Air Board Approves Diesel and Climate Protection Plans

In back-to-back rulings, the Californian Air Resources Board approved the nation's strongest climate protection plan and the strictest on-road diesel emissions plans that will mean the oldest, most polluting trucks and buses will soon be no more.

"The (diesel) regulations, approved one day after the California Air Resources Board's landmark vote to curb greenhouse gases (see related article), require all trucks and buses, whether or not they are registered in the state, to retrofit or replace their rigs starting in 2010.

Truck owners would be required to install filters on their exhaust, and most would have to do so by 2014. Truckers also would have to replace their engines between 2012 and 2022 or buy a new truck with an engine made with 2010 specifications.

Air board officials estimate that the rule will save the lives of 9,400 people between 2011 and 2025.

Board member Dr. John Balmes said after the vote that while the change might cost the industry more than $5 billion (with only $1 billion in state funding assistance to offer), the savings in public health costs are estimated at as much as $50 billion.

Air board officials said their top priority is public health, adding that failure to meet clean air standards in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California would put $2 billion in federal highway money at risk."

Full Story: Air board adopts strict rules on diesel exhaust

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