The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the "clean air agency" in the government of California. Established in 1967 when then-governor Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford-Carrell Act, combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, CARB is a department within the cabinet-level California Environmental Protection Agency. California is the only state that is permitted to have such a regulatory agency, since it is the only state that had one before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act. Other states are permitted to follow CARB standards, or use the federal ones, but not set their own.The stated goals of CARB include attaining and maintaining healthy air quality; protecting the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants; and providing innovative approaches for complying with air pollution rules and regulations.The governing board is made up of eleven members appointed by the state's governor. Half of the appointees are experts in professional and science fields such as medicine, chemistry, physics, meteorology, engineering, business, and law. Others represent the pollution control agencies of regional districts within California - Los Angeles region, San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, the San Joaquin Valley, and other districts. Wikipedia.
News Article | May 12, 2017
« Alberta Innovates & NRCan awarding $26.2M to three oil sands clean tech projects; industry kicking in $43.3M | Main | Audi puts steel back in the new A8 » As California policymakers consider options to extend the state’s landmark climate change laws to 2030 and beyond, 155 businesses and industry groups sent a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in support of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)—in its current form and also in its potentially more stringent future state. Approved in 2009 and first implemented in 2011, the LCFS requires California fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels at least 10% by 2020, by phasing in less carbon-intensive fuel technologies. In five years—2011 to 2016—the LCFS helped encourage a 57% uptick in the use of clean fuels in California. The LCFS sets annual carbon intensity (CI) standards—which reduce over time—for gasoline, diesel, and the fuels that replace them. Carbon intensity is expressed in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of energy provided by that fuel. CI takes into account the GHG emissions associated with all of the steps of producing, transporting, and consuming a fuel—the complete lifecycle of that fuel. The LCFS is fuel-neutral, and lets the market determine which mix of fuels will be used to reach the program targets. Fuels and fuel blendstocks introduced into the California fuel system that have a CI higher than the applicable standard generate deficits. Similarly, fuels and fuel blendstocks with CIs below the standard generate credits. Compliance is achieved when a regulated party uses credits to offset its deficits. The 2020 average CI requirement from the compliance schedule is 88.62 gCO e/MJ for gasoline and 91.81 gCO e/MJ for diesel. Under the current LCFS regulation, the 2020 standard of a 10% CI decline will also be imposed for all years post-2020. In January 2017, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released its proposed updated scoping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. One of the major elements of the plan is a more stringent Low Carbon Fuel Standard that would reduce CI by 18% by 2030. (Earlier post.) Signatories to the letter include clean fuel producers, vehicle manufacturers, and vehicle fleet operators. In the letter, signatories lauded the LCFS because it provides the incentives needed to invest in new clean vehicle and fuel technologies today in order to bring down the costs for all Californians in the future. The state’s flourishing clean economy was a major focus of the letter. As indicated in the letter, the LCFS has supported the development of more than 20 low-carbon fuel plants throughout the state, with additional facilities on the horizon. Since 2011, $1.6 billion has been invested in clean fuels production under the LCFS. Signatories also note the LCFS has been a vital tool for bringing lower carbon transportation to disadvantaged communities and that the policy improves air quality in areas like the San Joaquin Valley and the South Coast Air Basin, two regions that suffer from the nation’s worst air quality. According to a 2016 ConsumersUnion report, the LCFS will save California consumers $1,210 to $1,530 in annual fuel costs while encouraging new mobility options and more alternative fuel choices.
