Driving Emissions to Zero: Are the Benefits of California's Zero Emission Vehicle Program Worth the Costs?

By Lloyd Dixon; Isaac Porche et al. | Go to book overview

2.
OZONE REDUCTION PLAN FOR THE SOUTH COAST AIR BASIN

The ZEV program is one element of an aggressive plan to reduce ozone levels in the South Coast Air Basin. This plan involves substantial emission reductions from both stationary and mobile sources. In this section, we first review the emission targets for each source category to show how the targets for mobile sources compare to those for stationary sources and to put CARB's goal of a zero emission fleet in perspective. Second, we examine the strategy in place for achieving the targeted emission reductions so as to determine how complete the strategy is for meeting the emission targets and the urgency with which additional ways of reducing emissions must be found. Finally, we present estimates of the cost-effectiveness of emission reduction measures that have recently been adopted or are expected to be adopted in the coming years. These estimates allow us to compare the cost-effectiveness of ZEV and partial zero emission vehicle (PZEV) technologies with the cost-effectiveness of reducing emissions from other sources.


2.1 REGULATORY RESPONSIBILITY FOR REDUCING EMISSIONS IN THE SOUTH
COAST AIR BASIN

Several levels of government are involved in crafting and implementing the plan to reduce ozone levels in the South Coast Air Basin. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has responsibility for controlling stationary point sources.1 The South Coast Association of Governments promulgates “transportation control measures” that attempt to reduce vehicle miles traveled by shifting people from single-occupant vehicles to other modes of transportation. CARB has responsibility for most on- and off-road mobile sources, but the U.S. EPA retains authority for trains, ships, airplanes, and certain categories of off-road equipment (e.g., tractors with more than 175 horsepower) and sets regulations for passenger cars and trucks sold outside California. These federal regulations affect emissions in the South Coast because some of these vehicles are driven in or migrate to Southern California.

____________________
1
Emission sources are divided into two major categories: stationary and mobile. Stationary sources are in turn divided into two main subcategories: point and area sources. “Point sources are generally large emitters with one or more emission sources at a permitted facility with an identified location (e.g., power plants, refinery boilers). Area sources generally consist of many small emission sources (e.g., residential water heaters, architectural coatings) which are distributed across the region” (SCAQMD, 1996, p. 3–2). Mobile sources are divided into two subcategories: on-road and off-road sources. Passenger cars and heavy-duty trucks are examples of on-road sources. Trains, ships, airplanes, and off-road vehicles such as dirt-bikes, tractors, and construction equipment are examples of off-road sources.

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