Thursday, April 27, 2023

Today, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a new regulation that would limit the pollutants produced by locomotives while they travel across the state.

Operators will now be obliged to contribute to a spending account under the In-Use Locomotive Regulation, and the amount will be based on the emissions they produce while running in California. Companies will be able to update to cleaner locomotive technology using the funding. The maximum idle time for locomotives will be 30 minutes. Additionally, starting in 2035, freight line haul operations in California will require switch, industrial, and passenger locomotives manufactured in 2030 or later to run in zero-emission configurations.

As a significant component of California's transportation system, locomotives are obliged to participate in efforts to reduce pollution and improve air quality, according to CARB Chair Liane Randolph. According to the statement, the state will ultimately operate zero-emission transport systems as a result of the new regulation.

Now, one train's operational emissions are worse than those of 400 heavy-duty trucks. The emissions savings from the new law are anticipated to be roughly twice as great as those produced by all passenger vehicles in California between now and 2050, underscoring the significance of locomotive operations in the state even more. The In-Use Locomotive Regulation is anticipated to have the greatest impact on reducing nitrogen oxide emissions in order to fulfil California's air quality standards by the target date of 2037.

By averting 3,200 unnecessary deaths and 1,500 ER visits and hospitalizations, the lowered nitrogen oxide and diesel particulate matter levels, for which there is no known safe threshold of exposure, will save the nation's health system an estimated $32 billion. With the technology at hand today, one can begin to strive towards health benefits. It is anticipated that within one mile of locomotive activities, the risk of developing cancer will be 90% lower. Numerous train activities are frequently found in locations with populations of colour and low-income individuals, especially in metropolitan areas, who frequently suffer disproportionately from the effects of air pollution.

The new regulations provide flexibility to comply, including several ways to fulfil milestone dates and extensions for cases like problems with the available technology or emergencies. Funding programs are available, especially for businesses wishing to go above and beyond the requirements of the rule or take early action. The Carl Moyer Program, Community Air Protection Incentives, and Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, as well as other initiatives like the Advanced Technology Demonstration and Pilot Projects financed by the Low Carbon Transportation Program, may all offer financial assistance. Operators can also take advantage of billions in federal grants and refunds designed to cut air pollution.

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