News Article | May 11, 2017
« Cross-border car2go rentals up 80% in Q1 2017 to 33,000 journeys | Main | Fraunhofer IAF develops first monolithically integrated GaN half bridge for voltage converters for e-mobility » MotivPower Systems, in partnership with Type-A school bus manufacturer Trans Tech, is bringing electric school buses to the Sacramento, California region. A $7.5-million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will support the building of 13 battery-electric school buses as part of the Sacramento Regional Zero-Emission School Bus Deployment Project. The 13 buses will go to Elk Grove Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District. This is the board’s largest school bus grant to date and was the only application approved of all the school bus applications submitted to the state grant program. The new all-electric buses will be powered by Motiv’s all-electric powertrains, which are both designed and manufactured in California, supporting local manufacturing jobs. The buses, Trans Tech’s all-electric eSeries built on the Ford E450 chassis, will be distributed by First Priority GreenFleet. Motiv’s powertrain replaces the diesel or gasoline engine on a standard chassis. The powertrain includes a remote real-time data system which monitors vehicle performance, offers preventative and predictive diagnostics and allows remote software updates. The electric school buses support a battery capacity of 85 or 106 kWh, with a range of 68 to 85 miles. The 150 kW electric motor delivers 1,200 N·m of torque (885 lb-ft). Top speed for the bus is 60 mph. As the only all-electric technology approved by Ford for its commercial chassis, the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain has successfully been scaled from school buses in California and New York, to shuttle buses funded by Google and the California Energy Commission, delivery walk-in vans for AmeriPride and North America's only all-electric refuse truck deployed by the City of Chicago.
News Article | May 14, 2017
As a result of a number of different factors, likely including the fact that US authorities are currently investigating the possible use of “defeat devices” in the company’s diesel cars (defeat devices used to defraud regulators), Daimler has announced that it has dropped its plans to seek approval to sell 2017 Mercedes-Benz diesel models in the US, according to recent reports. It’s not clear yet, though, whether the company will be exiting the US diesel car market completely. In an email to Reuters, Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman Rob Moran put things fairly vaguely: “We constantly review our portfolio offerings and make adjustments to meet immediate customer need. Combined with the increased effort to certify diesel engines in the US, we have put the certification process for diesel passenger cars on hold.” Reuters provides more: “Last month, Daimler said investigations by authorities of diesel emissions and auxiliary emission control devices could lead to significant penalties and recalls. “The US Justice Department, EPA, California Air Resources Board and a prosecutor in Stuttgart, Germany, are investigating emissions of Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles. In March, the Stuttgart prosecutor launched an investigation against Daimler employees on suspicion of fraud and misleading advertising tied to vehicle emissions. “The company told Automotive News in October that it planned to seek approval to sell four US Mercedes diesel models for the 2017 model year. Last year, Mercedes-Benz offered four US diesel models.” Those plans clearly stalled somewhere along the line. Perhaps there’s bad news coming in relation to the investigations by US authorities? To reiterate a point made earlier in the article, though, the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, Dietmar Exler, stated as recently as April that the future of Mercedes-Benz diesel car sales in the US had not yet been decided upon. It would stand to reason, though, that the market will begin collapsing at some point in the next decade or two, so the exit is likely inevitable and just a matter of time, regardless of any decisions that are made by company execs. Check out our new 93-page EV report. Join us for an upcoming Cleantech Revolution Tour conference! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | May 12, 2017
It's been almost a year since Volkswagen made the details of its 2.0-liter diesel settlement with US authorities public. But what of the 3.0-liter diesels? Finally, we get some answers for that one, too. A federal judge granted final approval to Volkswagen's 3.0-liter diesel settlement this week. Reuters points out that not only did the judge approve Volkswagen's settlement, it also approved a settlement with Bosch, wherein the supplier will pay $327.5 million to VW diesel owners in the US for its role in Dieselgate. Volkswagen did not immediately return a request for comment. The scheme will be similar to VW's 2.0-liter settlement. Volkswagen will either buy back or attempt to repair as many 3.0-liter diesels as possible. Whether owners choose the fix or a buyback, they will receive compensation between $7,000 and $16,000 on top of any fix or repurchase. Lessees can have their leases terminated and receive the same compensation. The buyback is a bit different than the one for 2.0-liter engines. The 3.0-liter diesels are split between two generations. The first generation, covering vehicles from 2009-2012, will have the option of a buyback or a vehicle modification to reduce pollution, if the EPA can agree to one. The second generation, from 2013-2016, is believed to be repairable to comply with federal emissions standards. For these vehicles, the fix is the owners' default option. If both the EPA and California Air Resources Board cannot approve a fix, the court can be asked to initiate a buyback. If buybacks occur across both generations of 3.0-liter diesel, VW could pay out as much as $4 billion to clean up this mess. Thus far, Volkswagen has agreed to pay some $25 billion in the US alone to address its diesel malfeasance. That amount is split between lawyer payments, owners, dealerships, individual US states and federal regulatory bodies. It has also opened up a fund that it will use to promote electric-vehicle adoption across the country.
