Chapter 177

2007 -- H 5574 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/02/07




     Introduced By: Representatives Ginaitt, Segal, Walsh, Naughton, and Sullivan

     Date Introduced: February 28, 2007


     It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Title 31 of the General Laws entitled "MOTOR AND OTHER

VEHICLES" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:


     CHAPTER 47.3




     31-47.3-1. Legislative findings. -- (a) Diesel emissions, due in large part to their high

concentrations of particulate matter, are associated with severe and multiple health risks to the

citizens of Rhode Island, including increased risks of cancer, decreased lung function, aggravated

asthma, heart attacks and premature death. Reducing diesel pollution will also help advance the

state's climate protection goals and climate action plan by reducing black carbon pollution.

     (b) Diesel exhaust also contains nitrogen oxides, which contribute to the formation of

ground-level ozone, or smog. Rhode Island continues to be classified as a "serious-nonattainment

area" for ozone.

     (c) Reducing diesel pollution may help to stem the tide of the asthma epidemic in Rhode

Island where more than one in ten (10) citizens have asthma. Rhode Island ranks eighth (8th) in

the U.S. for the worst asthma rates overall, and has the fifth (5th) highest rate for children. Rhode

Islanders pay about forty-one million dollars ($41,000,000) per year in asthma-associated health

costs. Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and responsible for the most

school absences in Rhode Island.

     (d) The EPA, recognizing the harmful effects of diesel emissions, issued new fuel and

engine emission standards that will reduce particulate matter emissions from engines model year

2007 and newer ninety percent (90%) below previous levels.

     (e) The same technology that reduces emissions by up to ninety percent (90%) for new

engines can be retrofitted onto existing engines, which will continue to operate for years.

     (f) As a first step in tackling the diesel pollution problem in Rhode Island, school buses

should be given high priority.


     31-47.3-2. Definitions. -- When used in this chapter:

     (1) “Best available retrofit technology” means technology, verified by the United States

Environmental Protection Agency or California Air Resources Board (CARB) for achieving

reductions in particulate matter emissions at the highest classification level for diesel emission

control strategies that is applicable to the particular engine and application. Such technology shall

not result in a net increase in nitrogen oxides.

     (2) "Heavy duty vehicle" or "vehicle" means any on-road or nonroad vehicle powered by

diesel fuel and having a gross vehicle weight of greater than fourteen thousand (14,000) pounds.

     (3) “Director” refers to the director of the department of environmental management


     (4) “Level 1 control” means a verified diesel emission control device that achieves a

particulate matter (PM) reduction of twenty-five percent (25%) or more compared to uncontrolled

engine emissions levels.

     (5) “Level 2 control” means a verified diesel emission control device that achieves a

particulate matter (PM) emission reduction of fifty percent (50%) or more compared to

uncontrolled engine emission levels.

     (6) “Level 3 control” means a verified diesel emission control device that achieves a

particulate matter (PM) emission reduction of eighty-five (85%) or more compared to

uncontrolled engine emissions levels, or that reduces emissions to less than or equal to one one-

hundredth (0.01) grams of (PM) per brake horsepower-hour. Level 3 control includes repowering

or replacing the existing diesel engine with an engine meeting the US EPA’s 2007 Heavy-duty

Highway Diesel Standards, or in the case of a nonroad engine, an engine meeting the US EPA’s

Tier 4 Nonroad Diesel Standards.

     (7) “Closed crankcase ventilation system (CCV)” means a system that separates oil and

other contaminant from the blow-by gases and routes the blow-by gases into a diesel engine’s

intake system downstream of air filter.

     (8) “Full-sized school bus” means a school bus, as defined in Rhode Island general law

section 31-1-3, which is a type 1 diesel school bus, including spare buses operated by or under

contract to a school district, but not including emergency contingency vehicles or low usage


     (9) “Model year 2007 emission standards” means engine standards promulgated by the

federal Environmental Protection Agency in 40 CFR Parts 69, 80 and 86.

     (10) “Verified emissions control device” means a device that has been verified by the

federal Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board to reduce

particulate matter emissions by a given amount.


     31-47.3-3. Reducing emissions from school buses. -- (a) Purpose. To reduce health

risks from diesel particulate matter (DPM) to Rhode Island school children by significantly

reducing tailpipe emissions from school buses, and preventing engine emissions from entering the

passenger cabin of the buses.

