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Carl Moyer Program
By Kathy Coatney
California’s equipment and vehicle air regulations that have been passed in recent years are making it difficult to keep older logging equipment and trucks in operation.
According to Eric Carleson, executive director of the Associated California Loggers (ACL), the laws are pretty stringent and have caused a lot of grief to the logging industry. In short, they want trucks of a certain age to be replaced in their entirety or have filters installed on the engines, Carleson says.
The filters are expensive — about $10,000 each. The problem is the value of the older trucks is about $15,000, and some may need two filters, Carleson says. “So you’ve got a $20,000 filter scenario on a $15,000 truck.”
The Carl Moyer Program
One bright spot is the Carl Moyer Program. “It offers assistance to upgrade some equipment and replace others, but the money isn’t specific to log trucks,” Carleson says.
The primarily diesel-focused program is run through the California Air Resources Board (ARB). It is an incentive program designed to fund emission reductions above and beyond what is required by the government.
The off-road would include equipment used in the woods like skidders and yarders. The on-road equipment would be the logging trucks.
ACL and California Foresters Association (CFA) have been working for a number of years with the ARB to get more funding for logging equipment and trucks, Carleson says.
“It’s specific to all sorts of trucks in all regions of California,” Carleson says, including southern California that has greater smog problems than northern California where the majority of the logging is done.
Steve Brink, vice president of the CFA has worked with the ARB on the Carl Moyer Program. Essentially the money goes where there is the best bang for the emissions reduction buck, which would be in urban areas, he says.
“Rural counties don’t usually fare very well,” Brink says.
In California, each county is covered by an air district, either individually or with a collection of counties. Each air district is funded a minimum of $200,000 annually to replace existing, old, diesel engines with new ones.
The air districts choose which projects they fund, and that could be anything from on-road/off-road trucks, to farm equipment, to stationary Ag pumps.
For a small rural district, $200,000 can be used very quickly, so some air districts have a very competitive application process. Applications may be ranked and funding decided by which projects reduce the most amount of air pollution.
Scott Rowland, chief of the On-Road Control Regulations Branch for the Mobile Source Control Division of the California ARB, says, “We are working on developing a funding category specifically for on-road logging trucks.”
This will take into account the unique features of logging trucks as opposed to other on-road trucks by finding a way to provide funding to upgrade these trucks.
A voucher program is currently being established, and at least a pilot program will be in place in 2013 that will provide funding to replace old logging trucks with new ones, Rowland says.
“The voucher program will come close to making a down payment on the truck,” Brink says, adding there will be funding for repowers too, which is particularly helpful with the off-road equipment.
The bottom line: there will definitely be more money in the Carl Moyer Program for loggers, Brink says.
Ben Snyder, safety director for Headrick Logging in Anderson, Calif., says they have used the Carl Moyer Program for engine replacement on several pieces of equipment, from a D7 Cat to a Morbark chipper.
“The program is an excellent program,” Snyder says, “and using the program makes it feasible and cost effective for us to do these engine replacements.”
The paperwork wasn’t extensive, and it’s definitely worth the time investment for the return you get, Snyder says.
Local Air Districts
Rowland urged loggers to be in contact with their air districts to express their interest in the program.
“The air districts are the ones who ultimately decide, ‘okay we want to fund logging instead of other equipment,’” Rowland says.
For updates on the program, e-mail Brink at firstname.lastname@example.org.