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California finalizes PM control rule for garbage trucks

1 October 2003

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted the “Diesel Particulate Matter Control Measure for On-Road Heavy-Duty Residential and Commercial Solid Waste Collection Vehicles”—a regulation that requires retrofitting of garbage trucks to reduce diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions. The rule, expected to produce some 85% PM emission reduction from garbage truck fleets, was finalized at the ARB meeting on 25 September 2003.

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The regulation covers 1960-2006 model year (MY) engine on-road diesel-fueled heavy-duty residential and commercial solid waste collection vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over 14,000 pounds. The implementation schedule starts in 2004 and continues through 2011. The regulation applies to garbage truck owners, as well as to municipalities that contract waste collection services.

The rule requires that the “best available control technology” is implemented according to a specified schedule. Three best available control technology options are available to truck owners:

  1. to use a diesel engine, alone or in combination with a verified diesel emission control strategy (DECS), that is certified to the 0.01 g/bhp-hr PM emission standard
  2. to use an alternative fuel engine, or a heavy-duty pilot ignition (dual fuel) engine
  3. to apply the highest level diesel emission control strategy verified by ARB for a specific engine

Under options 1 and 2, the trucks would have to be repowered with a new engine. It could be an emission-controlled diesel meeting the 2007 PM standard of 0.01 g/bhp-hr (the current PM standard is 0.1 g/bhp-hr), natural gas engine, or dual fuel diesel/natural gas engine. Currently, no verified retrofit DECS device exists that would reduce PM emissions to 0.01 g/bhp-hr.

Under option 3, garbage trucks would be retrofitted with a DECS device ARB-verified to the highest PM reduction level for a given engine model. Furthermore, the device can be used only if the engine manufacturer agrees that it can be successful on the specific engine and vehicle combination. The ARB DECS verification program recognizes three PM emission reduction levels: Level 1 of 25% reduction; Level 2 of 50%; and Level 3 of 85% (or ≤0.01 g/bhp-hr). Devices currently verified for various on-road engine models include diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC) from Donaldson (Level 1) and diesel particulate filters (DPF) from Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, and Cleaire (all Level 3, 85% PM reduction).

The garbage truck rule is a part of the California Diesel Risk Reduction Program, which aims at reducing statewide diesel PM emissions by 75%. Regulations and programs already adopted include the Transit Bus Fleet rule and the Lower-Emission School Bus Program. Regulations still under development will cover (1) public fleets & fuel delivery tanker trucks, (2) public off-road fleets, and (3) private on- and off-road fleets.

Source: California ARB