USDA Grain Transportation Report (5/4): California Approves Strict New Clean-Air Regulations For Rail and Trucking

According to today's USDA Grain Transportation Report, on April 27, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed the In-Use Locomotive regulation aimed at reducing emissions from locomotives within the State.

Among other rules, the regulation would set idling time-limits and require Class I line-haul locomotives built after 2035 to be zero-emissions to operate in California.

On April 28, CARB also approved its Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation to accelerate deployment of medium- and heavy-duty, zero-emissions trucks.

ACF would set rules on drayage fleets and certain “high-priority” fleets to push many trucks toward zero-emissions around 2035.

Agriculture stakeholders are concerned that the majority of farmers and livestock workers live in rural areas with limited access to the electric infrastructure required by ACF.

Plus, the time needed to charge vehicles could hinder the transport of perishable agricultural commodities.

To help address stakeholder concerns, CARB has specified certain exemptions for motor carriers, and California offers some funding for zero-emissions vehicles.

CARB must submit the rules for public comment and obtain approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before the rules can be enforced.