Owners of 2003-model-year transport refrigeration units have until the end of this month to meet new California Air Resources Board standards.

Last November, the industry appealed to CARB for more time to bring model year 2003 TRU engines into compliance. The weight of the faltering economy had made it difficult to get funding for new engines.

CARB gave industry a 90 day grace period. During this period enforcement officers would not pursue actions against non-compliant 2003 model year TRUs. The 90 day extension is over March 31, 2011. By then all model year 2003 TRU engines must meet required control standards or owners will face penalties.

CARB inspection teams will be at distribution centers, scales, border crossings, truckstops, ports, intermodal facilities and other locations where TRUs operate, and will issue citations for non-compliance. Penalties for registration violations can be up to $500 each. In-use performance violations may be up to $1,000. Penalties may be even greater if violations go uncorrected.

To help businesses comply with the regulation, financing information is provided on ARB's TRU website under Compliance Assistance Contacts. Some organizations listed offer small business loans. Retrofit device manufacturers, such as Rypos, offer lease programs and financing. TRU owners should contact their local air district to find out about other financial assistance programs.

Purchases of equipment that go beyond TRU requirements may qualify for financial assistance through California's Carl Moyer Program. This program seeks greater emission reductions by
getting cleaner engines on the road at least three years before required by law. These grants may not be used to comply with regulations.

CARB has established a toll-free TRU Help Line available to callers during normal business hours, Pacific Time: 1-888-878-2826.