by US correspondent Roger Renstrom
A Californian regulatory agency heard forklift and other industries' input in late June on proposals to lower emissions for off-road large spark ignition (LSI) engines.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) may vote in a few months on proposed amendments to emission standards.
To reduce smog-forming pollutants, CARB aims to harmonise its regulations with existing federal emission standards in 2007 and set more stringent levels in 2010. Other fleet-related requirements are planned for 2011 and 2013.
Industry and CARB representatives worked on the new requirements through detailed communications over many months and at workshops.
CARB is targeting farm, construction and industrial equipment engines with at least 25 horsepower that use gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas and alternate fuels.
The Washington-based Industrial Truck Association (ITA) wants CARB to raise the maximum permissible level for hydrocarbon (HC) and nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions in 2010 to 1.0 gram per horsepower-hour (g/hp-hr) from CARB's proposed 0.6 g/hp-hr.
"Doing so would lower the maximum permissible level for carbon dioxide (CO²) since the standards are related by a 'curve' or equation that is intended to describe numerically the inverse relationship between HC + NOx and CO²," said Gary Cross, ITA counsel.
Cross and ITA members Karen Hay, of IMPCO Technologies, and Cesar Bauman, of Lubrizol/ECS, were among those who spoke at the June 23 CARB hearing in Fresno.
In June, CARB chose "to delay the vote until more information could be gathered from stakeholders", said Jerry Martin, CARB communications director. "The vote was set for the July hearing but has been postponed again to allow CARB's new chairwoman Cindy Tuck to acquaint herself with the issue."
Test procedures remain under consideration. ITA wants CARB to harmonise as much as possible with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. CARB staff are evaluating the latest EPA test-procedure provisions to determine the extent to which CARB might harmonise with EPA limits.
"ITA will have an opportunity to comment separately on test procedures when CARB announces its position," Cross said.
Wayne Borean, major account sales representative for Nett Technologies Inc, of Mississauga, Canada, said the company intended to sell retrofit kits for use on forklifts in the Californian market.