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Regulatory Bulletin
October 7, 2010

CARB Adopts A
Simpler Plan

New changes to off-road rules would provide extra flexibility and financial relief to contractors

Today representatives from the California Air Resources Board  announced that they have reached an agreement with industry on proposed changes to the state's landmark off-road regulation that will offer affected businesses additional time and more flexible options for compliance.


First adopted in July 2007, the rule affects the state's estimated 150,000 off-road vehicles used in construction, mining, airport ground support and other industries. It calls for installation of diesel soot filters and the replacement of older, dirtier engines with newer emission-controlled models to curb diesel exhaust. Improvements were originally scheduled to begin in March 2010 for larger fleets, with medium and small-sized fleets having staggered implementation through 2015.


The newly proposed amendments, which will be presented for approval at ARB's December 16-17 hearing, would streamline the compliance process and offer businesses additional time and flexible options to meet requirements. They would also provide credits for efforts already made to reduce emissions, and incentivize continued early actions.


If approved, the changes will:


  • Delay start of requirements until January 1, 2014
  • Increase the number of "low-use" equipment exempted
  • Provide simpler compliance options for the smallest fleets
  • Extend benefits for businesses that comply before their deadline
  • Lower annual requirements to clean up engines

Other portions of the regulation that went into effect this year, including reporting, idling and equipment labeling requirements for all fleets, remain intact and are being enforced.


The agreement comes after more than a year of tremendous legal, public and political pressure on the Board to implement a more fair and reasonable plan for industry.


Most notably perhaps was the efforts of Rod Michaelson, Equipment Manger for Bay Cities Paving and Keith Wood, Equipment Manager for Shimmick Construction, both of whom head up EUCA's CARB Advisory Committee and developed A Simpler Look along side industry stakeholders back in February of 2010. For more than six months they have worked aggressively alongside EUCA, AGC and other industry advocates to present CARB with a simpler and more equitable way of implementing regulations. 


"We wanted a simple, clean and straight foward plan," stated Michaelson. "We refused to just lay down and watch CARB run (industry) over. We wanted regulations that would be fair, easy and simple for industry and we knew there was a better way. I am glad that Chairwoman Nichols and industry were able to agree upon a plan that works."

In 1998 diesel particulate matter, or diesel "soot," was identified as a toxic air contaminant. In 2000, the ARB established California's Diesel Risk Reduction Plan, which aims to reduce diesel emissions to 85 percent below 2000 levels by 2020. Other sources of diesel particulate matter such as port trucks, private fleet trucks, transit buses, cargo-handling equipment, trash trucks and ship engines have already been addressed through regulations, along with diesel fuel.


EUCA will continue to keep you updated on all changes related to on-road and off-road diesel regulations.


For more information on the proposed changes visit the ARB website.


For questions please contact Emily Cohen, EUCA Director of Government Relations, at 925-855-7900.




The Engineering & Utility Contactors Association, EUCA, is made up of more than 400 union-affiliated contractor and associate firms throughout California employing over 25,000 workers. EUCA is a full service association, assisting our members in union and labor representation, lobbying and government advocacy for market expansion, industry-specific training and education programs, relationship building and networking, legal referral programs and safety services. EUCA exists to improve our members' competitiveness through innovation, proactive strategies, caring relationships and the principles of unity and integrity. For more information visit us at

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