The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently outlined modifications to the regulations governing Transportation Refrigeration Units (TRUs). These proposed updates, pending review in fall 2021, aim to incorporate significant enhancements focusing on environmental protection and public health. The potential changes are poised to impact truck and trailer TRUs, along with TRU generator set engines, introducing measures such as:
- A shift towards zero-emission diesel truck TRUs.
- The implementation of stricter diesel particulate matter emission standards for newly produced TRUs across various categories.
- The adoption of refrigerants with lower global warming potential.
- Enhanced reporting requirements for facilities.
A phased approach is planned for these amendments, starting with initial changes in 2021, followed by a comprehensive evaluation of zero-emission options for trailer TRUs and other TRU categories scheduled for CARB’s review between 2023 and 2024.
The 2021 proposed amendments include critical deadlines and standards such as:
- By December 31, 2022, new truck TRUs, trailer TRUs, domestic shipping container TRUs, and railcar TRUs must use refrigerants with a global warming potential of 2,200 or less.
- Starting with the model year 2023, trailer TRUs, domestic shipping container TRUs, railcar TRUs, and TRU generator set engines are required to comply with the Ultra-Low-Emission TRU (ULETRU) performance standards.
- By May 31, 2023, manufacturers are prohibited from producing any trailer TRU, domestic shipping container TRU, railcar TRU, or TRU generator set engine that does not meet the ULETRU standards.
- Effective December 31, 2023, facility owners must register with CARB, pay fees every three years, and either report all operating TRUs quarterly or confirm compliance. TRU owners are obligated to register their TRUs (including those based out of state) with CARB, pay triennial fees, and ensure each unit bears a CARB compliance label.
- Truck TRU fleets are required to transition to zero-emission models at a rate of 15% per year over seven years, aiming for full compliance by December 31, 2029. Extensions may be granted if infrastructure developments delay compliance.
These proposed amendments are still under consideration, with formal adoption yet to be announced. While there is no set period for public comment, CARB welcomes inquiries and feedback. For more detailed information, stakeholders are encouraged to visit the CARB website and review the section dedicated to the development of new TRU regulations.