Editor's Notebook

We start out the New Year with big news regarding enforcement of the Diesel Retrofit Law in New York State.

According to several news sources, including the AGC of New York State, the General Council of the NYS Department of Conservation (DEC) has issued a letter stating that it will not enforce Part 248 of the law until a Court of Appeals has rendered a decision on a lawsuit concerning the matter. The case is scheduled to be heard Jan. 12, but a decision isn’t expected by the court until sometime in spring 2011. What this means is that you will be able to operate your heavy equipment and heavy-duty vehicles after Dec. 31, regardless of their diesel retrofit status.

According to the DEC, the Part 248 program requirements are intended to further the State’s policy to “conserve, improve and protect its natural resources and environment and control … air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state...” (ECL Section 1-0101(1), (L.1970, c. 140). Part 248 consists of two primary components. For affected heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), the components require the use of: one, ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel and two, best available retrofit technology (BART). The affected HDVs are vehicles owned by, operated by or on behalf of, or leased by a state agency and state and regional public authority.

One caveat, though: if the court of appeals finds in favor of the DEC in the matter of New York Construction Materials Association Inc. v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, et al, Case No. 510593, the DEC can begin enforcing the law within 10 days. Regardless of what happens, this development clearly gives all of you more time to plan and adjust to the retrofit law, which for a change is good news

Hope all of you have a happy, healthy and safe 2011.

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