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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

CARB’s enforcement protects California consumers from toxic formaldehyde emissions




SACRAMENTO – Following the record fine levied on Lumber Liquidators in 2016, the California Air Resources Board has continued to monitor the safety of consumer products like flooring and cabinets that use composite wood materials. As a result of this vigilance, CARB has settled 15 cases totaling more than $338,000 over the past two-and-a-half years with companies that failed to follow California’s clean air regulations for  composite wood materials in a variety of everyday household products.
Composite wood products are manufactured with glue, wood veneers, and wood byproducts to make them stronger. However, glues used in composite wood can also emit formaldehyde which is a toxic air contaminant that causes cancer. To protect public health, in 2007 CARB established strict emission standards for hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium density fiberboard. CARB’s regulation applies to all composite wood manufacturers, importers, fabricators, distributors, and retailers selling in the state, and requires that:
  • composite wood materials are produced in a mill that is third party certified;
  • efforts taken to ensure materials are compliant are documented; and
  • all products are labeled for compliance.
“CARB’s programs are designed to ensure that no child in school, and no resident of California, is exposed to toxic formaldehyde from composite wood flooring, furniture, and related products,” explains Todd Sax, Enforcement Division Chief. “Businesses must proactively verify that the product is compliant and document those efforts, label their product adequately as a compliant product, and notify their customers.  Anything less puts consumers at risk and businesses will be held accountable through enforcement action.”
CARB’s enforcement program includes both emissions testing and extensive audits of the compliance precautions taken. After settling the Lumber Liquidators case in 2016, CARB has settled 15 additional cases involving importers, distributors, and retailers of composite wood products. Most of these cases involved excess emissions and inadequate precautions to ensure compliant material was sold, including the sale of unlabeled product.
CARB enforcement efforts are continuing, focused on flooring, cabinetry, and any other furniture using composite wood products, and at manufacturers, distributors, and both brick and mortar and internet retailers.

Composite Wood Products Settlement Cases Since 2016

Investigation Name
Settlement Date
Settlement
Type of Business
Product Type
AAA Flooring and Building Supplies
3/24/2017
$27,750
Importer/ Distributor/Retailer
Flooring
USC Flooring  Products, Inc.
5/19/2017
$60,000
Importer/ Distributor/ Retailer
Flooring
Expo Floors
10/19/2017
$6,000
Importer/ Retailer
Flooring
Coles Fine Flooring
8/2/2018
$6,000
Retailer
Flooring
Rivera's Floor Covering
10/24/2018
$18,000
Retailer
Flooring
Factory Direct Floor
10/31/2018
$7,500
Importer/ Distributor
Flooring
Provenza Floors
12/6/2018
$26,000
Importer/Distributor
Flooring
Linco Enterprises, Inc.
1/9/2019
$45,000
Importer/ Distributor
Flooring
DJJ Cabinets
1/23/2019
$7,500
Importer/ Distributor/Retailer
Cabinets
America Top Essential Inc.
1/30/2019
$25,000
Importer/ Distributor
Flooring
ARK Floors
2/15/2019
$3,000
Importer/Distributor
Flooring
Belmont Carpets & Wood Flooring, Inc.
3/1/2019
$10,000
Retailer
Flooring
Design Within Reach
3/12/2019
$25,000
Importer/ Retailer
Furniture
CY Flooring, Incorporated
3/20/2019
$67,000
Importer/ Retailer
Flooring
PCTC Cabinetry Inc.
5/1/2019
$5,000
Importer/ Distributor
Cabinets

Aftermarket Parts Procedures Working Group - Follow Up Meeting on Tuners, Programmers, and In-Line Modules

Aftermarket Parts Procedures Working Group - Follow Up Meeting on Tuners, Programmers, and In-Line Modules



The California Air Resources Board (CARB) invites you to participate in a follow up work group meeting for manufacturers of Tuners, Programmers, and In-Line Modules or those who use these devices as part of their performance product(s). The discussion will focus on the need for manufacturers to gather calibration identification codes, calibration verification numbers, and identification numbers from a purchaser’s vehicle.  For those who cannot attend in person, a webinar will be available.
When available, all meeting materials will be posted on the Aftermarket Parts Public Meeting webpage.
Please see below for additional details regarding the work group meeting:
DATE:               Friday, December 13, 2019
TIME:               10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (PST)
LOCATION:      California Air Resources Board
                          Annex 2 Conference Room 2-112
                          9500 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 California Code of 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 wishes to revisit the processes and test protocols to ensure they reflect current procedures and technologies while providing the tools necessary to evaluate engines and vehicles of the future.  The purpose of the workshop is to discuss a draft replacement to the Procedures and solicit additional feedback..

