CARB hold’s Webinar on Prosed Zero Emission Forklift Regulation

Yesterday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held its second meeting on the Proposed Zero Emission Forklift regulation. During the meeting CARB’s staff discussed the changes made to the proposed regulation based on stakeholder feedback and other additions made. Although not yet final, the following are updated changes to the latest draft for Large Spark Ignited forklifts up to 12,000 lbs lift capacity:

  • Update to exemptions:
    • Removed diesel forklifts (Due to In-Use Off-Road Diesel Reg.)
    • Revised low-use provision
  • Simplified fleet reporting requirements
  • Added requirements for dealers and rental agencies
  • Added new zero-emission standard for LSI Forklift engines and warranty requirements for manufacturers
  • Updated small business definition and provisions.

It is important to note the proposed regulation will exempt all rough terrain as defined by the ANSI standard as well as pallet jack and forklifts with telescoping booms. The low use exemption is for forklifts with <200 hours/year and would be limited to 10% of fleet with a sunset in 2031 for most business. 

The intent of this proposed rule is to phase out any propane forklifts 13 years or older beginning in 2026 for use in California. The new change would also mean folks would not be able to purchase new propane forklifts beginning 2026.

The next public meeting will be held in summer of 2022 and will go to the CARB board for consideration in 2023. The Asssociation will set up a meeting with CARB staff, ag industry representatives, and equipment rental companies in the coming weeks. In addition, we are moving forward with a third-party consultant to conduct a cost analysis on the proposed regulations to see the accurate cost associated with converting fleets over to electric. Aside from the capital expenditure of the forklift, most facilities will require infrastructure upgrades to their system and those costs are not considered. The Association will maintain the pressure on CARB and continue to express our deep concerns on moving forward with such a regulation.

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Governor Signs Ag Overtime Bill

Ignoring the pleas of real farmworkers and the agricultural industry, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed AB 1066, the ag overtime legislation. This means that California will have the most stringent trigger of any state in the country for overtime for farmworkers, with 45 states having no overtime protection at all. The Governor signed this bill, supposedly to bring “equality to all workers”, yet taxi cab drivers, commercial fishermen, car salesmen, student nurses, computer programmers, and carnival workers all work without any overtime provisions whatsoever. The Governor signed this ag overtime bill in the same year that minimum wage legislation was also passed that will take California to the highest minimum wage as well as legislation forcing California to adopt additional greenhouse gas regulations for businesses in California. California is the only state in the country subject to such regulations. Today’s signing occurred despite numerous requests by the agricultural industry to meet with the Governor to discuss our concerns. The message is clear. California simply doesn’t care. These provisions will be phased in over the next few years ending with the overtime provisions to be triggered at 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

In the Beginning As folks transitioned out of cotton and into tree nuts, the industry recognized the need to have active and effective representation at the local, state and national levels. Having enjoyed such effective representation over the years from the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, these folks yearned for the same representation in the tree nut processing industry. Issues such as air quality, food safety, labor, taxes, employee safety, and environmental concerns are at the forefront, and there is a significant need for an aggressive and dynamic Association to lead the industry into the next decade and beyond. In recognition of this, the Western Agricultural Processors Association was created in 2009. The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) shares staff and office space with the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations taking advantage of a unique and opportunistic situation. WAPA is a voluntary dues organization with four shared staff and one dedicated staff person. Regulatory, legislative and legal issues fall under the purview of this new organization for the tree nut processing industry, which includes almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. From air quality permits to conditional use permits, from regulatory hearings on greenhouse gases to federal legislation on food safety, and from OSHA violations to assisting members on hazardous materials business plans, no issue is too small or too large for WAPA. WAPA has assembled one of the best and most capable staffs in the industry, and the results are already starting to show Membership The Western Agricultural Processors Association represents facilities involved in the processing of almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.Membership in the Association is classified as Regular memberships are limited to almond hullers or processors, pecan and pistachio processors, and walnut dehydrators and processors. Associate memberships are limited to any individual or business entity which is not engaged in agricultural processing, but which provides products or services directly related to the agricultural processing industry. WAPA Associate members include, but are not limited to, commodity brokers, accounting firms, and insurance brokers. Organization The Western Agricultural Processors Association is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by its membership.The Board consists of up to 15 members from throughout the state, and throughout the industry.The Board meets on a quarterly basis and conducts an Annual Meeting in the spring of each year.WAPA, in conjunction with the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, conducts a special training school for its members focused on safety.In combination with the school, the Association holds a Labor Management Seminar for all of the managers. Consulting Services In researching and considering the concept of forming a new organization, the Boards of Directors for the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations instructed staff to perform some of the work on a consulting basis first. The point was to determine the workload from consulting and to determine if there was sufficient interest. In November of 2007, the Association began conducting services under consulting contracts for such services as air quality permits and safety plans.The effort has been so successful that demand has progressed outside the tree nut industry into other agricultural processing facilities, including vegetable dehydration facilities, tomato processing facilities, and wheat mills, as well as cotton gins in Arizona.It was determined by the new Board of Directors of WAPA, that WAPA would maintain the consulting services to provide offsetting income to help with the expenses of getting the new organization up and running.Today, WAPA provides for a long list of satisfied clients in the agricultural processing industry, by providing critical services such as air quality, safety, food safety, and environmental issues (Hazardous Materials Business Plan, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans, etc.).