California Citrus Mutual is a founding member of the Air Coalition Team (ACT), which was created to intervene in legal actions brought on by environmental activists.  Recently, ACT distributed its year-end status update of cases and issues with ACT involvement or interest.  See the highlights of the report below:

1.Medical Advocates, et al. v. U.S. EPA, 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, Case No. #14-72219 (Billing # 6438.28)

2016 PM2.5 Plan

On October 25, 2018, CARB adopted the Valley State SIP Strategy and passed Resolution 18-49 which provides an overview of the plan.  The Valley State SIP Strategy included a variety of new programs, such as:  (1) incentive programs encouraging private parties to switch to low emission vehicles and tractors; (2) a new inspection and maintenance program for heavy-duty trucks; (3) a program providing money to farmers who electrify agricultural irrigation pumps and agricultural utility vehicles; (4) a program expanding incentives for using clean-burning devices; and (5) lower the air quality triggers for no-burn days to 35 ug/m3 for registered wood-burning devices and 12 ug/m3 for unregistered devices.  The Valley State SIP Strategy will be forwarded to U.S. EPA for consideration.

Draft 2018 PM2.5 Plan

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District adopted the 2018 Plan for the 1997, 2006, and 2012 PM2.5 Standards on November 15, 2018.  The plan addresses the EPA federal 1997 annual PM2.5 standard of 15 μg/m³ and 24-hour PM2.5 standard of 65 μg/m³; the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 standard of 35 μg/m³; and the 2012 annual PM2.5 standard of 12 μg/m³.  Further detail on the plan for the 1997, 2006, and 2012 PM2.5 Standards can be found here: http://www.valleyair.org/pmplans/documents/2018/pm-plan-adopted/2018-Plan-for-the-1997-2006-and-2012-PM2.5-Standards.pdf.

On January 24, 2019, CARB will hold a public meeting to consider the San Joaquin Valley 2018 PM2.5 Plan. As of December 31, 2018, the meeting location has not been posted online.

2. Clean Air Act Modernization Proposal

In 2015, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (District) presented its Clean Air Act Modernization Proposal (Proposal) to Congress.  The Proposal preserves the federal government’s ability to routinely reevaluate and set air quality goals to protect public health while avoiding current duplicative requirements and confusion.  Proposed changes would also require strategies that lead to expeditious air quality improvement while considering technological and economic feasibility.

In 2017, Congressman Pete Olson introduced a new version of his original bill (above referenced H.R. 4775), titled “H.R. 406 – Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017.”  The new legislation followed the same path as H.R. 4775 and was passed by the House, was read twice in the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on July 19, 2017, where it awaits action.  There have not been any changes to the status of H.R. 4775 since the 2016 Third Quarter Update memorandum, and there has been no action on HR 406 since it was referred to committee.

3. John Lawson Rock & Oil, Inc. and California Trucking Association v. California Air Resources Board, Fifth District Court of Appeals, Case No. F074003

When it ruled in favor of John R. Lawson Rock and Oil and the California Trucking Association, the Court ordered CARB to set aside the regulation’s 2014 amendments. (click here for CCM article)  On December 14, 2018, CARB published a document titled “Compliance Requirement Summary Based on the Voided 2014 Amendments of the Truck and Bus Regulation.” The following are a summary of regulations that remain in place or were limited or modified after the 2014 amendments were voided.  An updated overview of Compliance requirements can be found here: https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdiesel/documents/fsregsum.pdf.

The most important changes are as follows:

Low-Use Exemption

The mileage limit is less than 1,000 miles per year in California.  Vehicles that are designed to power other equipment that can only be used while stationary must be operated less than 100 hours per year and those hours must be reported every compliance year.

Low Mileage Construction Truck Option

The Low Mileage Construction Truck Option was previously known as the Low Mileage Work Truck Option, which had expanded eligibility criteria that is no longer available.  A PM filter must have been installed by 2018 for the vehicle to continue to operate under Low Mileage Construction Truck Option.  If the fleet owner has been issued a valid Contractor’s License, then all vehicle body types are eligible.  Low-mileage construction trucks must operate less than 15,000 miles per year; however, dump trucks can operate up to 20,000 per year.  Lighter vehicles (14,001 to 26,000 GVWR) can no longer claim this flexibility option.

Agricultural Vehicle Extension for Replacement Vehicles

Agricultural vehicles that reported for this flexibility option cannot operate more than 10,000 miles per year until January 1, 2023.

NOx Exempt Area Extension

The counties that were added to the list of NOx Exempt Areas under the 2014 amendments have been removed.  A PM filter must be installed to continue to claim the NOx Exempt Area Extension.  To meet the 2019 compliance requirement, vehicles without a PM Filter must meet the upgrade requirement based on the Engine Model Year schedule or claim a different flexibility option for which they are eligible.  Counties removed from the NOx Exempt Area are: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Kern, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada and Tuolumne along with the portions of Sutter, El Dorado, and Placer.  The counties that will continue to be considered in the NOx Exempt Area are: Alpine, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Northern Sonoma, Plumas, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Yuba.

Retrofit by 2014 and No Replacement Until 2023 Extension

Lighter vehicles with pre-2000 model year engines and heavier vehicles with pre-1996 model year engines that were eligible for this option must meet the 2010 or newer model year engine compliance requirement by January 2, 2020.  After the 2020 compliance year, vehicles with the remaining engine model years must meet the replacement requirement in the Engine Model Year schedule.  Notices are

being sent to affected fleets to inform them of the change to their compliance deadline.

Options No Longer Available

Heavy cranes:  these vehicles must meet the same upgrade requirements as all other vehicles subject to the Truck and Bus regulation.

Smoothing out Compliance Requirements:  there is no longer a limit to the number of vehicles that must meet the replacement requirement in the Engine Model Year schedule.

Cattle Livestock Trucks:  these vehicles are no longer considered eligible to use the Specialty Agricultural Extension.