The rule requires construction contractors, mine operators, and industrial users to retrofit, repower, rebuild, or replace off-road diesel equipment.

2,000 Construction Letters Urge CARB to Repeal Rule

The Associated General Contractors of America said its California members sent that many letters to the board seeking repeal of the off-road diesel rule, saying it is unnecessary and threatens contractors across the country.

Saying the off-road rule adopted in July 2007 by the California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB, must be repealed, the Associated General Contractors of America continues to warn it is a threat to contractors nationwide because California has requested that EPA grant federal approval of the rule. AGC said Sept. 13 that its California members have sent more than 2,000 letters to CARB urging a repeal. CARB staffers have retreated from their original estimates of the emissions the rule will prevent, and the numbers now show the rule is not needed, according to AGC.

The rule requires construction contractors, mine operators, and industrial users to retrofit, repower, rebuild, or replace off-road diesel equipment. CARB estimated compliance would cost a total of $3.4 billion, but the construction industry estimates $13 billion, according to AGC, which says, "The [CARB] staff has rolled out new numbers demonstrating that California simply does not need the rule, or anything close to it, to achieve its air quality goals." According to AGC, the regulated fleets will meet or exceed CARB's goals for nitrogen oxide emissions through the final year of the latest forecasts, as well as CARB's goals for particulate matter emissions for at least the next five years, without the rule.

"When the CARB staff proposed the rule, it admitted that the burden would reach 'the economic limit of what industry could bear,'" the association said. "Since then, 4 of every 10 jobs in California's construction industry have disappeared, and today, the burden is well beyond anything that industry can bear. Any further delay in repealing the rule will simply prolong the pain that the rule needlessly inflicts on the good men and women who are California’s construction industry."

CARB held workshops in August and September to present revised emission inventories and a report on premature deaths associated with fine particulate pollution. Workshops on revised staff regulatory proposals will be held this month and in October, and staff will propose regulatory amendments to the CARB board in December following public comments.

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