ARB to Enforce In-Use Off-Road Vehicle Regulation

Wed October 02, 2013 - West Edition

On Sept. 13, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) granted authorization to the California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) to enforce all provisions of the In-Use Off-Road Diesel Vehicle Regulation (Off-Road Regulation). The Off-Road Regulation was originally approved by the Board in May 2007, and amended in Jan. 2009, and Dec. 2010.

ARB has been enforcing the reporting, labeling, sales disclosure, and idle limitation requirements, and this advisory informs owners and operators of off–road vehicles operating in California as to how ARB staff will proceed with enforcement of the adding vehicles and emission performance requirements.

Greg Scott, vice president of Western Rentals, Fontana, Calif., thinks this could spell trouble for contractors.

“If they have not registered the equipment by the end of the year they will never be able to register,” he said.

“Basically there is going to be equipment that is never going to be able to be used in California again.”

In order to provide fleets adequate time to ensure compliance, ARB will phase in enforcement of various elements for the rule beginning Jan. 1, 2014, as described below.

Adding Vehicles Requirements

ARB will begin to enforce the off-road regulation’s restrictions on fleets adding vehicles with older tier engines on Jan. 1, 2014.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of contractors that haven’t kept up to date when they come to enforce the regulation,” said Scott. “I think we’ll see some pretty tough fines that will be cropping up.”

As described in Section 2449(d)(6) of the Off-Road Regulation, fleets are prohibited from adding older tier vehicles as follows:

• Tier 0s — As soon as enforcement commences, a fleet may not add a vehicle with a Tier 0 engine to its fleet.

• Tier Is for large and medium fleets (fleets with over 2,500 hp [1,864 kW]) — As soon as enforcement commences, a large or medium fleet may not add a vehicle with a Tier I engine to its fleet. The engine tier must be Tier II or higher.

• Tier Is for small fleets (fleets with up to 2,500 hp) — As soon as enforcement commences, a small fleet may add a vehicle with a Tier I engine if and only if the vehicle either had an equipment identification number (EIN) assigned by ARB to the vehicle prior to Jan. 1, 2012, or entered the state of California for the first time after Jan. 1, 2012. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, a small fleet may not add any vehicle with a Tier I engine. The engine tier must be Tier II or higher.

• Tier IIs — Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, for large and medium fleets, and Jan. 1, 2023, for small fleets, a fleet may not add a vehicle with a Tier II engine to its fleet. The engine tier must be Tier III or higher.

Emissions Performance Requirements

ARB will begin to enforce the emissions performance requirements for large fleets on July 1, 2014, and then annually each Jan. 1 thereafter. The emission performance and compliance dates for medium and small fleets will be enforced upon their effective dates as shown below:

• Jan. 1, 2017, for medium fleets; and

• Jan. 1, 2019, for small fleets.

The emission performance requirements continue annually until 2023 for large and medium fleets and 2028 for small fleets. To meet annual emissions performance requirements, fleets must either (1) meet the fleet-average emissions targets, or (2) meet the best available control technology (BACT) requirements. In general, if a fleet does not meet the fleet-average emissons targets, then it must apply BACT each year on a certain protion of its fleet until it does meet tohose targets. In order to meet BACT requirements, fleets can either: (1) turn over to newer, cleaner engines or vehicles, or (2) install ARB-verified exhaust retrofits. “Turn over” means retiring (selling) a designating vehicle, a vehicle as a permanent low-use vehicle, repowering a vehicle with a higher tier engine, or rebuilding the engine to a more stringent emissions configuration. A list of ARB-verified exhaust retrofits for off-road vehicles is available at