Mail Out #MSC 97-20

October 22, 1997


Re: Notice of Workshop Concerning Adoption of Regulations for New Emission Standards for Model Year 2004 and Later New Heavy-Duty Vehicles

This letter is notification of a public workshop, to be held by the staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), concerning the adoption of regulations for new emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles of model year 2004 and later. The purpose is to solicit public comments regarding such regulations, and to provide information concerning the staff's current progress and preliminary plans. This workshop will be held at the following time and location:

In November 1994, the Air Resources Board (ARB) approved the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for ozone which outlines the measures to be taken to bring the state's air quality into attainment with federal ozone standards. During the development of the SIP, it became clear that reducing emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from heavy-duty on-road vehicles operating within the state is imperative for cleaning California's air. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the heavy-duty vehicle NOx emissions in California is from vehicles that are purchased and registered in other states. If ARB were to adopt new heavy-duty vehicle standards in California that were more stringent than the federal standards, such out-of-state vehicles would not be affected and the full emissions benefit would not be achieved. Indeed, this could provide an incentive for in- state vehicle owners to move their businesses out of California to reduce costs. The proposed solution to this dilemma is to have the same reduced emission standards apply to new heavy-duty vehicles in all 50 states.

Two of the measures contained in the SIP, measures M5 and M6, together call for the ARB and the U.S. EPA to both adopt the same reduced emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles sold throughout the country. In June of 1995, the ARB, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and representatives of the major heavy-duty engine manufacturers signed a Statement of Principles agreeing to work towards the development and sale of reduced emission heavy-duty vehicles beginning in 2004. In October of this year, the U.S. EPA finalized its regulations for reduced emission standards for federally certified heavy-duty 49-state engines beginning in 2004. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss proposed regulations for California-certified heavy-duty engines, intended to harmonize state requirements with federal regulations.

The draft regulations that the ARB staff will present for discussion at this workshop are substantially similar to the recently finalized federal regulations. The key points are:

The ARB staff will present an overview of the draft regulations at the workshop. The regulations to be proposed to the Board for its approval will be based on these draft regulations, modified, as appropriate, to respond to any public comments or concerns expressed at the workshop or at other times. The ARB encourages all interested parties to present comments and information on the subject of heavy-duty vehicle emission standards and regulations at this workshop. Those who are unable to personally participate in the workshop process or who wish to supply additional information are encouraged to submit written comments. Workshop participants who wish to discuss unresolved technical issues or confidential data may schedule individual meetings with the staff.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodation are requested to contact Mr. Steve Church at (916) 323-5189, or (916) 324-9531 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf or TDD), by November 18, 1997.

The public board hearing for this regulatory item has been tentatively set for March 1998. If you have any questions or comments regarding this subject, please contact Mr. Steve Church, Air Resources Engineer, Regulatory Strategy Section at (916) 323-5189, or (916) 324-9531 (TDD), by mail at P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento, CA 95812, or by e-mail at