News Article | May 12, 2017
« Groupe PSA and partners launch GridMotion; reducing electric vehicle usage cost with smart charging | Main | Brunel team working to develop next-generation light, thin-walled aluminum die-cast parts » A new study quantifying emissions from a fleet of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines and port fuel injection (PFI) engines finds that the measured decrease in CO emissions from GDIs is much greater than the potential climate forcing associated with higher black carbon emissions from GDI engines. Thus, the researchers concluded, switching from PFI to GDI vehicles will likely lead to a reduction in net global warming. The study, by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Georgia, Aerodyne Research, California Air Resources Board (ARB), Ohio State University, UC Berkeley, and UC San Diego is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines have higher fuel economy compared to the more widely used port fuel injection (PFI) engines. Although real-world fuel economy improvements from GDI technology alone are close to 1.5%, they can reach 8% by downsizing and turbocharging the engine, which can be achieved on GDI engines without loss of power compared to PFI engines. As a result, the market share of GDI-equipped vehicles has increased dramatically over the past decade and is expected to reach 50% of new gasoline vehicles sold in 2016. Widespread adoption of new engine technologies raises concerns about changes in emissions and their effects on air quality and the climate. Recent studies have compared emissions of PFI and GDI vehicles, including particle number and mass, gaseous pollutants, and nonmethane organic gas (NMOG) composition for a limited number of compounds. However, many of these studies only tested very small fleets (including single vehicles), making it difficult to draw conclusions about the effects of widespread adoption of GDI vehicles on the aggregate emissions from the entire vehicle fleet because of the vehicle-to-vehicle variability in tailpipe emissions. There is substantial variability in vehicle-to-vehicle emissions due to differences in engine design (PFI, spray-guided GDI, wall-guided GDI, etc.), engine calibration (spark timing, valve timing, etc.), emission control technologies, and vehicle age and maintenance history. … The EPA GHG program is aimed at reducing tailpipe CO emissions. The increased fuel economy of GDI engines means lower CO emissions per mile; however, higher BC [black carbon] emissions (the most-potent absorptive agent of anthropogenic PM) could potentially offset any climate benefits of reduced CO emissions.… In this study, we present a comprehensive database of emissions from a fleet of GDI- and PFI-equipped light-duty gasoline vehicles tested on a chassis dynamometer over the cold-start unified cycle (UC). Measurements include gas- and particle-phase emissions, particle number, particle size distributions, and speciated NMOG emissions. We use the data to quantify the effects of engine technology, emission standards, and cold-start on emissions. We estimate ozone and SOA formation potential. Finally, we analyze the potential climate effects of switching a PFI to a GDI fleet. For the study, the team collected data from 82 light-duty gasoline vehicles spanning a wide range of model years (1988−2014); vehicle types (passenger cars and light-duty trucks); engine technologies (GDI and PFI); emission certification standards (Tier1 to SULEV), and manufacturers. All the vehicles were tested using commercial gasoline that met the summertime California fuel standards. Among the findings from the study: For vehicles certified to the same emissions standard, there is no statistical difference of regulated gas-phase pollutant emissions between PFIs and GDIs. However, GDIs had, on average, a factor of 2 higher particulate matter (PM) mass emissions than PFIs due to higher elemental carbon (EC) emissions. SULEV-certified GDIs have a factor of 2 lower PM mass emissions than GDIs certified as ultralow-emission vehicles (3.0 ± 1.1 versus 6.3 ± 1.1 mg/mi), suggesting improvements in engine design and calibration. Comprehensive organic speciation revealed no statistically significant differences in the composition of the volatile organic compounds emissions between PFI and GDIs, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX). Therefore, the secondary organic aerosol and ozone formation potential of the exhaust does not depend on engine technology. Cold-start contributes a larger fraction of the total unified cycle emissions for vehicles meeting more-stringent emission standards. Organic gas emissions were the most sensitive to cold-start compared to the other pollutants tested. There were no statistically significant differences in the effects of cold-start on GDIs and PFIs. For our fleet, increases in the fuel economy of 1.6% (0.5−2.4%; 95% confidence interval) are sufficient to offset warming due to increased BC emissions from GDIs. This is much lower than the measured 14.5% increase in fuel economy between PFIs and GDIs. Therefore, our data suggest that there will be a net climate benefit associated with switching from PFIs to GDIs, similar to previous results. However, the increased BC emissions from GDIs reduces their potential climate benefits by 10−20%. This reduction is likely larger in the real world because our increase in fuel economy (14.5%) between GDIs and PFIs is larger than that reported for on-road measurements.
