Be aware of what's happening with emissions regulations in California and how they might influence standards across the country. Here are comments from Kris Kiser, president of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, about new emissions regulations in that state.Kris Kiser

"There are significant challenges coming our way. California is changing the way they measure evaporative standards at a significant cost to manufacturers, which will have to change the way they test their products. Manufacturers are meeting with their attorneys as to whether to challenge these developments," Kiser says. "Additionally, coming in 2020, the state is revising their emission standards and we anticipate very significant change in emissions criteria and, again, possible challenges from manufacturers."

Here are additional specifics from OPEI's quarterly report, released in October.

California Air Resources Board Emissions Regulations

2016 EVAP Rule Amendments: The California Air Resources Board approved the amendments to the evaporative emission regulation on Nov. 17, 2016. The amendments reportedly look to address small off-road engine compliance concerns largely by revising certification and compliance testing for less-than-80 cc (non-handheld) equipment. The amendments will require that all less-than-225-cc engine powered applications are certified to diurnal emissions limits.

ARB's Final Statement of Reason, the last step in the rulemaking process, was published on Sept. 29. OPEI is still working through these final documents at the time of drafting these updates. The statement of reason is now at the California Office of Administrative Law for action and final approval. When final, manufacturers must comply with the amendments no later than the 2020 model year.

New 2020 Regulations: The 2020 rule looks to reduce exhaust emissions up to 80% and evaporative emissions up to 40%.

OPEI handheld manufacturers met with ARB staff in El Monte, Calif., in August. ARB staff noted that they will be initiating an updated population survey and technical feasibility study by the end of this year. The studies are expected to take a year. ARB will propose a draft rule in mid-2019, following completion of both studies.

ARB is organizing a Small Off-Road Engine Work Group call in October to review the population survey and technical feasibility study plan. OPEI will continue to engage ARB staff to assure industry participation throughout the studies and rule development.