As it stands, the California ACF Regulation does not provide clarity on how exemption requests will be evaluated and decided upon. A newly-introduced bill would address this, through the creation of an ACF Appeals Advisory Committee.  -  Photo: Canva/Government Fleet

As it stands, the California ACF Regulation does not provide clarity on how exemption requests will be evaluated and decided upon. A newly-introduced bill would address this, through the creation of an ACF Appeals Advisory Committee.

Photo: Canva/Government Fleet

Two California state legislators have introduced a bill aimed at improving the compliance process for the Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) Regulation with the creation of a new committee.

The regulation sets targets for public sector fleets on the federal, state, and local level to transition to zero emissions vehicles. It allows fleets to request exemptions granting compliance flexibility in cases where, for reasons beyond their control, fleets cannot meet the compliance timetables.

However, the regulation does not provide clarity on how such exemption requests will be evaluated and decided upon. It also does not provide a process for any administrative review of exemption request denials by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The bill would address this, through the creation of an ACF Appeals Advisory Committee.

The ACF Regulation at a Glance

According to CARB's website, California's ACF Regulation requires the following:

  • State and local agencies must ensure 50% of vehicle purchases are zero-emission beginning Jan. 1, 2024, and 100% beginning in 2027. 
  • Small government fleets — those with 10 or fewer vehicles — and those in designated counties must start their ZEV purchases beginning in 2027.
  • Federal fleets comply with the model year schedule or may elect to use the optional ZEV Milestones Option to phase-in ZEVs into their fleets:
    • Model Year Schedule: Fleets must purchase only ZEVs beginning 2024 and, starting January 1, 2025, must remove internal combustion engine vehicles at the end of their useful life as specified in the regulation.
    • ZEV Milestones Option (Optional): Instead of the Model Year Schedule, fleets may elect to meet ZEV targets as a percentage of the total fleet starting with vehicle types that are most suitable for electrification.

Currently, the regulation only applies to vehicles over 8,500 GVWR, known as Class 2b-Class 8 on-road vehicles.

A Look at the New ACF Appeals Advisory Committee Bill

SB1393 was introduced by State Sen. Roger Niello and Assemblymember Juan Alanis in early February. It would establish an ACF Appeals Advisory Committee.

According to the bill, the committee would review the appeals of denied requests for exemptions from the requirements of the ACF Regulation.

The bill would require monthly meetings of the committee with publicly available recordings on the state board’s website.

It would also require the committee to consider, and make a recommendation on, an appeal of an exemption request denial no later than 60 days after the appeal is made, with information relating to these considerations to be made publicly available.

The state board to consider a recommendation of the committee at a public meeting no later than 60 days after the recommendation is made

The committee would include people from various backgrounds including specified state agencies, other state and local government representatives, EV manufacturers, and more.

NAFA Responds to the Bill

NAFA released a statement applauding the bill, stating that it plans to work with legislators to advance it.

"NAFA and its members worked with California Air Resources Board staff to include greater compliance flexibility in the ACF as we work to decarbonize fleets and the important services they provide,” NAFA CEO Bill Schankel, CAE, said. “We thank Senator Niello and Assemblymember Alanis for introducing legislation to create the Advanced Clean Fleets Appeals Advisory Committee to provide greater clarity and transparency in the implementation of the ACF.”

NAFA's statement went on to say that this will ensure fleets can continue to work to decarbonize their operations and comply with the regulation "without being penalized for factors beyond their control."

About the author
Christy Grimes

Christy Grimes

Senior Editor

Christy Grimes is a Senior Editor at Bobit, working on Automotive Fleet and Government Fleet publications. She has also written for School Bus Fleet.

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