June 19, 2017
Reducing Emissions Is Good for State Economy, CARB Report Shows
CARB’s 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory report, released June 6, shows that significant emissions reductions accompanied California’s strongest economic growth since 2005. It found that emissions fell by 1.5 million metric tons in 2015 compared with 2014, which CARB says is the equivalent of removing 300,000 vehicles from California’s roads for a year. The report also notes that biofuels displaced 1 billion gallons of gasoline and 300 million gallons of diesel fuel in 2015.
Meanwhile, California has created 2.3 million new jobs and cut its unemployment rate in half; in 2016, the state led the nation in job creation for the third year in a row. Since 2001, the carbon intensity of the state’s economy (the amount of greenhouse gases needed to generate each million dollars of gross state product) has fallen 33 percent from its peak in 2001; at the same time, California’s GSP has grown 37 percent.
New Study Shows Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles Pollute More Than Expected
A CARB research project led by UC Riverside shows that heavy-duty diesel trucks may be emitting even more pollutants than expected, due to the performance of the trucks’ emissions control technology during real-world driving conditions. The Collection of Activity Data from On-Road Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles study shows that 15–17 percent of the time, the trucks aren’t being driven fast enough for the emissions control technology to convert nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water. The problem is even worse at Southern California ports, the study found. Half the time that they are on the road, trucks serving the port are idling at temperatures too low for the control technology to work—meaning that they probably are emitting pollutants at levels higher than the legal limit.
LNG Refuse Trucks Turn in Top Emissions Performance in Real-World Test
Another new CARB study, this one conducted with the city of Sacramento, compared emissions from five 2010 or newer diesel, hydraulic hybrid diesel, and LNG engines in real-world refuse truck operations. The engines were certified to the model 2010 (0.2 grams per brake horsepower-hour) or interim model year 2010 (0.5 g/bhp-hr) NOx standard. The researchers found that brake-specific NOx emissions from the two LNG trucks equipped with a three-way catalyst were the lowest. The diesel and hybrid diesel trucks were equipped with selective catalytic reduction technologies.
The first LNG truck averaged 0.12 g/bhp-hr of NOx. The second LNG truck averaged 0.09 g/bhp-hr. All three of the diesel and hybrid trucks’ brake-specific NOx emissions exceeded certification levels. The first conventional diesel truck emitted 1.17 g/bhp-hr. The second diesel truck averaged 0.66 g/bhp-hr. The diesel hybrid truck’s emissions averaged 0.46 g/bhp-hr, but it was not driven on highway, which could have made a difference.
Coalition Joins Committee Focused on Reducing Livestock Methane
Coalition President Thomas Lawson has joined the Digester Subgroup Committee of the California Dairy and Livestock GHG Reduction Working Group, which was established by SB 1383 to help develop dairy methane emissions reduction projects. Organized by CARB and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the group’s goal is to provide policy recommendations for growing the market for digester products, with a focus on the RNG-to–transportation fuel value chain.
Photo ©Westport Innovations, used by permission