     (b) Requirements for Rhode Island school buses:

     (i) By September 1, 2010, no full-size school bus with an engine model year 1993 or

older may be used to transport school children in Rhode Island;

     (ii) and, providing there is sufficient federal or state monies, by September 1, 2010, all

full-sized school buses transporting children in Rhode Island must be retrofitted with a closed

crankcase ventilation system and either: (A) be equipped with a level 1, level 2, or level 3 device

verified by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board; or

(B) be equipped with an engine of model year 2007 or newer; or (C) achieve the same or higher

diesel PM reductions through the use of an alternative fuel such as compressed natural gas

verified by CARB/EPA to reduce DPM emissions at a level equivalent to or higher than

subsection (B) above.

      (c) Financial assistance to defray costs of pollution reductions called for in (b)(ii):

      (i) DEM shall work with the Rhode Island department of transportation or other

authorized transit agencies to maximize the allocation of federal congestion mitigation and air

quality (CMAQ) money for Rhode Island for diesel emissions reductions in federal FY 2008 and

thereafter until the retrofit goals in this act are met. The (CMAQ) program is jointly administered

by the federal highway administration (FHWA) and the federal transit administration (FTA), and

was reauthorized by congress in 2005 under the safe, accountable, flexible, and efficient

transportation equity act: A legacy for users (SAFETEA-LU). The (SAFETEA-LU) requires

states and MOPs to give priority in distributing CMAQ funds to diesel engine retrofits, and other

cost-effective emission reduction and congestion mitigation activities that benefit air quality.

     (ii) Drawing upon any available federal or state monies, the director shall establish and

implement a system of providing incentives consistent with this section to municipalities,

vendors, or school bus owners for the purchase and installation of any CARB/EPA-verified

emission control retrofit device together with the purchase and installation of closed crankcase

ventilation system (CCV) retrofit device. In 2007, the per-unit incentive shall not exceed one

thousand two hundred fifty dollars ($1,250) for a level 1 device plus a CCV, or two thousand five

hundred dollars ($2,500) for a level 2 device plus a CCV, or for model years 2003-2006 five

thousand dollars ($5,000) for a level 3 device plus a CCV. Incentive levels may be reevaluated

annually, with the goal of maintaining competition in the market for retrofit devices. To the

extent practicable, in kind services will also be utilized to offset some of the costs. Incentive

recipients must also certify that newly purchased or retrofitted buses with a level 3 technology

will operate in the state of Rhode Island for a minimum of four (4) years.

     (d) Priority community provision:

     (i) When penalty funds, state SEP funds, federal funds, or funds from other state or non-

state sources become available, these should first be allocated toward further offsetting costs of

achieving "best available" emissions control in "priority communities";

     (ii) The "best available" standard is attained by all new buses (MY2007 and newer) and

by diesel buses model year 2003 to 2006, inclusive that has been retrofitted with level 3-verified

diesel particulate filters and closed crankcase ventilation systems, by diesel buses model year

1994 to 2002, inclusive that has been retrofitted with at least level 2-verified diesel particulate

filters and closed crankcase ventilation systems or could be achieved with a natural gas bus that

achieves the same or better standards of cleanliness as a 2007 diesel bus standard; and

     (iii) "Priority communities" (to be identified by the Rhode Island DEM) are Rhode Island

communities that have high levels of ambient air pollution and high incidence of childhood

respiratory impacts.


     SECTION 2. To achieve the pressing public health and environmental goals of this act,

DEM shall identify opportunities to achieve maximize PM reductions from diesel powered heavy

duty vehicle or equipment that is owned by, operated by, or on behalf of, or leased by, or

operating under a contact to a state agency or state or regional public authority (except vehicles

that are specifically equipped for emergency response) and diesel powered waste collection and

recycling vehicles that are owned, leased, or contracted to perform the removal or transfer or

municipal, commercial or residential waste, or recycling services. No later than January 1, 2008,

DEM shall present a report to the general assembly, governor, house committee on environment

and natural resources, and the senate committee on environment and agriculture on such

opportunities to maximum PM reductions from the aforementioned fleets including legislative

changes, regulatory changes, funding sources, contract requirements, procurement requirements,

and other mechanisms that will bring about maximum PM reductions from these two priority

fleets. This report shall explore funding sources beyond CMAQ, including but not limited to

Diesel Reductions Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funds under the Federal Energy Act.


     SECTION 3. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this act

shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid and after exhaustion of all

further judicial review, the judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof,

but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this act

directly involved in the controversy in which the judgment shall have been rendered.


     SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon passage.



LC01556/SUB A/2