CNGVC Urges CARB to Prioritize Near-Term NOx Reductions in Final Version of 2022 State SIP Strategy

On September 22, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will consider the adoption of the “Proposed 2022 State Strategy for the State Implementation Plan” or SIP. CNGVC is urging the Board to reconsider the proposed recommendations and instead construct a comprehensive and effective plan that will guarantee the immediate reduction of harmful pollutants. This will result in real solutions for the 12 million people living in the state’s most polluted regions whose health is being adversely affected.

In written comments submitted this week, CNGVC President Nicole Rice declared,

The deployment of [heavy-duty] natural gas trucks powered by carbon-negative renewable natural gas (RNG) is the most immediate and cost-effective solution to achieve near-term reductions in criteria pollutants that will improve public health … Yet, … this technology has been intentionally omitted as a near-term solution in the Proposed 2022 SIP due to an overreliance on measures that contain yet-to-be-adopted goals and aspirations that present monumental hurdles and may prove incapable of achieving their promises.

The letter further warns that, “[w]ith the exclusion of this clean technology alternative [natural gas trucks powered by carbon-negative RNG], coupled with the lack of a suitable, workable near-term strategy, this plan risks the inevitable continued use of diesel – a known toxic air contaminant – as the default fuel option.”  Consequently, CNGVC strongly requests the Board take proactive steps now to develop a strategy that prioritizes the immediate reduction of NOx emissions from the heavy-duty transportation sector and includes the only technology able to significantly reduce NOx emissions starting today – RNG-powered natural gas trucks.

This technology, created with significant support from CARB, is immediately available and proven to reduce NOx emissions by 90 percent compared to diesel.  Similarly, these trucks meet CARB’s own 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr) optional low NOx standard and operate on net-negative carbon RNG, thus providing the co-benefit of significant reductions in short-lived climate pollutants and criteria air pollutants that also help the State achieve its carbon neutrality goals. 

The comment letter additionally cautions against relying on flawed data and unsubstantiated conclusions to inform CARB’s regulatory decisions and reminds the Board that the initial policy pursuit was not about selecting a technology preference but rather about the advancement of all clean transportation alternatives that can help to displace higher-emitting diesel engines as soon as feasible.

You can review the Coalition’s letter here.