Off-Road Equipment Incentives for the Purchase of Low-Polluting Construction Equipment for Public Agencies ($25 Million Grant Program)

This page last reviewed April 15, 2010

With the passage of the Transportation and Air Quality Bond on November 7, 2006, significant funding was made available for the replacement and retrofit of high polluting school buses. In accordance with the 2006-2007 Budget Bill AB 1801, Chapter 47, Statutes of 2006, $25 million originally allocated for the replacement of older school buses was redirected as grants to public agencies to purchase low-polluting construction equipment. 

In May 2007, ARB awarded $25 million in grants. Due to the quantity and mix of eligible projects, ARB adjusted the funding amounts earmarked for environmental justice areas and the maximum funding allotment per agency. Click here for a list of the projects selected for funding.

For additional information please contact Raquel Leon at

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there verified retrofit devices for ERG (exhaust gas recirculation) engines?


2. Does ARB have a current list of vendors that have Tier 3 engines?

ARB has an online engine certification database that provides links to all engine executive orders by engine manufacturer, which provide engine emission levels and emission control systems (such as ERG).  This database can be found on ARB’s website or by clicking on the following link:


3. Are there some new Tier 3 engines that put out the same amount of PM as other Tier 3 engines plus retrofits?


4. If the equipment turns out to be less expensive than the estimate provided to ARB, can the extra money be used to fund another project?

In the event that the equipment cost is less than what was originally quoted, the grantee may propose an additional project to expend the remaining funds.  To propose another project the grantee must follow the same criteria that they used in the $25 million grant program.  The deadline for ARB to approve these additional projects is December 31, 2008 with a grant award extension.  Please submit the additional projects well before this deadline so that ARB staff can meet this deadline.  If the grantee chooses not to fund an additional project, fails to propose an eligible project that meets the $25 million grant program criteria, or submits a late project, the remaining funds are returned to the general fund.

5. If the equipment turns out to be more expensive than the estimate provided to ARB, will these changes cause a problem?  Will there be any additional money available from ARB?

The original grant amount allocated to a grantee is fixed.  Anything that may exceed that fixed amount is the respective grantee's responsibility. 

6. If one retrofit manufacturer says the placement of their verified retrofit on a particular piece of equipment will impeded visibility and therefore not safe to install, can the grantee make the generalization that all retrofits will most likely impeded visibility?

No.  If one manufacturer says they can't do it, it does not necessarily mean another retrofit cannot be safely installed.  ARB recognizes that there may be instances where no retrofit can be safely installed and an exemption letter must be provided to ARB by the retrofit manufacturer.  The safety provision in the off-road rule does allow ARB to make a determination.  The safety provision can be found in section 2449 (e) (8) of the off-road rule.  Below is a link to the off-road rule regulation web page:


7. If a grantee would like to purchase a Tier 3 engine instead of a Tier 2 engine as described in the grant agreement, what is the procedure for making this change?

ARB would not have a problem with a grantee purchasing a Tier 3 piece of equipment over a Tier 2, because the equipment would achieve more emission reductions than anticipated.  Since the grantee will be exceeding the requirements of the grant agreement, there really is no procedure for making this change.  The retrofit installation requirement is still required on the Tier 3 equipment. 

If the grantee decides to purchase a Tier 3 instead of the Tier 2 + retrofit equipment, it will need to verify with the equipment dealer that there are retrofits verified for the Tier 3 piece of equipment.  The grantee must exhaust all options of trying to find an appropriate piece of Tier 3 equipment that can be retrofitted before it can purchase a piece of equipment Tier 3 equipment that can not be retrofitted.  Failure to do this may jeopardize the grantee's reimbursement.

8. Are post-inspections required?  If so, what is the timeline?

Random equipment will be selected for post‑inspections prior to disbursement of checks.  Grantees will be notified if they have been selected for inspection.  Post-inspections are designed to ensure projects are completed as described in the grant agreements.

9. What are the next steps and timeframe once the Grant Award/Authorization Form has been approved, signed, and returned to ARB?

The next steps are for the grantee is to go out and purchase the equipment that has been awarded funds for and only then will the grantee be eligible for reimbursement.  Included in the grant award and agreement was a grant disbursement request which included instructions on how to fill out the disbursement request and what documentation will need to be included with the request in order to process the disbursement.  Here is a link to our website that has the disbursement request:

10. What is the deadline for projects to be completed?

We are requiring that all grantee purchase their equipment and submit their grant disbursement request by June 30, 2008.  However, ARB reserves the right to grant extensions on a case-by-case basis provided a written request is submitted to ARB by May 31, 2008 that details the basis for the delay and the expected completion of the project.  The absolute last date for ARB to disburse funds to any grantee is June 30, 2009.  At this date, ARB will lose the money and will be reverted back to the State General Fund.

11. What is the drop dead date for submitting invoices and payment requests to you so we are reasonably assured that they will be paid by June 30th?

The funds for the $25 Million Program are on a three year cycle and those funds expire on June 30, 2008 without an extension and June 30, 2009 with an extension (See frequently asked question number 10).  To assure grantees that they will be paid by June 30, 2008/2009, ARB will require the following deadlines to be met:

For grantees that have not requested a grant award extension, all Grant Disbursement Request forms must be submitted to ARB by May 9, 2008.  For grantees that have been granted an extension, the deadline to submit all Grant Disbursement Requests forms is May 8, 2009.

12. If a grantee purchases a piece of equipment contrary to the grant agreement, will ARB still reimburse the equipment?

No.  The grantee is responsible for the grant agreement and the equipment that is purchased.  If for any reason the grantee feels that they were persuaded to purchase the incorrect piece of equipment, they may use their own legal means to correct the issue.

13. Can an equipment dealer void their warranty based on the installation of a verified retrofit device?

No.  For further details, please contact Shawn Daley at (626) 575-6699 of ARB’s Retrofit Assessment Section.

14. When does the reporting requirement start?

The reporting requirement beings June 30, 2008 and grantees must submit a reporting form annually for five years.  ARB recognizes that some agencies have requested a one year extension; however, an annual report must be submitted to ARB whether agencies have received their equipment or not.  The $25 Million Annual Report Form can be found by clicking on the following link:


15. Can agencies sell an existing piece of equipment to a scrap yard only to be resold?

No.  Agencies may only sell an existing piece of equipment to a scrap yard to be scrapped and not resold.

16. Who is the $25 Million Program contact?

Please direct all questions regarding the award process to Raquel Leon.  Disbursement requests, extension requests, annual report forms, and other documents regarding this program should be directed to the following address:

Raquel Leon
Mobile Source Control Division
Air Resources Board
1001 "I" Street

Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program
Off-Road Equipment (In-Use) Control Measure