Forklift Regulation ALERT

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 26, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Forklift regulations, referred to as "Off-Road Mobile Source Fleet Rules for Large Spark Ignition Engines", passed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in May of 2007, will begin taking effect this January (2009).  If you own more than three applicable forklifts at any one location or have more than three forklifts statewide and purchase from a central location, then these regulations will likely apply to you.  

In the late 1990’s CARB began implementing rules to restrict forklift emissions in the late 1990’s, but worked primarily with engine manufacturers imposing tighter and tighter restrictions on new equipment emissions.  In 2005-2006, CARB started looking at electric forklifts, but were surprised to learn of the limitations of such equipment.  With well maintained forklifts lasting 20-30 years, CARB considered forcing the retrofit of existing equipment.  

Resulting regulations call for tightened standards in January 2009, and further tightening in 2011 and 2013.  The resulting costs are high – conversion to water-cooling or three-way catalyst systems will run $4,000 to $6,000 per forklift.  

Unfortunately, due to the title of these regulations, only Agriculture and Construction were involved in the rulemaking process (and Agriculture was eventually granted additional time for compliance). No outreach to manufacturers was ever made except to the forklift manufacturers.  CARB expected the forklift companies to bring these new regulations to the attention of all stakeholders, but that communication was extremely limited.  

CMTA and other industries are petitioning CARB to postpone implementation and enforcement so that full public review and comments can take place.  However, CMTA has been told that CARB intends to enforce implementation.  The penalty for non-compliance is $500 per day per piece of equipment.  

To see the regulations, go to:  http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/offroad/orspark/orspark.htm
Answers to frequently asked questions can be viewed at:  http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/offroad/orspark/documents/faq7_08.pdf

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