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Navistar Concerned About SCR Compliance

July 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Navistar International Corp. said from a workshop Tuesday (July 20) that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) presented preliminary proposals aimed at the compliance loopholes found in current 2010 liquid-based SCR systems.

“Navistar first identified these loopholes to the agencies and also presented our concerns at today’s workshop,” Jack Allen, president of Navistar’s North American truck group, said in a news release on Tuesday. “We will be working with the EPA and CARB to ensure full environmental compliance.”

At Tuesday’s joint CARB and EPA workshop, Navistar’s concerns about environmental compliance were backed up by independent test findings that show new commercial vehicles that must contain liquid urea to meet federal NOx emissions standards continue to operate effectively when urea is not present. At such times, Navistar said, the vehicles throw off levels of NOx as much as 10 times higher or more than when urea is present.

The research was conducted by EnSIGHT LLC, an independent environmental consulting firm, using two long-haul vehicles and one heavy-duty pickup, all of which use Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology that relies on liquid urea to clean up NOx emissions after they leave the engine.

EnSIGHT’s research showed that when liquid urea was not present, there was little or no effect on the vehicles’ operations. This included long periods of time when the vehicles’ urea tanks were empty or were refilled with water instead of urea. One truck tested appears to operate indefinitely with water and as a result without any functioning SCR NOx control. That truck has accumulated more than 13,000 miles with its SCR NOx emission control turned off.

European research also has shown that even with a full tank of liquid urea, the SCR NOx emission control system does not turn on when exhaust temperatures are not hot enough. This occurs during stop-and-go traffic. That means that there is frequently no SCR NOx control when these trucks are operating in urban areas as well as in any other congested traffic situation.

Navistar, which commissioned EnSIGHT’s work, joined two prominent environmental groups, the Coalition for Clean Air and Environment Now, in calling on the EPA and CARB to eliminate the loopholes and the resulting excessive NOx emissions.

“Truck owners are paying a substantial price to comply with 2010 NOx requirements,” said Allen. “They, and the public, deserve to know that the new equipment they are purchasing actually works as promised to curb pollution. It’s obvious, however, that these trucks can operate effectively without liquid urea, and that under these and other conditions, SCR NOx emission control is turned off. We’re calling on the EPA and CARB to assure that all vehicles, not just ours, work when they are supposed to be working.”

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Web Seminars on Generator Regs Scheduled

June 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cummins Power Generation will conduct web seminars June 29 and July 15 concerning the EPA’s implementation of Phase III emission standards for gaseous engines that go into effect Jan. 1, 2011.

Phase III standards will impact the exhaust and evaporative emissions standards for all installed gasoline and LP generators. To assist OEMs who use generators in their vehicles, the one-hour seminars are intended to educate OEM engineers on how these new emissions will impact generator installation.

“Cummins Power Generation wants to assist OEMs to be fully prepared to minimize the impact come January,” said Ed Pickens, Cummins Power Generation marketing manager. “We’re particularly concerned that smaller OEMs who may not be familiar with similar California standards get the message and prepare for the changes. All customers need to be aware of the differences in the EPA vs. California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission rule implementation to prevent violations due to misunderstandings.”

The web seminars will be at 2 p.m. EDT June 29 and July 15. OEMs should register at http://now.cumminspower.com/content/CommercialMobileWebinar to participate.

Cummins Onan Generators is a brand of Cummins Power Generation, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc. , which manufactures, distributes and services engines, fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation. Headquartered in Columbus, Ind., Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations. The Cummins Onan brand is found on generators and products manufactured for the RV, marine, commercial, residential and portable generator markets.

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CARB Extends Wood Sell-Through Date 6 Months

November 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) issued a Composite Wood Products Regulation Advisory on Nov. 12 that extends the composite wood sell-through enforcement date from June 30, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2010, as it applies to distributors, fabricators, and retailers of finished goods made with pre-Phase 1 composite wood products, according to a release from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

This extension will assist the RV industry by allowing RVs containing pre-CARB certified composite wood products to be sold in Calfornia without penalty for an additional six months.

RVIA President Richard Coon said of the extension, “This is very good news for RV manufacturers and dealers. The old deadline of July 1, 2010, was simply unrealistic given current market conditions. RVIA has been working very hard to get the deadline extended and we are gratified that CARB agreed with us that more time is needed.”

