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Thursday, October 25, 2018

CARB approves $483 million funding plan for clean transportation investments

Majority of funding from cap-and-trade proceeds; plan prioritizes investments in disadvantaged and low-income communities

SACRAMENTO —The California Air Resources Board today approved a $483 million plan to fund clean car rebates, zero-emission transit and school buses, clean trucks, and other innovative, clean transportation and mobility pilot projects.

The Fiscal Year 2018-19 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives, largely funded with cap-and-trade proceeds, is part of California’s comprehensive strategy for improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, the state’s largest source of air pollution and climate-changing gases. Of the $483 million total, $455 million comes from the cap-and-trade program; the remainder — $28 million — is from the Air Quality Improvement Program. The funding plan prioritizes investments in disadvantaged and low-income communities.
“This funding will make it possible for many more low-income families to afford the very cleanest cars and take part in new clean transportation options like car-sharing. It will also put more zero-emission buses on our streets, and drive the zero- and near-zero technologies for cleaner trucks throughout the state,” said CARB Vice Chair Sandy Berg. “We simply cannot meet our climate or our clean-air goals without transforming and cleaning up all our cars and trucks with an emphasis on putting these ultra-clean vehicles in the communities that need them the most.”
The plan serves as the blueprint for expending funds appropriated to CARB in budget bills passed this year by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, including $455 million from Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds. The plan establishes priorities for the funding, describes the projects CARB intends to fund, and sets funding targets for each project.

Projects in the FY 2018-19 plan prioritize environmental justice by addressing specific community needs and increasing awareness of, and access to, cleaner transportation and mobility options exceeding the requirements called for under Senate Bill 350. The Board is increasing the target for investment in disadvantaged and low-income communities and households to 50 percent as called for by Assembly Bill 1550.
The funding plan builds upon successes and lessons from previous years’ investments and furthers collaboration across related initiatives such as the AB 617 Community Air Protection Program.
Highlights of the FY 2018-19 Plan include:
  • $200 million for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), including increased rebates for low-income consumers. (CVRP promotes clean-vehicle adoption by offering rebates for the purchase or lease of new, eligible zero-emission vehicles, including electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles.)
  • $75 million for Transportation Equity Projects, including the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Plus-Up/Clean Cars 4 All Program (incentives for lower-income drivers to scrap and replace older, high-polluting cars with zero- or near-zero-emission cars), Financing Assistance for Lower-Income Consumers, Clean Mobility Options, Agricultural Worker Vanpools, Rural School Bus Pilot Project, and the new Clean Mobility in Schools Project.
  • $180 million for Clean Truck & Bus Vouchers (HVIP and Low NOx Engine Incentives) and the Zero- and Near-Zero Emission Freight Facilities Project.
  • $28.6 million for Air Quality Improvement Program or AQIP-funded heavy-duty vehicle investments, including the Truck Loan Assistance Program and new Diesel Particulate Filter Retrofit Replacements.
Ninety-four percent of funding for the plan, or $455 million, comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Over the past five years, the Legislature has appropriated nearly $1.2 billion for low-carbon transportation projects from the cap-and-trade program. These investments are an essential element in the state’s transition to a low-carbon economy and meeting 2030 GHG emissions reductions targets of 40 percent below 1990 levels.
Funds also come from the Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) with an annual budget of about $28 million. AQIP supports CVRP, the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), and has been funding demonstrations for advanced emission reduction vehicle technologies since 2009.
By coordinating investment decisions across programs and fostering a comprehensive portfolio through additional sources such as AQIP and Volkswagen mitigation funds, CARB is able to maximize benefits and see transformative clean transportation pilot projects come to fruition in communities across the state. 
Investments demonstrate continued support for emission reduction goals set forth in California's Climate Change Scoping PlanMobile Source StrategyState Implementation PlansSustainable Freight  and Zero-Emission Vehicle Action Plans.

FY 2018-19 Funding Plan

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

California Smog Check Program Areas

California Smog Check Program Areas

The Smog Check Program divides the State into three areas determined by the air quality in the designated area. While the OBD II focused inspection is required statewide for most 2000 model-year and newer vehicles, 1976-1999 model-year vehicles may receive a different inspection, depending on program area.
Generally, the area in which a station is located determines the station license types and the station equipment requirements. A Smog Check is required in all program areas when an affected vehicle changes ownership, with the exception of gasoline vehicles four or less model-years old. A Smog Check is also required in all areas when a vehicle is initially registered in California.
The ZIP Code locator can be used to determine your Smog Check area. The Smog Check Program Area Map provides a view of the California Smog Check Program areas.

Program Areas

All areas of California require Smog Check certifications when a specified model-year vehicle changes ownership or is registered for the first time in California. The Smog Check Program divides the state into the following areas:
Enhanced Areas: These areas do not meet federal or state air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide. Biennial Smog Check inspections are required in these areas, in addition to the change of ownership and initial registration inspection requirement. Additionally, a portion of the vehicles in Enhanced Areas must receive their biennial Smog Check at a STAR station. In order to measure NOx emissions, specified model-year vehicles in Enhanced Area are subject to an ASM (Acceleration Simulation Mode) emissions test.
Basic Areas: Basic areas are less polluted then Enhanced Areas; however, due to their marginal air quality, biennial inspections are required. Specified model-year vehicles in Basic Areas require a Smog Check every two years during their registration renewal with DMV. Vehicles registered in a Basic Area must receive a TSI (Two Speed Idle) Smog Check.
Change of Ownership Areas: These more rural areas of the state require Smog Check certification only when an affected vehicle changes ownership (with the exception of gasoline vehicles four or less model-years old), or is initially registered in California. Vehicles within specified model-years registered in the Change of Ownership Areas are subject to Smog Check only upon change of ownership or initial registration in California. Vehicles registered in this area must receive a TSI (Two Speed Idle) Smog Check.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Aftermarket Parts Procedures Work Group – Superchargers and Turbochargers

Invitation to participate
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) invites you to participate in an Aftermarket Parts Procedures work group meeting for manufacturers of Superchargers and Turbochargers or those who use these devices as part of their performance product(s). The discussion will focus on the current evaluation processes, along with areas of concern going forward. For those who cannot attend in person, a webinar will be available.

