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Calculating compliance with California ARB rules
Thursday, 10 Sep 2009 ( #427 ) - Sacramento, CA, United States
News Story
Calculating emissions. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
Several companies are taking steps to help forklift fleet operators calculate ways to comply with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) fleet average emission level standards for large spark-ignition (LSI) engines.

In 1994, ARB began considering emission control regulations for new LSI engines and, in 1998, adopted the nation’s first LSI-engine emission standards, which were implemented in phases between 2001 and 2004.

The board adopted a strategy for a California implementation plan in 2003 with an eye on complying with federal health-based air quality standards by 2010. Among 19 defined measures, two of the mobile-source measures involved off-road equipment with LSI engines. They set standards for engine manufacturers and fleet average emission level standards for relevant operators.

The first of the fleet average standards became effective on 1 January 2009, with stricter requirements scheduled for implementation at the start of 2011 and 2013.

Emission control equipment manufacturer Nett Technologies Inc of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; forklift dealerships Papé Group Inc of Eugene, Oregon; Raymond Handling Solutions Inc of Santa Fe Springs, California; and Fork Lift Specialties Inc of Fresno, California have developed fleet average calculators or guidance for fleet owners trying to cope with the ARB emission-control limits.

No such calculator exists on the ARB website.

ARB did not develop a calculator, in part because of time limitations but also "because we thought the fleet average standard was straight-forward", says Mark Williams, air pollution specialist with the zero emissions vehicle implementation section in ARB’s mobile source control division. "I do appreciate that third-party calculators are out there, but I do not have time to verify that each and every one performs correctly. Therefore, I cannot promote or endorse them."

The Nett retrofit sizing calculator—in the online and original Microsoft Excel-spreadsheet versions—can assist an owner in selecting the quantity and type of verified exhaust treatment products to meet ARB requirements for a fleet of forklift or non-forklift LSI off-road equipment.

Between the formats, "the only difference is that one is online and the other you can take with you", says Wayne Borean, Nett co-ordinator for sales to original equipment manufacturers. "Both are updated on a regular basis."

Borean says it was Randy Wingenroth’s "genius idea" in February 2005 to create a small spreadsheet to calculate a company’s fleet average. At that time, Wingenroth was with Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc in Houston, Texas. Now, he is vice president of engineering and research and development with Cargotec Corp’s Kalmar RT Center LLC in Cibolo, Texas.

Karen Hay with the Impco Technologies subsidiary of New York-based Fuel Systems Solutions Inc, along with Borean and, later, Nett’s Wayne Moffat, made modifications to the Excel spreadsheet. Moffat is the Nett senior technical sales representative for California.

"Over the past couple of years, we’ve kept modifying it—there have been more than 20 versions—both to kill bugs and add features that customers have requested," Borean notes.

Nett activated the online version on 10 August 2009 enabling an interested party to fill in the form under the "tools" tab on the website, press a quote button and get a response from a technical sales representative.

Another emission control equipment manufacturer, Engine Control Systems (ECS), refers forklift fleet operators to the ARB website "to find the correct regulatory documents to ensure they understand the ARB LSI fleet regulation and reporting requirements", says Kevin Brown, ECS marketing and regulatory affairs manager. "I would stress to fleet operators not to rely on simple fleet calculators as such tools cannot typically incorporate all the requirements and an understanding of the requirements of the in-use fleet requirements in California."

ECS works with equipment and engine manufacturers to support the development of emissions control systems for new engines.

Catalytic Solutions Inc of Ventura, California acquired ECS in January 2008. ECS doubled the size of its main facility with a move in November 2008 to Thornhill from Newmarket. Both communities are in the Canadian province of Ontario.

ARB executive orders authorise retrofit kits from Nett and ECS for emission control on various sizes of uncontrolled LSI engines.

Among dealers providing help, Papé Group features an inventory and LSI recommendation worksheet under the "carb" heading on the website. The Hyster, John Deere, Bobcat and Genie dealer has more than 60 locations in eight western states.

Raymond Handling Solutions offers multiple calculators for ARB compliance, space utilization, fleet right-sizing and pallet requirements under the "tools" tab on the website. The Raymond dealer has four locations in southern California and Nevada.

Fork Lift Specialties provides guidance in a nine-page primer and resource compendium on its website. The Yale dealership has two central California locations.

ARB’s Williams notes the calculation assistance "might be valuable" to medium-sized fleet operators as compliance assistance tools. "Operators of the smallest fleets may not need the calculator, and the largest may have dedicated staff to work on environmental compliance," Williams says.

As for guidance from Sacramento-based ARB on the subject, "I want to post links to the tools on our website after thoroughly evaluating and confirming that the calculators work properly," he reports.
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