RVIA Vice President of Standards and Education Bruce Hopkins said that RVIA’s program requirement that mandates RVs to be built with CARB certified wood beginning July 1, 2010, will not change.

“Manufacturers can control which wood products are used in manufacturing an RV, so the RVIA requirement that all RVs built by July 1, 2010, contain only certified wood products will stand. What manufacturers cannot control is when an RV is sold off of a dealer lot, and that is why the CARB extention is so critical,” he said. While the CARB extension assists the industry now, keeping the RVIA standards program requirements intact as previously approved by the RVIA board will eliminate sell-through issues in the future.

In spite of what it hails as very good news, RVIA continues to encourage CARB to enforce their standard the way RVIA will: based on date of manufacture rather than date of sale. RVIA Director of Government Affairs Matt Wald said, “The six-month extention to the sell-by date helps a lot. But industry estimates show that unless the market picks up even faster than we expect it to, there could still be unsold non-compliant units on Jan. 1, 2011. So we will continue to request that, like RVIA, CARB issue a date of manufacture deadline for enforcement on RVs rather than a date of sale deadline. That’s an enforcement deadline that the RV industry can meet whatever the market conditions for RV wholesale shipments and retail sales turns out to be.”

The CARB advisory is available at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/outreach/09_04_advisory.pdf.

Additional information about complying with the regulation, including staff contacts, fact sheets and Frequently Asked Questions, is available on the Air Resources Board website (http://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/compwood.htm). Scroll to the bottom of the page under “UPDATES.”

For further information, contact  Hopkins at (703) 620-6003 ext. 323 or bhopkins@rvia.org or  Wald at (703) 620-6003 ext. 313 or mwald@rvia.org.

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RVIA Reminds OEMs of CARB Standard Deadlines

July 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

arblogowAs of July 1 RV manufacturers who are selling into California should be purchasing hardwood plywood and composite core (HWPW-CC) that meets the .08 parts per million standard set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

They can, however, use HWPW-CC materials that don’t meet CARB standards providing RVs sold after Jan. 1, 2011, have CARB-certified HWPW-CC materials.

”This is the sell-through period,” said Bruce Hopkins, vice president of standards and education for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).  ”Manufacturers should be bringing in wood that is certified as soon as possible and selling the units that aren’t certified by Jan. 1, 2011.”

After that, all HWPW-CC material used to build RVs will need to be certified by an independent agency as meeting CARB requirements.

Although there are no federal standards for formaldehyde levels in RVs, RVIA last year adopted CARB formaldehyde standards as a membership requirement.

RVIA adopted CARB standards following a controversy involving travel trailers used in 2005 to house victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. A number of lawsuits are pending in federal court in Louisiana against RV builders by people who complained about health problems after extended stays in the trailers.

RVIA is treating California’s strict new law as a national standard because the state is the nation’s largest consumer of RVs. Trailers sold in all 50 states need to comply with the standards.

When fully implemented, manufacturers will be required to affix a label on their units certifying that they comply with CARB standards and that all contents, such as furniture and cabinets, also are compliant.

Manufacturers also are required to keep documentation on all wood products they buy and sell for at least two years in the event that CARB subsequently discovers any violation during its testing process, which begins at the retail level on dealers’ lots.

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RVIA Facing Uphill Battle on Mileage Standards

May 22, 2009 by · Comments Off 

With struggling American automotive manufacturers agreeing to work toward a dramatic increase in fuel economy over the next seven years, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) finds its hands tied in efforts to realistically influence the outcome of any national energ Wind Power, Wind Turbine Blades, Home Wind Turbines-75% Comm. y-related issues.

That, says RVIA President Richard Coon, is why RVIA won’t be taking a more aggressive stand against the national CAFE standards proposed this week by President Obama.

“The RVIA doesn’t have any leverage,” Coon told RVBusiness. “We are still opposed to CAFE increases. We are just as adamant.”

In a press release earlier this week, RVIA urged Congress and the Obama administration to take into consideration the need the RV industry has for heavier tow vehicles.

Although Chrysler LLC is in bankruptcy and General Motors Corp. faces a June 1 deadline to restructure, automakers apparently have accepted standards laid out by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and endorsed on Tuesday by President Obama.

Under the plan endorsed by President Obama that still needs to go through Congress and the regulatory process, cars and light trucks together would need to average 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016 with car standards rising from the current 27.5 mpg to 39 mpg and light trucks increasing to 30 mpg from 24 mpg.

