The Engine Manufacturers Association last week voiced strong opposition to the California Air Resources Board's proposal to set its own stricter emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles -- a move that is expected to be followed by 13 other states.

Hearings were held last week on the proposal to apply "not to exceed" and other supplemental emissions requirements and tests to heavy diesel engines three years before similar federal standards go into effect.
"This proposal, which covers diesel engines manufactured for 2005 and beyond model years, constitutes a completely new set of emissions standards and not just the simple addition of testing procedures as the Board maintains," said EMA counsel Lisa Stegink, testifying at the Board hearings in Sacramento.
CARB has proposed setting up its own version of supplemental emissions requirements and tests, contending that they are simply "filling the emissions gap" created by the expiration of an agreement with engine makers to make cleaner engines. That agreement, the result of a lawsuit by the federal government, expired well before new stricter federal regulations go into effect in 2007.
Stegink went on to say that in order to comply with the federal Clean Air Act and California Law, the Air Resources Board must "ensure that any standards adopted for on-highway, heavy-duty engines are technologically feasible, cost effective, and allow the industry sufficient lead-time and regulatory stability to comply."
"This proposal fails to meet any of these requirements," she added.
The CARB plans to adopt the proposed measure before the end of the year, but diesel engine manufacturers argue that the time frame leaves inadequate time to fully analyze all the issues.
"The proposal would create a significant ‘harmonization’ problem for manufacturers in which different standards would apply to different companies in different states, simultaneously," said Stegink. "EMA is certain that upon closer inspection, the CARB will conclude it cannot take the action it has proposed."