MIC acts to reduce impactful CARB off-road regs

Late last month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted regulations to control evaporative emissions from off-highway recreational vehicles (OHRVs), including off-highway motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides.

For the past seven years while these regulations were being developed, the MIC worked closely with CARB to ensure the regulations would not severely limit product availability or performance or significantly increase the cost to buyers. MIC’s persistence resulted in significantly less stringent standards and test procedures, a multi-year extension of the implementation and phase-in period, the removal of refueling emission controls for most vehicles, improvements to the emissions inventory model, and other important revisions to CARB’s initial proposal.

In mid-July, MIC convinced CARB to walk away from an eleventh-hour proposal to consider evaporative controls at this time on Red Sticker OHRVs — vehicles that are not required to comply with exhaust emission standards. Instead, CARB will hold industry workshops in the coming months to explore whether the Red Sticker program needs to be revisited.

“The MIC OE Technical Committee has worked diligently to find solutions that will further improve California air quality, while at the same time protecting off-highway recreation for the State’s enthusiasts,” said MIC vice president Pamela Amette. “California’s ever-changing and increasingly stringent regulations require an ongoing, intense effort by committee members to fight to prevent unintended consequences of well-meaning but ill-advised proposals, and those efforts have made a significant impact today.”

The reduction in OHRV sales due to the Great Recession makes complying with the newly adopted regulation by 2022 economically infeasible for certain models. The regulation would, in-effect, force the removal of these models from the California market. To address this issue, the MIC requested a two-year delay in the regulation’s implementation during the July 25 Board meeting in Sacramento, Calif. The Board denied MIC’s request, but committed to reviewing the state of the market in the coming years.

The proposed regulations, to be phased in from 2018-2021, establish emission standards to reduce evaporative emissions produced by OHRVs due to permeation of gasoline through plastic tanks and rubber fuel lines, tank venting, liquid leakage and spillage.

To meet the new regulations, vehicles will need to be equipped with activated carbon canisters or a pressure relief valve on the vent of the fuel tank.


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