Tractor-trailer fleets using 53-ft. or longer trailers in California have just a few more weeks to take advantage of a phase-in period before they must comply with another state environmental law that will require adding fairings, skirts and low-roll-resistant tires to all trailers traveling in the state.

The California Air Resources Board announced that fleet owners now have until August 1, 2011 to register their fleets if they want to take advantage of a flexible phase-in option for a new California regulation designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is the last chance for large fleets to take advantage of flexible phase-in option.

The tractor-trailer greenhouse gas regulation requires 53-ft. or longer trailers that travel in California to be equipped with U.S. EPA SmartWay-verified aerodynamic technologies including low-rolling-resistance tires, skirts and fairings.
“ARB has designed this regulation so that flexible options are available to businesses for planning purposes,” said Mary D. Nichols, ARB chairman. “This way, businesses can add this equipment and start saving money on fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Large fleets (with 21 or more trailers) can take advantage of a flexible option, which allows compliance to be phased in over five years, from 2011 through 2015. However to take advantage of this phase-in option, owners must submit a compliance plan to the ARB that includes a list of trailers in the fleet and the scheduled percentage of trailers to be brought into compliance each year. Large fleets that do not choose this option must bring all of their pre-2011 model year trailers into compliance by January 1, 2013.

ARB estimates that from 2010 to 2020, the regulation is expected to reduce 33 million metric tons of CO2 emissions nationwide. Tractors and trailers with aerodynamic technologies are more fuel-efficient, and are estimated to save about 3 billion gallons of diesel fuel from nationwide operations. As a result, fleet owners can expect to see a return on their investment for skirts, tires and fairings within 2.3 years if they travel 100,000 miles per year, ARB predicts.

Fleet owners can register by creating an account and entering their plan for their trailers online. Instructions on how to prepare and submit a plan can be found in the Large Fleet Compliance fact sheet. Owners without computer access can submit their plan via regular mail to: Air Resources Board, Attn: ORHDD Section 9480, Telstar Avenue, Suite 4, El Monte, CA 91731.

AB 32, signed by California’s governor in 2006, is California's Global Warming Solutions Act that sets aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets. As part of its Scoping Plan, ARB is using a mix of approaches to meet climate change goals, including the tractor-trailer greenhouse gas rule and other complementary measures.

For more information on the tractor-trailer greenhouse gas regulation.