What Factor Do You Need To Know About CARB Compliant

For over five decades, California has managed to stand out the world leader in the control of air quality pollution. Currently, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) controls and manages air pollutants within the state. That CARB Compliant applies to the emission levels of any harmful gases from machine internal combustion engines.

The CARB regulations have many important implications and any engine that relies on combustible fuel such as propane, diesel or gas has to be CARB certified. The certification ensures the engine compliance with state regulations that stipulate levels of harmful gasses, which the engine’s exhaust system can emit. The other mandate of CARB is to control the amount of fuel sold within the state.

Any machine that features an internal combustion engine – including lawnmowers, generators and chainsaws – operating within the state has to be certified as CARB-compliant before it reaches the end user within the state. California is known to be the state that recognized importance of implementing measures to control air quality first.

History of CARB

The first ever-recorded harmful air pollution incident occurred in Los Angeles in the year 1943. A heavy smog wave engulfed the city and as a result, the residents complained of various health complications. The residents attributed the blame to the industry – particularly the butadiene factor situated near the city. However, after closure of the factory, the air pollution problem continued. That led to the formation of Los Angeles County Air Pollution District – the first ever institution of its type established in the United States. The primary role of the institution was to identify and to monitor air pollution from power generation plants and industrial plants.

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In the 1950s, a research conducted by Caltech Professor, Dr. Arie Hargen-Smit, showed that motor vehicles were contributing highly to air pollution in the state. The research showed that oxides of nitrogen and Hydrocarbons originating from internal combustion engines caused the excessive air pollution. That led to creation of Bureau of Air Sanitation – a branch of California Health Department. California managed to institute the debut tailpipe-emission standards in 1966.

In 1967, California established the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and three years later, the Federal Government implemented the Federal Clean Air Act, which laid the standards for emission regulations within the United States. The act provided for CARB autonomy and took into account topographic and climatic situation and the effects of heightened air quality control effects in the state.

In the years that followed, California managed to standout as an authority in the levels of vehicle emissions. The CARB regulations led to numerous inventions and measures that helped control both the levels of harmful gasses emissions from vehicles and the use of harmful elements in fuel. Among them are the lead free fuels and catalytic converters for vehicle exhaust systems.

What is CARB-Compliant with EPA

What is CARB compliant

Today, CARB still tops the list of the stringent regulatory authorities in the United States. In other states, all equipment and vehicles that feature internal combustion engines have to be EPA compliant.

The EPA compliance is the federal certification and applies to all internal combustion engines used within the US. EPA compliance is not different from CARB compliance. However, the CARB compliance is important in California. In other words, you can sell a vehicle that is EPA compliant in any other state within the US, apart from California. When selling an engine-driven machine within the state, ensure that it is CARB compliant.

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The Tiers

Both CARB and EPA compliance have tiers, with new regulations introduced now and then. Most recently, tier III has been introduced in both the EPA and CARB. The guidelines for compliance are complicated and every engine manufacturer has to adhere to several factors. First, the rules applying to CARB or EPA compliance differ according to the kind of engine and the intended use. A quick example: road vehicles have different standards to those of off-road vehicles. Handheld engines such as the chainsaw have other set standards.

To sell engines in the United States, a manufacturer has to register with the two authorities and apply for certification. An engine might meet the EPA’s certification criteria but fail to meet that of CARB certification. A manufacturer cannot sell engines in every state unless the engines they produce are EPA and CARB compliant.

Retrofit Systems Regulation

CARB prohibits conversion of any emission-controlled vehicle with a retrofit system to operate on alternative fuels such as propane, ethanol or propane instead of the original diesel or gasoline fuel unless they have already evaluated and certified the retrofit systems. The manufacturer has to obtain the certification of every alternative fuel retrofit system. CARB issues certification after the manufacturer has demonstrated compliance with warranty, emission, and the durability requirements.

According to CARB, a manufacturer is any individual who assembles or manufactures alternative fuel retrofit systems for sale within California. Individuals who desire to convert their vehicles do not fall under the description. Therefore, they cannot certify retrofit systems within the state.

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Why CARB compliance is important


CARB purposely exist to protect the environment and the health of people living in California. Their scope covers fuels, motor vehicles, and the common consumer products. In addition to monitoring air quality, CARB establishes the air quality standards.

Earlier in April 2007, the institute decided to implement limits for formaldehyde that composite wood products limits. It implemented the limits in two phases. After the implementation, it managed to establish production standards. Since then, the institute has been governing the formaldehyde in the raw composite wood boards and the finished products supplied and used within California. CARB regulates both the domestic and imported products.

The products have to be third-party certified and labelled clearly to show that they meet all the requirements. The rule applies to particleboards, hardwood plywood, medium density fibreboards and any products ranging from furniture, flooring, cabinets, store fixtures, doors, countertops and millwork made with composite wood products.

The measures focus on Formaldehyde, an organic compound that exist in food naturally, our bodies and the environment. Formaldehyde is common in adhesives manufacturers use in composite wood products as it joins with other ingredients to create strong bonds.


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