News Article | May 11, 2017
The record piles of snow across California’s Sierra Nevada are melting away, exposing once again its breathtaking alpine meadows. As temperatures warm the moist soil, the meadows quicken, cycling carbon from the ground into the atmosphere and back again in a pattern essential to the planet's health. Scientists and land managers are heading into the mountains to measure the greenhouse gas activity at 16 hand-picked meadows—some recently restored, others degraded from a century of grazing and logging. The four-year study is part of California's pioneering effort to reduce carbon emissions. The project is designed to determine whether restored meadows hold more carbon than those that have been degraded. The outcome could prove pivotal for California and the planet. Worldwide, soils store three times more carbon than vegetation and the atmosphere combined. If the research shows restored meadows improve carbon storage, it could stimulate meadow restoration around the world. The $4.8-million project has an unusual twist, too. It is funded by the California Air Resources Board, which wants to know if restored meadows can hold enough tonnage of carbon dioxide equivalents, per acre per year, to qualify as carbon credits in California’s cap-and-trade market. “It’s kind of geeky but we’re poised to do something that’s never been done with alpine meadows,” says Mark Drew, Sierra Headwaters director at California Trout, who is coordinating the work. Meadows are new to soil carbon research. Carbon enters the soil as plants use solar energy to draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and make their own food. More enters the ground when plants die and are decomposed by microbes. And yet living plant roots expel carbon dioxide, and so do microbes as they decompose the dead plant matter, creating a cycle of carbon uptake and emission by soil. It is common for agricultural land to lose a fair portion of its original carbon stock as it is relentlessly farmed—as much as 50 to 70 percent, according to several estimates. Scientists suspect meadows may lose carbon as well, especially when they are degraded by logging and grazing activities that compact soils, erode streams and deplete native plants and animals. Some scientists also think global warming itself is changing soil carbon stocks. A December study published in Nature, led by Thomas Crowther at Netherlands Institute of Ecology, found rising temperatures are stimulating a net loss of soil carbon to the atmosphere. Warmer soils accelerate the flux, sending more carbon into the ground and more carbon dioxide back out into the atmosphere. As warmth increases microbial activity, decomposition and respiration outpace photosynthesis, particularly in the world’s colder places. “That’s when the losses start to happen,” Crowther says. The changes could drive a carbon–climate feedback loop that could accelerate climate change. Drew was already starting to collaborate with several meadow restoration groups in 2014, when the Air Resources Board announced funding to study carbon flux in Sierra meadows. Rather than compete for small pots of money, the various stakeholders decided to work together—PhD scientists side by side with ranchers and landowners. Together they could build a database far larger than any one project could, Drew says. The group already knew meadow restoration—usually done with heavy equipment to fill braided channels and re-create functioning floodplains—has well-documented ecosystem benefits. Returning streams to their natural meanders and raising the water table rejuvenates habitat for golden trout, willow flycatchers and other endangered species. Restoring meadows also improves their capacity to store and release water, a boon to a state that depends on the Sierra region for more than 60 percent of its water supply. Spurred by Air Board funding, the meadow partners set out to see what restoration could do for carbon storage as well. The research covers meadows from the base of Lassen Peak in the north to areas nearer to Los Angeles. The meadows range in elevation from 3,045 to nearly 8,700 feet; they include granitic, volcanic and metamorphic soils. A critical facet of the partnership is developing precise procedures for when and how to measure and analyze meadow greenhouse gases. Although scientists have established protocols for monitoring carbon flux in forests and wetlands, none exist for alpine meadows. “We’re the guinea pigs,” Drew says. Work has just begun and will continue until winter closes access. The data collection begins with pushing an eight-inch segment of PVC pipe into the ground vertically to seal off a small segment of meadow, then capping the cylindrical chamber. A monitor pokes a syringe into a tiny hole in the cap, drawing a sample of whatever meadow gases are captured inside. By taking three samples 15 minutes apart repeatedly over several months scientists can compare the ambient air with gases coming directly out of the meadow. The rate of change in the concentration of gases determines the soil’s CO emission rate. The researchers are also monitoring soil carbon by extracting core samples. Comparing the data from restored meadows with geographically similar degraded sites will show the effects of