CARB & EPA
California Air Resource Board and The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set the standard for emissions controls with the Clean Air Act in 1970, but The California Air Resource Board (C.A.R.B.) is becoming the new standard for all emissions controls and vehicle stadards.
"The Clean Air Act (CAA) is the comprehensive federal law that regulates air emissions from stationary and mobile sources. Among other things, this law authorizes EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and public welfare and to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants." - www.epa.gov
Environment Protection Agency
NAAQS and SIPs
"One of the goals of the Act was to set and achieve NAAQS in every state by 1975 in order to address the public health and welfare risks posed by certain widespread air pollutants. The setting of these pollutant standards was coupled with directing the states to develop state implementation plans (SIPs), applicable to appropriate industrial sources in the state, in order to achieve these standards. The Act was amended in 1977 and 1990 primarily to set new goals (dates) for achieving attainment of NAAQS since many areas of the country had failed to meet the deadlines." - www.epa.gov
Sources of Pollution
"Section 112 of the Clean Air Act addresses emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Prior to 1990, CAA established a risk-based program under which only a few standards were developed. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments revised Section 112 to first require issuance of technology-based standards for major sources and certain area sources. "Major sources" are defined as a stationary source or group of stationary sources that emit or have the potential to emit 10 tons per year or more of a hazardous air pollutant or 25 tons per year or more of a combination of hazardous air pollutants. An "area source" is any stationary source that is not a major source.
For major sources, Section 112 requires that EPA establish emission standards that require the maximum degree of reduction in emissions of hazardous air pollutants. These emission standards are commonly referred to as "maximum achievable control technology" or "MACT" standards. Eight years after the technology-based MACT standards are issued for a source category, EPA is required to review those standards to determine whether any residual risk exists for that source category and, if necessary, revise the standards to address such risk." - www.epa.gov
California Air Resource Board
What's under the hood is important to air quality. Automotive emissions account for over 50 percent of all smog-forming pollutants in California. To improve air quality, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) requires vehicle manufacturers to develop engine and emission equipment systems that reduce the specific pollutants that cause California's severe air quality problem. These emission control systems are also required to be proven durable and reliable.
To ensure that these systems operate as designed, California Vehicle Code Section 27156 and the Federal Clean Air Act prohibit modifications that increase motor vehicle emissions. Since if properly designed, most performance modifications do not increase vehicle emissions, these same laws also allow the installation of parts or modifications proven by their manufacturers and the ARB not to increase vehicle emissions.
All aftermarket parts sold in California belong to one of the following four groups:
- Replacement Parts- Replacement Parts Guide
- Legal Add-On or Modified Parts (Executive Order Parts) - Aftermarket Parts Database
- Competition or Racing Use Only Parts - Exemptions for Uncontrolled Vehicles
- Catalytic Converters
The Maryland Department of the Environment has published a list of states adopting the C.A.R.B. standard for emissions. The list provided applies to new vehicles and emissions control.
About California Racing Vehicles
A racing vehicle may be purpose-built or modified from a stock vehicle, and is exempt from emissions control requirements (Health & Safety Code §§ 39048 and 43001.) California bars racing vehicles from DMV registration and from operation on a California highway - which includes public streets, dirt roads, and off-road parks. Evidence shows racing vehicles and certified vehicles modified with racing aftermarket parts are often used for non-racing and non-competition purposes. This undermines CARB’s emissions certification programs designed to provide emissions reductions to meet air quality standards and protect public health, and also creates an unfair business environment for compliant vehicle, engine, and parts manufacturers.
Staff is engaged in a public process to protect legitimate racing and ensure vehicle and parts manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and customers understand and comply with regulatory requirements. CARB also operates an active enforcement program to stop the illegal sale and use of after market racing parts in non-racing applications.
It is illegal to sell a performance after-market part for a certified vehicle or modify a vehicle's emission system with a performance after-market part unless the vehicle will only be used for racing and never driven on a public highway.