After several years of development, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed and passed several new environmental regulations on refrigerated trucks that may have a significant impact on the industry. The first of these regulations come into effect in December 2022. If you or your company operates reefers on the West Coast, you need to start taking action now to ensure you remain in compliance!
What You Need To Know About California Regulations And CARB Compliant Trucks
I. Why new regulations?
For years, there had been concerns about the amount of emissions generated by refrigerated trucks, as well as questions about the impact of the refrigerant being used. The key issue was that, unlike standard trucks, reefers had to remain running at all times while loaded. This could potentially result in trucks sitting idle for hours, waiting to be loaded/unloaded, releasing more greenhouse gases than the average truck.
So, CARB, California’s state body regulating air quality, decided to step in and address the issue.
II. What will the new CARB regulations accomplish?
The new CARB regulations have a single long-term goal: that all reefers in California will be zero emissions by the year 2029. This does give shippers and independents a lot of time to prepare, but it won’t happen all at once. The new regulations will be rolled out year by year. Planning will help you stay in compliance across the next decade.
And to be clear: these regulations will apply to all reefers operating in California, regardless of where they are registered or headquartered.
III. What are the first milestones for CARB-compliant trucks?
To get started, you should be looking to the end of 2022, as well as 2023.
In December 2022:
- All newly manufactured reefers – both trucks and trailers – must use low-emissions refrigerant or no refrigerant at all. If refrigerant is used, it must have a global warming potential no higher than 2,200.
- New reefer models must also lower particulate emissions, in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 final off-road particulate matter emission standard for 25-50 hp engines.
In December 2023:
- Owners of reefer trucks must report all trucks operating in California to CARB, pay fees, and attach stickers demonstrating their CARB compliance.
- Owners with older reefers must upgrade at least 15% of their fleet to be zero emissions and continue to do so until all trucks are upgraded by 2029.