restoration. The researchers have a hint of what they might find from a limited study conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno (U.N.R.). Scientists collected soil samples at seven meadows in the northern Sierra restored between 2001 and 2016, pairing restored sites with similar, adjacent unrestored sites. The preliminary results found an average of 20 percent more soil carbon in restored meadows, with one site recording an increase of over 80 percent. Meadows immediately begin storing carbon following restoration, with significant increases over 15 years, says Cody Reed, a research assistant working with Ben Sullivan, a U.N.R. soil scientist and assistant professor. The investigation seems to show restored meadows add soil carbon and also slow losses to the atmosphere. Another limited study looked at the effects of water in meadow soils. Steve Hart, an ecology professor at University of California, Merced, and Joseph Blankinship, assistant professor of microbial biogeochemistry at the University of Arizona, researched a Sierra meadow to understand how water affects the fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. What they found surprised them: Carbon dioxide emissions were unaffected by soil moisture content, and methane sequestration was prevalent, particularly on the dry side of wet meadow. The 2014 study also found plant species richness and soil carbon concentration appeared more important than soil moisture in explaining carbon fluxes. It is too soon to know if these results will be replicated on the larger Sierra-wide scale. With a full year of research already logged, Drew and his partners are digging in to a new season of fieldwork. A finding of dramatically increased soil carbon in restored meadows would have a limited effect globally because such large forces are at work. But the gain could be an important, added payoff for restoring these landscapes. The Sierra Meadows Partnership could also serve as a model to others working in very different landscapes that hold the potential to have a much greater effect on the carbon equation, Hart says. And if restored meadows do indeed hold significantly more carbon, then they could play a role in California's carbon market. The Sierra partners have until 2019 to present their results. “We’re poised to do something really unique,” Drew says. “Let's see where it takes us.”
News Article | May 11, 2017
FOSTER CITY, California, May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- MotivPower Systems, in partnership with Type-A school bus manufacturer Trans Tech, is bringing Zero-emission school buses to the Sacramento region as local school districts lead the way in transitioning school bus fleets from diesel to all-electric. Elk Grove Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District will be receiving buses thanks to a $7.5M grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to build 13 zero-emission school buses as part of the Sacramento Regional Zero-Emission School Bus Deployment Project. This is the board's largest school bus grant to date and was the only application approved of all the school bus applications submitted to the state grant program. Beyond freeing buses from the volatility of oil prices, these buses will protect growing children from unnecessary exposure to fossil fuel pollution and particulate matter (PM), also known as soot, while also supporting local manufacturing in the production of the powertrains. The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District will hold an event on its all-electric school bus initiative May 12th at 10am, at Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy. "The Sacramento Regional School Bus Deployment Project is a great example of how our climate policies are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs here in California," said Senator Bob Wieckowski, the chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, whose district includes the City of Hayward, where Motiv Power Systems manufactures its powertrains. "Motiv Power Systems all-electric powertrain kits are increasing the number of students who are transported in zero emission vehicles. This is especially beneficial to disadvantaged communities where poor air quality has severe health impacts for many residents. This grant puts us on the road to a cleaner California." Diesel-powered vehicles and equipment account for more than two-thirds of all PM emissions from US transportation sources. PM irritates the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, contributing to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. It's also estimated that tens of thousands of people nationwide die prematurely each year as a result of particulate pollution. However, research has found that children see improved lung function and have fewer sick days when schools implement cleaner fuel technologies. "Health and safety standards are always important and even more so when transporting our future generations. So seeing Motiv and its partners gain approval for both Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and California Highway Patrol Certification was paramount in providing our district with the right all-electric buses to fit our requirements," said John Clements, retired