On Tuesday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a public workshop to discuss proposed amendments to CARB’s alternative fuel conversion certification procedures. CARB has indicated that it is looking at changes to its certification procedures for both new (unregistered) and in-use (already registered) vehicles and engines. A power point presentation given at the meeting (link provided below) indicates that CARB is looking at aligning its procedures more closely with the US EPA’s aftermarket certification rules. Modification of California’s rules is important since California is one of the largest markets for alternative fuel vehicles in the country and its regulations are followed by a number of other states. Current regulations make it extremely difficult and impractical to certify bi-fuel natural gas vehicles (NGVs).
CARB has not proposed formal changes to its rules and has not released draft language. However, the presentation highlights that a number of important regulatory changes are under consideration, such as
• allowing “new” certifications to be used on in-use or used vehicles;
• extending the timeframe for modifying “new” vehicles under Executive Orders;
• harmonizing test fuel specifications with EPA rules;
• waiving exhaust emissions testing for gasoline on dual-fuel vehicles;
• modifying deterioration factors procedures; and
• changing to on-board diagnostics (OBD) verification, among other things.
CARB staff has requested input on these and other proposed changes. Persons interested in submitting comments are urged to do so by mid-February. The staff indicated that it may hold another meeting on this issue in April, and possibly could propose changes to its Board by late summer. For a copy of the CARB presentation given at January 22 meeting, visit http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onroad/cert/ldctp/1-22-2013_alt%20fuels_wkshp_v10.pdf