All meeting materials will be posted on the Aftermarket Parts Public Meetings webpage.

Please see below for additional details regarding the work group meeting:

DATE:               Tuesday, October 15, 2018
TIME:                10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (PDT)
LOCATION:      California Air Resources Board
                          Haagen Smit Auditorium (Annex 4)
                          9530 Telstar Avenue, El Monte, CA 91731

If you are unable to attend in person, the work group is available via webinar

California Anti Tampering Laws (Vehicle Code (VC) 27156 and VC 38391) prohibit the sale, operation, and modification of engines or vehicles from their originally certified configuration. The aftermarket parts program evaluation procedures, “Procedures for Exemption of Add-on and Modified Parts” (Procedures), provide the process and criteria for manufacturers of add-on and modified parts to obtain exemptions to legally sell parts in California. Add-on and modified parts are defined in Code of California Regulations, title13, section 1900 (b) (1 and 10) and section 2222. The Procedures are intended to be robust enough to demonstrate that the aftermarket parts will not adversely impact emissions, the original emissions control system, and the On-Board Diagnostics system of the certified engine or vehicle, while providing industry with a less complicated evaluation protocol.

The Procedures were last updated in June 1990. Since that time, engines, vehicles, emission control technologies and strategies have changed and become more complex. The Procedures have provided industry and CARB with the tools needed to continue the evaluation of aftermarket parts as the standards and test procedures have changed. However, staff wish to revisit the process and test protocols to reflect current procedures and technologies while providing the tools needed to evaluate engines and vehicles of the future. The purpose of the air intake work group is to solicit ideas from the air intake industry to improve the current Procedures.

More Information

For questions regarding the work group or modification of the aftermarket parts procedure, please contact Mr. Richard Muradliyan, Air Resources Engineer, at (626) 575-6798.

CARB staff will use the Aftermarket Parts mailing list to notify stakeholders of updates and future work group meetings. Subscribe to receive email updates from the Aftermarket Parts program.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

CARB cracking down on illegal diesel soot filters

LKQ Corp. pays $294,000 penalty for selling illegal used diesel soot filters for trucks

SACRAMENTO – LKQ Corporation, a Chicago-based provider of alternative and specialty automotive parts, has agreed to pay a $294,000 penalty for selling illegal, used diesel particulate (soot) filters, violating California’s Aftermarket Parts and Diesel Particulate Filter Verification Regulations.  
It is illegal to sell or install a used diesel soot filter for use in heavy-duty trucks in California.  It is also illegal for a business to install one of these filters without being authorized by the filter manufacturer.
In a related case in 2017, West Coast Diesel, a Fresno repair shop caught selling and installing illegal parts, agreed to a settlement that included additional monetary penalties should they violate the terms of the agreement by installing even one diesel particulate filter. Several other Central Valley diesel repair shops are now under investigation for selling and installing illegal filters.
“The sales of illegal diesel particulate filters in California needs to stop, and I hope the actions announced today demonstrate the seriousness of these violations,” said CARB Enforcement Chief Todd Sax.  “These companies sold cheap, illegal filters, harvested from other vehicles, to unsuspecting truckers.”
Diesel filters in trucks trap soot that causes cancer, and so they are very important to protecting public health.  California law requires truck owners to keep their diesel particulate filters in working order, and to replace the filter if it is damaged and not working properly.  Only CARB -certified filters may be sold, installed, or operated in California.  Using an uncertified or improperly installed filter can damage an engine and expose those around the truck to toxic diesel soot. 
Today’s announcement sends a critical message to business owners as well as consumers that CARB is actively enforcing the state’s landmark Truck and Bus Regulation, which requires truck owners to clean up their fleets by installing 2010 or newer engines by 2023, as well as its regulations governing the use and sale of diesel filters. 
“Truckers need to understand the compliance process and take responsibility for properly maintaining their vehicles, including their soot filters,” said Sax.  “We encourage truckers to check our CARB Truckstop website for information.  Truckers can also call us at 1 866 6DIESEL and we will explain the requirements and what needs to be done.”
Sax also stressed that truckers need to take responsibility when it comes to choosing a repair shop for vehicle maintenance.  These shops should be selling new, CARB-authorized filters, and their personnel should be properly trained by the filter manufacturer on the installation process.  
“Truckers should make sure that when installing or replacing their diesel particulate filter that a CARB-approved device is being used,” said Sax.  “When shopping for a filter, remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Sax also noted that it may be more cost-effective to buy a newer truck, since putting on a filter only ensures compliance for a couple of years at best, according to the Truck and Bus regulation phase-in schedule.  Truckers can call CARB to find out if they might be eligible for loans or other financial incentives to help purchase new or newer equipment.
To settle its case and avoid legal action, LKQ agreed to pay $294,000 to the Air Pollution Control Fund to support air pollution research and education.  In addition, the company updated its website and is no longer selling or advertising used filters for the California market. 
Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

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