MAIL-OUT # MSO 99-06

DATE : June 8, 1999

On July 1, 1998, the Air Resources Board (ARB) implemented its fleet Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP). Under this program, owners of California-based fleets with two or more vehicles are required to perform annual smoke opacity tests on their heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles with a GVWR greater than 6,000lbs. A fleet facility may use either their own technicians or contract with an outside facility to perform the smoke opacity tests. All smoke opacity tests must comply with the SAE J1667 test procedures. By October 1, 1999, owners of the California-based fleets must comply with all of the following:

* All heavy-duty diesel powered vehicles (except those with engines that are four years old or newer or those used exclusively for personal use such as a motor home) must be tested annually with a compliant smoke opacity meter; (Note: SAE J1243 smoke meters can be used until July 1, 1999.);
* Smoke opacity tests must be conducted according to the SAE J1667 test procedure which is available from the ARB upon request;
* All heavy-duty diesel powered vehicles must meet the applicable opacity standards of 55% for pre-1991 engines and 40% for 1991 and newer engines;
* All heavy duty diesel powered vehicles determined to be in non-compliance must be promptly repaired and brought into compliance;
* Records of opacity tests, repair information and post repair opacity tests for each vehicle must be maintained for at least two years.

If the above five requirements are followed, there should be no problems complying with this program. The ARB has the authority to audit all inspection records of the heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles at owner/operator designated fleet locations and test vehicles for compliance. These audits are currently being conducted and will be implemented, on an enforcement basis, by October 1, 1999. All fleets must have completed inspections on one hundred percent (100%) of their fleet vehicles by October 1, 1999.

In addition to the PSIP, the ARB also administers a roadside smoke inspection program known as the Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection Program (HDVIP). Beginning on June 1, 1998, the ARB resumed enforcement of the HDVIP at CHP truck inspection facilities and random roadside locations. Compliance with the HDVIP is mandatory and vehicles determined to exceed the opacity standards have been issued citations or notices of violation.

The purpose of both programs is to reduce excessive smoke emissions from the heavy-duty vehicles that travel on California's streets and highways. These programs are required under California Health and Safety Code sections 44011.6 and 43701(a), respectively. The California Code of Regulations, Title 13 section 2180 et. seq. and section 2190 et. seq. specify the test procedures, standards, and applicable penalties. In addition, well maintained engines operate at maximum fuel economy, which effectively reduces operating costs and helps promote a positive image for the industry.

The best way to avoid penalties is to keep your vehicles well maintained according to the engine manufacturers' specifications. The ARB also encourages fleet maintenance personnel to attend the California Council on Diesel Education and Technology (CCDET) training programs. The CCDET program is an educational partnership sponsored by government, private industry and the California community colleges and offers training for fleets and smoke test technicians on how to comply with the HDVIP and the PSIP requirements.

For further information regarding these programs, please contact our offices at the following: Northern Heavy-Duty Diesel Section at (916) 322-7061 or Southern Heavy-Duty Diesel Section at (626) 450-6161, or at our website at Should you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact: Mr. Mark Burnitzki, Air Pollution Specialist, Northern Heavy Duty Diesel Section at (916) 322-7061, email: or Mr. Ramon Cabrera, Air Pollution Specialist, Southern Heavy Duty Diesel Section at (626) 450-6161, e-mail:



R.B. Summerfield, Chief
Mobile Source Operations Division


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