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California Overestimates Pollution Levels by 340%

California has overestimated pollution levels by 340 percent in a scientific analysis used to determine the state’s clean-air standards, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The results come after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced in April that it may have overestimated the amount of diesel emissions from backhoes tractors, trucks and other vehicles.

The truck and bus fuel emissions rule, written under AB 32, the 2006 law that addresses global warming, requires trucking fleets to acquire diesel particulate matter filters and upgrade their truck engines beginning in 2012, with the exception of small trucking businesses that will be exempt until 2014.

CARB told the newspaper that the overestimate is largely due to the board calculating emissions before the economy slumped, which halted the use of many of the 150,000 diesel-exhaust vehicles in California. However, independent researchers attribute  the huge overestimates in the air board’s work on diesel emissions to a faulty method of calculation, according to the article.

This follows the request of a member of the Air Board, who called for a review by independent researchers of the diesel emissions rules for trucks and buses after learning that a researcher whose work contributed to the pollution standards in December 2008 falsified his credentials.

As a result of the miscalculation, the air board and construction industry officials have announced a proposal that includes delaying the start of the requirements until 2014 and exempting more vehicles from the rule.

The setbacks and the proposed weakening of a landmark regulation raise questions about the performance of the agency as it implements the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 or AB32, which has come under political attack this year, according to the article.

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3 thoughts on “California Overestimates Pollution Levels by 340%

  1. I guess the only thread of good news in here is that delaying the start of some requirements to 2014 could take the stinger out of Prop 23 – the oil company driven effort to overturn AB32.

  2. This should not be much of a surprise. The CARB is well known for using absolute worst-case scenarios for emissions then applying those universally under all conditions. Take the average ICE automobile with an EPA reported tailpipe emission limit of .5g/mile CO2. CARB will use this data for the entire fleet assuming all vehicle are operating at their end-of-life limit. In reality a proper tailpipe audit under a dynamic rolling load shows the vast majority of ICE autos in this class emit .005 to .01g/mile CO2. A tremenous difference. Which also makes one question the whole logic behind a rush to EVs when coal-fired power plant emissions are far better understood.

  3. CARB has nothing to do about protecting the environment, its about destroying our economy and ushering a new more efficient system…soviet style communism. We know how that works, everyone is equally miserable.

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