Thursday, February 3, 2011

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Review of California Goods Movement Regulations

The United States Environmental Protection Agency plans to review whether the California state air regulator properly adopted stringent emission rules on port and rail cargo handling equipment used within the state.

The California Air Resources Board approved the regulations back in December 2005. The rules require on-road cargo handling vehicles to be fitted with the "best available control technology" to reduce emissions. Off-road vehicles, such as mobile cranes or yard tractors, are also required to be fitted with the highest level of emissions control available.

Normally, federal air quality regulation supersedes state regulations under the Clean Air Act, but California is the only state to have a waiver from the EPA. The EPA is now seeking public comment to help the agency determine if the California rules comply with the federal Clean Air Act and whether California should require a new waiver to cover the 2005 rules.

The agency is accepting public comment through March 17, but has scheduled a hearing in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 17. The EPA said it would cancel the hearing if no interested party requests it by Feb. 7.