That has many in the RV industry worried that automakers soon won’t be building trucks with enough horsepower to tow larger travel trailers and fifth-wheels.

Coon said that RVIA will continue to work with a coalition that includes the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), American Recreation Coalition (ARC), National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the SUV Owners of America to limit fuel-mileage increases outlined by Obama.

California’s air board was preparing to set its own standard by limiting tailpipe emissions on vehicles sold in that state, and 16 other states were considering adopting CARB-like standards.

“Not having all the states setting their own standards is a plus,” Coon said. “But when you look at the auto manufacturers, they’ve got big problems at the moment and CAFE just adds to their barrel of misery.”

The 2016 date would move up by four years standards signed by President Bush in 2008 requiring auto manufacturers to meet a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Pickup and medium-duty trucks used for towing RVs are scheduled to be the target of a separate set of standards to be established by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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RVIA Appears to Soften Stance on CAFE Standards

May 21, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) apparently has softened its opposition to more stringent vehicle mileage standards proposed Tuesday by President Obama that would mandate 39 mpg for cars and 30 mpg for light trucks by 2016.

In the past, RVIA has adamantly been against increasing CAFE standards set by the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) — as have North American auto manufacturers.

In a press release today (May 21), however, RVIA simply urged Congress and the Obama administration to take into consideration the need the RV industry has for tow vehicles.

Facing the fact that the auto industry is apparently accepting of standards laid out by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and endorsed by the president, RV makers appear to be lining up behind the program this time — with a caveat.

RVIA spokesmen were unavailable for comment beyond the release by RVIA President Richard Coon, the text of which is as follows:

RVIA is urging the Administration, Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to strongly consider the ongoing need for adequately powered tow vehicles after President Obama’s proposal on Tuesday to cut new vehicle carbon emissions and raise mileage standards.

Under the proposed plan, both cars and light trucks would need to together average 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016 with car standards rising from the current 27.5 mpg to 39 mpg and light trucks increasing to 30 mpg from 24 mpg.

A vehicle’s towing capability is a critical issue for the owners of towable products, and it is imperative that any new rules moving forward give consideration to towing attributes that will enable vehicle manufacturers to meet the need and demand for vehicles with heavy towing capability. In order to tow and stop safely, tow vehicles must have certain equipment, including a stronger transmission, a larger radiator to cool the transmission, heavy duty shock absorbers, heavy duty springs, larger tires and larger brakes. While these components add weight, they also provide safety, durability and capacity for towing.

This is a critical issue for the RV industry with towable units now making up approximately 85% of the RV market.

The goals of this newly proposed program need to be fairly balanced with the need for adequately powered and safe tow vehicles for consumers and the potential consequences on a great many industries – including the RV industry.

As an industry whose customers enjoy recreating in the Great Outdoors, we support conservation efforts aimed at preserving the quality of the environment, but serious review and discussion is needed as this proposal moves forward.

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CARB Issues Clarification on Wood Packaging

March 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) has issued a notice clarifying its position on the applicability of wood packaging materials (i.e., to pallets and crates) under the Composite Wood Products Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM). 

The advisory is designed to provide guidance with labeling requirements for manufacturers, fabricators, importers, distributors and retailers of composite wood products sold in California, according to a release from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). 

The advisory reads, “Since wood packaging may contain composite wood products (i.e., hardwood plywood, medium density fiberboard, and/or particleboard), wood packaging would be ‘finished goods’ subject to the ATCM if one were to take a strict interpretation of the ATCM’s definition of ‘finished goods.’ However, it was not CARB’s intent to regulate wood packaging as ‘finished goods.’ 

To be consistent with this intent and provide fairness to the regulated community, CARB staff interprets the ATCM as not applying to wood packaging. 

These products are not subject to any of the requirements of the ATCM. By ‘wood packaging’ we mean pallets, skids, boxes, crates, and containers used for handling, sorting, storing, shipping, and transporting goods,” CARB stated. 

On June 12, 2008, RVIA’s board of directors set an effective date for member manufacturers to begin using wood products that meet CARB’s new formaldehyde emissions level as a mandatory condition of membership. 

Effective Jan. 1, 2009, RVIA member manufacturers are required to build units for sale in all 50 states using wood products that comply with the CARB standard’s emission limits. By July 1, 2010, they must use wood that has been certified by an appropriate third party as meeting the CARB standard.

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