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EPA Approves Changes to California Regulations on Cargo Handling Equipment Emissions

Thursday, May 07, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Environmental Protection Agency has granted the California Air Resources Board’s request for authorization of amendments to its regulations on mobile cargo handling equipment at ports and intermodal rail yards, which are designed to use best available control technologies to reduce public exposure to emissions of diesel particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. Petitions for judicial review of this decision are due no later than July 6.

According to the EPA, CARB’s regulations establish best available control technology requirements that affect the sellers, renters, lessors, owners and operators of mobile cargo handling equipment used at California’s ports or intermodal rail yards (e.g., yard trucks, top handlers, side handler, rubber-tired gantry cranes, forklifts, dozers and loaders). In February 2012 the EPA granted California a full waiver from the applicable Clean Air Act provisions for those parts of the regulations establishing emissions standards for new on-road motor vehicles and full authorization for standards and other requirements related to the control of emissions affecting new and in-use non-road engines. CARB then adopted in October 2012 amendments to the regulations that provide additional compliance flexibilities.

Pursuant to a request by CARB, the EPA has now (a) confirmed that those amendments related to modification to retrofit requirements and operational practices, demonstration of emissions equivalency for alternative technology such as hybrid and electric equipment, and modification of compliance requirements fall within the scope of the EPA's February 2012 authorization, and (b) granted a full authorization to those amendments providing for a new opacity based monitoring program for in-use non-road vehicles and equipment and a new retrofit requirement for engines meeting the Tier 4 family emissions limit standards.

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