Release 09-56
June 18, 2009

    Leo Kay
New tool in battle against climate change
Zero polluting vehicles fitted to measure greenhouse gas emissions

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SACRAMENTO - SACRAMENTO: In the battle to reduce climate change the California Air Resources Board has equipped two battery powered electric vehicles to take ground level readings of greenhouse gases throughout the state.

The two vehicles, working together to gather upwind and downwind readings of sources, will monitor for greenhous gas emissions such as CO2 and methane. The data will also provide information as to how these compounds disperse when released.

"These on-the-ground assessments will provide invaluable information to assure we are on the right course in terms of measuring and assessing greenhouse gas emissions, " said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "The data we gather with these mobile platforms will guide us as we continue to develop the regulations and programs to meet our AB32 goals. "

Data collected will be used to check the accuracy of computer models used to predict the amount of greenhouse gases in the state s air.

Mandated to implement AB 32, the state s law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the ARB has embarked on a multi-tiered effort to reach that goal.  Key to the success of this program is an accurate inventory of sources and their contributions.

While California s population is less than .5 percent of the world s population it produces two percent of the entire world s greenhouse gas emissions.

The mobility of these vehicles enables the isolation of an individual source, allowing background sources to be removed.  The vehicles can also travel around the state to examine a variety of different sources particularly dairies, landfills, water treatment plants, exhausted oil fields and traffic with near real-time accounting.

The zero emission RAV 4s were given to ARB as part of a settlement agreement for air quality violations by Toyota.  They are powered by electric drive trains which assure the vehicles do not contribute to the samples collected.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.