ARTBA Members Warn EPA on Dangers of Allowing California Diesel Retrofit Rule to Proceed

California's new off-road construction equipment regulations will cost the state's economy billions of dollars and endanger transportation improvements

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Allowing California officials to proceed with new regulations aimed at off-road construction equipment will cost the state’s economy billions of dollars and endanger desperately needed transportation improvements, according to members of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

Members of ARTBA’s two chapter affiliates, the Southern California Contractors Association (SCCA) and the United Contractors, told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an October 19 conference call that it should not grant California a federal waiver to require mandatory retrofits of off-road diesel construction equipment.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed to require new technology retrofits on all diesel construction equipment — technology not anticipated to be widely available to manufacturers until 2014.

ARTBA’s members warned the CARB rule could disrupt the delivery of transportation improvement projects, and in so doing, delay needed roadway safety improvements and impede economic growth and job creation. Additionally, ARTBA noted if the CARB rule is implemented, other states could adopt it, thereby exacerbating these negative effects.

The October 19 discussion came as a result of a public statement given by ARTBA at a September public hearing held by EPA in Washington, D.C., on CARB’s waiver request. At that event, ARTBA noted it was not the ideal location to discuss a rule that could impact the entire California construction market. ARTBA urged the agency to provide an opportunity for businesses in California to voice their concerns. EPA responded by setting up the conference call for ARTBA’s California members.

The full text of ARTBA’s prior submissions on the CARB proposed retrofit regulations and outlining its impacts on the transportation construction industry can be found in the “regulatory affairs” section.