California Air Resources Board (CARB) Adopts New Diesel Measures (September 2015)

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently sent a letter to automobile manufacturers to alert them that the ARB will begin using new testing procedures for diesel vehicles to ensure that emission compliance is being met at levels for which the vehicles were originally certified. The CARB and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will continue to work with large companies to evaluate potential recall solutions and ensure emissions are restored to correct levels. As these processes take place, updates and solutions will be communicated to the public through the media and more formally through large companies by way of mail.

In addition to these actions, the Air Resources Board (ARB) also re-adopted a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which requires a 10 percent decrease in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2020. The LCFS was initially suspended due to challenges in court. To address the court’s ruling and strengthen the initiative, the court made a number of modifications after public testimony and input from various stakeholders. This re-adopted measure will help work towards Governor Brown’s Executive Order of cutting petroleum usage by 40 percent by 2030.

These measures aim not only to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change in California, but also to encourage innovation in creating cleaner and more sustainable fuels. While the LCFS does not specify the use of one particular type of fuel, it does require that the mixture of fuels used contribute to the declining emissions target.

Finally, the ARB adopted a regulation governing alternative diesel fuels (ADF) to help establish a path that will allow cleaner diesel substitutes to enter the marketplace and decrease California’s reliance on petroleum. All of these adoptions coupled with plans develop greater fuel efficiency, sustain more livable communities, and increase the number of hydrogen and electric powered vehicles on the road will help to achieve a more environmentally conscious state and meet the 40 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2030 as called for by Governor Brown.


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