Thursday, August 8, 2019

CARB Finalizes Rule for Light-Duty Engine Packages Installed in New Light-Duty Specially-Produced Motor Vehicles



The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has issued final certification procedures for receiving an Executive Order (EO) for new light-duty engine packages installed in new light-duty specially-produced motor vehicles (SPMVs). The rule includes certification procedures for the manufacturers of SPMVs.

The industry-supported CARB rule helps implement a provision in a 2015 federal law called the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act) that permits small auto manufacturers to sell up to 325 replica cars in the U.S. each year that resemble classic vehicles originally produced at least 25 years ago. Although CARB has completed its work governing engine packages for SPMVs (i.e. replica cars), the law has not taken effect because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has failed to issue regulations or implement the law. The FAST Act required NHTSA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue any necessary regulations by December 4, 2016.  

One simple regulatory option for NHTSA is to update the agency website so that low-volume manufacturers can register and file annual reports. Many small businesses made investments based on the premise that they could begin producing and selling vehicles in early 2017. Instead, they have lost money and been unable to hire workers and sell turnkey replica cars to eager customers.

The FAST Act mandates that replica vehicles will meet current model-year clean-air standards. Companies producing the vehicles will have the option of installing an engine package that has received a CARB EO or a motor vehicle engine package that is already covered by an EPA certificate of conformity for a current model-year vehicle. While CARB has completed its EO engine package regulation, the EPA is still finalizing a guidance document for its engine packages.

Source: SEMA News

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A List of Pre-Approved Aerodynamic Devices Now Available For Use in GHG Phase 2 Trailer Certification Process




A List of Pre-Approved Aerodynamic Devices Now Available For Use in GHG Phase 2 Trailer Certification Process

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is making available a list of all Pre-Approved Aerodynamic Devices that Trailer Manufacturers can use to certify trailers for the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Phase 2 Trailer Certification process. The list of the Pre-Approved Aero Device can be accessed at the Phase 2 GHG Trailer Certification web page or at the Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas (TTGHG) Interim Aero Device Approval Program page.

Background

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) adopted the second phase of the GHG and fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks. The federal Phase 2 standards build upon the federal heavy-duty GHG Phase 1 standards. In February 2018, CARB largely harmonized with federal Phase 2 standards. The GHG emission standards in California will begin in model year 2021 for new class 2b to 8 medium- and heavy-duty engines and tractors, and will be fully phased-in by model year 2027.

The California Phase 2 GHG regulation also established CO2 emission standards for certain trailers used in combination with tractors. The trailer standards take effect for all trailer manufacturers in 2020. The standards are intended to make trailers more efficient and lower the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their use. Affected trailer types include box-type trailers (dry van and refrigerated van trailers of all lengths), flat bed trailers, tank trailers, and container chassis. Beginning January 1, 2020, trailer manufacturers must certify to California standards and receive an Executive Order from CARB to legally sell trailers in California.

During the Phase 2 GHG rulemaking, CARB also amended the Tractor Trailer Greenhouse Gas (TTGHG) regulation to harmonize with the Phase 2 trailer requirements and allow fleets to utilize tire and aerodynamic technologies approved under Phase 2 GHG procedures to comply with TTGHG trailer requirements. Since the California Phase 2 standards for trailers apply to trailers certified in the 2020 and subsequent model year, CARB’s TTGHG amendments also allow trailer fleet owners to comply with the TTGHG trailer requirements by using the Phase 2 GHG’s trailer certification technology prior to 2020 via a new program called the TTGHG Interim Aero Device Approval Program for 2018 and 2019. The TTGHG Interim Aero Device Approval Program allows aerodynamic device manufacturers to obtain a preliminary approval for the measured performance of aerodynamic drag reduction technologies.

Contact

If you have any questions regarding the list of Pre-Approved Aero Devices, please contact Moslem Hossein Mardi, Air Resources Engineer, at (916) 440-8282. If you have questions regarding the California Phase 2 trailer certification, please send an email at TrailerCert@arb.ca.gov.

 
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