Director of Transportation at Kings Canyon Unified School District. "Motiv Power Systems has worked with customers and built a great reputation for providing safe, clean and California standard-approved buses in this market. We're pleased to see more districts adopting the all-electric school bus technology we were first to deploy." The new all-electric buses will be powered by Motiv's award-winning all-electric powertrains, which are both designed and manufactured in California, supporting local manufacturing jobs. The buses, Trans Tech's all-electric eSeries built on the Ford E450 chassis, will be distributed by First Priority GreenFleet. "We are thrilled that our partnership with Motiv Power Systems allows us to bring our all-electric eSeries to Sacramento County and the state of California," said Trans Tech President, John Phraner. "The eSeries is a tremendous complement to our proven lineup of fuel-efficient conventional school buses. Combining our signature aerodynamic design with the Motiv Power Systems powertrain and Ford E450 chassis provides customers interested in an all-electric Type-A school bus the best choice on the market." "As a father of three small children, it excites me that improving air quality surrounding school transportation is increasingly within reach for many fleets," said Motiv Power Systems CEO Jim Castelaz. "The trend of transitioning from diesel to zero-emission busing is the future, and these 13 buses will be proof of that. We're proud to be working with the Sacramento City school district and hope that more school districts throughout the country follow this movement." As the only all-electric technology approved by Ford for its commercial chassis, the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain has successfully been scaled from school buses in California and New York, to shuttle buses funded by Google and the California Energy Commission, delivery walk-in vans for AmeriPride and North America's only all-electric refuse truck deployed by the City of Chicago. Founded in 2009 and based in Foster City, CA, the award-winning Motiv Power Systems designs and builds flexible and scalable All-Electric Powertrains for commercial medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. As a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier, Motiv partners with existing truck builders who manufacture electric versions of their traditional fossil-fueled vehicles on their current assembly lines using the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain. Common vehicle types from these builders include work, delivery and refuse trucks, as well as school and shuttle buses. The Motiv All-Electric Powertrain is installed at the time of vehicle manufacture, similar to a natural gas or propane upfit. In 2014, Motiv All-Electric Powertrain was named one of Popular Science's Best of What's New technologies. For more information and career opportunities, please visit www.motivps.com and follow us on Twitter @motivps, Facebook and LinkedIn.
News Article | May 18, 2017
DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "U.S. Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) Film And Sheet Market, 2014 - 2025" report to their offering. The U.S. polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) film & sheet market is expected to reach USD 1.11 Billion by 2025. The proliferation of high-speed internet has driven online retail and shopping trends, positively impacting the demand for LED displays and communication signage in physical retail stores, to compete with these virtual outlets. PMMA film & sheet are increasingly being utilized to design unique, innovative and aesthetically appealing advertising displays. Increasing consumer consciousness regarding sustainability has driven the demand for communication media materials with high biodegradability, lower toxicity, and emissions. The automotive sector has also been utilizing increasing amounts of the material for lightweight component manufacturing, LED illumination applications and other molding compound or fabrication in interiors & exteriors. Stringent federal regulations implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) are also driving the demand for lightweight automotive components & materials. Signage & displays occupied the highest volume share of around 33% in 2015 in the films segment. Growing demand for optoelectronics and specialized media & communication displays is a major driving factor in the U.S. Furthermore, a shift in trend towards digital marketing and growing awareness regarding paper wastage has contributed to segment growth. For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/dlt7hj/u_s_polymethyl
News Article | May 18, 2017
