waiver proceedings result in any significant delay in implementing the amended standards, the Board may be compelled to consider readopting the Tier II standards currently authorized.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Mr. Michael W. Carter, Chief, Emission Research and Regulatory Development Branch, at (626) 575-6632. The ARB looks forward to your continued cooperation toward meeting the MY 2000 standards.


Robert H. Cross, Chief
Mobile Source Control Division


cc: Margo Oge, U.S. EPA
Gregory Greene, U.S. EPA

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