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Contractors challenge CARB data about off-road diesel emissions

Sacramento Business Journal - by Melanie Turner Staff writer

AGC Testiomy at 04/22/10 CARB Meeting

While most of the members of the California Air Resources Board thought "staff" did a wonderful job with their modeling--despite the 100% to 350% error in their calculations, Dr John Telles was the only Board Member that was disturbed. He strongly suggested that staff follow the recommendations of the Associated General Contractors of America.

State air quality officials have vastly overestimated emissions from the state’s off-road diesel fleet, according to a study released last week.

The study was commissioned by the Associated General Contractors of America and conducted by Sierra Research Inc.

Emissions from the state’s construction and other off-road diesel equipment are less than 28 percent of what state officials have estimated, according to the study.

For that reason, the state Air Resources Board has “no scientific justification for sticking to a new rule requiring construction contractors to spend billions of dollars on their existing equipment,” a news release from the construction industry association states.

“There is no scientific reason for the board to pursue its punishing off-road rule,” Mike Kennedy, the association’s general counsel, said in a news release.

The study is based primarily on data assembled last year by the California Air Resources Board, including data on how many pieces of off-road diesel equipment are in use and how much they run, according to the association. While the state board estimated there are 192,000 pieces of this equipment, there are actually 157,000 pieces, and 7.5 percent of the equipment is low use, according to the study.

Other data came from the state Board of Equalization, the U.S. Department of Energy and records that detail hours worked by equipment operators.