« US Shale Is Immune To An Oil Price Crash In 2017 | Main | ICCT: European cities driving diesel out of the market » The Volkswagen Group will pay $225 million, including $66 million to California, for harm resulting from the sale of its 3.0-liter diesel passenger cars that included emissions control “defeat devices,” under partial Consent Decrees (earlier post) approved by a Federal court. In addition, VW will contribute to California’s ZEV market by introducing two new ZEV models, plus the electric e-Golf, or its replacement, by 2019. One of those new vehicles must be an electric SUV. The company will also introduce a second SUV by 2020. It must collectively sell at least 35,000 of these various ZEV models between 2019 and 2025. US District Court Judge Charles Breyer signed the agreements between the automaker, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the US Department of Justice (US DOJ). One decree is a national agreement; the second is California-specific. California will receive $41 million from the national agreement and $25 million under the California agreement. VW admitted to CARB engineers in November 2015 that it installed “defeat devices” that altered the operation of emissions control equipment in light-duty, 3.0-liter passenger vehicles manufactured and sold between model years 2009 and 2016. There are approximately 87,000 of these vehicles in the US and about 17,000 of them (20%) in California. This is a separate partial consent decree from one approved earlier for harm from VW’s 2.0-liter diesel cars with a similar defeat device. California will receive about $41 million from the national mitigation trust for the environmental damage caused by VW’s deception. This money will be spent on projects to reduce smog-producing pollution, such as incentivizing clean, heavy-duty vehicles and equipment in disadvantaged communities. In a separate California decree, an additional $25 million dollars will be invested to advance availability of cleaner vehicles in California’s disadvantaged communities. The state will undertake a public process to allow members of the Legislature and the public to provide input and comments on potential mitigation projects to be funded by the settlement. VW also agreed to place a second Green City project in California. This could include such features as zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) ridesharing projects or ZEV transit and freight applications. The selected city must have a population of about 500,000 and consist primarily of disadvantaged communities. A first Green City was called out in the Consent Decree for the 2.0 liter vehicles. No city has yet been named. Background. Following publication of a report indicating high emissions from Volkswagen vehicles in over-the-road testing, CARB conducted a focused investigation which ultimately led to Volkswagen’s admission in September 2015 that the company had installed defeat devices in all of its 2.0 liter diesel vehicles manufactured between model years 2009 and 2015. This was followed in November 2015 by an admission by Audi engineers that 3.0 liter diesel passenger cars manufactured by VW, Audi and Porsche in model years 2009-2016 also contain defeat devices. VW owns all three manufacturers. As a result of the 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter Consent Decrees, California is expected to be allocated a total of about $423 million from an Environmental Mitigation Trust, explained in the first Consent Decree. (Earlier post.) That money is to mitigate the lifetime excess NO emissions of the VW vehicles with the defeat device. Under the terms of the Consent Decree VW must invest $800 million for zero-emission vehicle projects in California over a 10-year period.
VanCuren R.,California Air Resources Board
Climatic Change | Year: 2012
Exploiting surface albedo change has been proposed as a form of geoengineering to reduce the heating effect of anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases (GHGs). Recent modeling experiments have projected significant negative radiative forcing from large-scale implementation of albedo reduction technologies ("cool" roofs and pavements). This paper complements such model studies with measurement-based calculations of the direct radiation balance impacts of replacement of conventional roofing with "cool" roof materials in California. This analysis uses, as a case study, the required changes to commercial buildings embodied in California's building energy efficiency regulations, representing a total of 4300 ha of roof area distributed over 16 climate zones. The estimated statewide mean radiative forcing per 0. 01 increase in albedo (here labeled RF01) is -1. 38 W/m 2. The resulting unit-roof-area mean annual radiative forcing impact of this regulation is -44. 2 W/m 2. This forcing is computed to counteract the positive radiative forcing of ambient atmospheric CO 2 at a rate of about 41 kg for each square meter of roof. Aggregated over the 4300 ha of cool roof estimated built in the first decade after adoption of the State regulation, this is comparable to removing about 1. 76 million metric tons (MMT) of CO 2 from the atmosphere. The point radiation data used in this study also provide perspective on the spatial variability of cool roof radiative forcing in California, with individual climate zone effectiveness ranging from -37 to -59 W/m 2 of roof. These "bottom-up" calculations validate the estimates reported for published "top down" modeling, highlight the large spatial diversity of the effects of albedo change within even a limited geographical area, and offer a potential methodology for regulatory agencies to account for the climate effects of "cool" roofing in addition to its well-known energy efficiency benefits. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.