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Advanced Emission Provides Good News for Meeting CARB Regulations in 2021

As we near the end of 2020, we approach the perfect time to reassess how to meet CARB regulations and keep your fleet rolling clear into 2021. If you are new to meeting CARB (California Air Resources Board) emissions standards, we’re here to demystify them for you. And if you’ve had CARB compliancy rules on your radar, we’re here to offer a few reminders, and a few pieces of good news.

What’s CARB Compliancy about? Back in 2008, California became the first and only state in the nation to establish a separate agency to handle air pollution control, the California Air Resources Board.  To reduce diesel particulate matter (PM) and diesel emissions, the Truck and Bus Regulation was enacted to reduce DPM emissions by 2023. To accomplish this, CARB enforces schedules for installing DPFs or upgrading engines according to the weight and model year of the vehicle.

• By January 1, 2023, diesel vehicles with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 14,000 pounds or more must be fitted with a 2010 or newer engines.
• By January 1, 2021, a lighter-weight diesel vehicle with a GVWR of 14,000 to 26,000 pounds and an engine model year of 2006 or earlier must be fitted with 2010 or newer engines.
• By January 1, 2021, a heavy weight diesel bus or vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds and an engine model year of 2004 or earlier must be fitted with 2010 or newer engines.

To comply with the Off-Road Regulation, fleets operating in-use, off-road diesel-fueled vehicles must submit annual reports covering 2020 by March 1, 2021. Your complete hardcopy or electronic ROAR form (Responsible Official Affirmation of Reporting form) proves that you are compliant. Submit through the DOORS System (Diesel Off-Road Online Reporting System) using the DOORS reporting form.

What happens if my vehicles are not compliant? The DMV strictly enforces diesel engine emission compliance, identifying violations through investigations and field enforcement. You may receive a Notice of Violation, receive a citation, and/or undergo a comprehensive audit of your entire fleet. When vehicles and equipment are not up to code, the DMV denies registration. 

What’s the good news? CARB offers flexibility options! To qualify for these exemptions, report in TRUCRS (Truck Regulation Upload, Compliance, and Reporting System):

Low-Use Vehicle Exemption—Vehicles that operate less than 1,000 miles within California during this calendar year can bypass the DPF (diesel particulate filter) or engine upgrades. To qualify, report vehicle info, hour meter readings, and 2020 end-of-year odometer readings by January 1, 2021. If the vehicle is sold, you must prove the vehicle met mileage limits. This exemption will help you to continue to operate your vehicles, particularly if you pulled them offline for long periods of time this year due to pandemic fluctuations in work.

NOx Exempt Area Extension—Vehicles that operate exclusively in certain designated counties and have a compliant DPF installed can avoid vehicle replacement. NOx Exempt Areas include the central coast counties of Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. Eligibility must first be determined, as there are particular circumstances when a DPF can be installed and meet the final requirements. 

Agriculture Vehicle Extension—Vehicles with a GVWR of over 14,000 pounds and are dedicated to supporting farming and agricultural operations can continue to qualify for this extension when they operate less than 10,000 miles this year. Operate exclusively in the NOx Exempt Areas, install a DPF and transition to “NOx with a Filter” status under the CARB AG Extension. Report your odometer readings during January 2021 to make this transition.

What options can you take to become compliant? If this pandemic is particular hard on your company, and you need to secure financing to upgrade your fleet with newer trucks to be in line with the Truck and Bus Regulation, apply for CARB’s Truck Loan Assistance Program.

But do you really need to replace your vehicles? Not necessarily! Here at AECS, we’re experienced with navigating the maze of CARB regulations. Our in-house CARB Consultants, Bob Gaffney and Stephen Davis, provide sage, money-saving advice suited to your needs. Discover the less radical options of DPF cleaning, repair, or replacement parts to help you satisfy California state emission requirements. Contact us today at (559) 240-6076 to avoid violations and keep DMV registrations current into 2021. 

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