RCRC has taken an oppose unless amended position on Assembly Bill 1346, authored by Assembly Members Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) and Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). AB 1346 would accelerate the adoption of regulations by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new small off-road engines (SORE) beginning in 2024, such as portable generators, outdoor power equipment, as well as other lawn and garden equipment. 

Without available and affordable portable back-up generators, proactive utility de-energization events—also known as PSPS—further harm rural residents, including the elderly and medically vulnerable, and may thwart efforts to keep mobile phones powered to receive emergency notifications, keep medication refrigerated, and/or keep breathing apparatuses charged for use during overnight hours when community resource centers are closed. Additionally, AB 1346 would give CARB only six months to adopt a set of complex regulations to set emission standards on SORE equipment.  By contrast, the regular rulemaking process under the Administrative Procedures Act provides more robust public noticing and public participation measures by allowing state agencies one year to complete a formal rulemaking.  

RCRC’s letter can be accessed here. AB 1346 awaits consideration on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File. For more information, please contact RCRC Regulatory Affairs Advocate, Leigh Kammerich.