CARB Amends Portable Equipment, Service Info Regs

Posted on June 26, 2006

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has amended its regulations for portable equipment used in California. The program gives owners of equipment used in temporary construction, oil and water drilling and other work projects what the board calls a "one stop" registration process and supports existing local air pollution district programs.

In a separate action, CARB approved amendments to existing requirements for engine manufacturers to make tools and service information available to independent service providers of heavy-duty engines starting with the 2013 model year. Similar regulations are already in effect for light and medium-duty vehicle manufacturers.

The current portable equipment regulation, adopted in 1997, provides a "one stop" permit process for equipment used in multiple locations without additional local air district permits. The registration process seeks to ensure that the ARB's portable equipment regulation does not undercut local pollution control efforts and also requires the phase-in by 2010 of the cleanest available engines and technologies.

Dr. Robert Sawyer, CARB Chairman said, "The Board's action insures an equal playing field for operators of these engines who have complied with the program over the past decade and provides additional tools to aid local air districts to control this important emissions category."

Equipment falling under this regulation includes such uses as engine-powered pumps and generators to military tactical and airport ground support equipment. Currently there are close to 28,000 units registered by this program, which according to CARB estimates represent about two-thirds of all portable engines operating in California.

Modifications include an increase in annual inspection fees for engines of about $40 each and up to $116 for equipment sets, such as portable gravel crushing and screening plants. Inspections would be required every three years. Each engine must be equipped with hour meters to better determine usage patterns. There are new and additional record keeping and reporting requirements. Placards are required to identify complying equipment. Plus, the board affirmed the need for older engines that have not obtained a permit to use the cleanest engines available.