By Clarence Mills
On-Board Diagnostics Group Seeks Resolution with States, Automotive Industry
In conjunction with the recently held 24th Annual Clean Air Conference in Boulder, Colo., co-hosted by Colorado State University and the National Center for Vehicle Emissions, the State/Automotive Industry On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) Coordinating Group met to resolve communication problems between states and the automotive industry.
The group decided to meet twice annually to discuss pending issues and encouraged original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to regularly post these issues on the OBD Weber State Clearinghouse Web site to make it more useful. The Web site is currently being updated to be more efficient, effective, secure and simple.
Further, OEMs are encouraged to give feedback on the needs and expectations to meet the standards of the clearinghouse customers.
To visit the Web site, go to obdclearinghouse.com.
EPA Presents Update on Transportation, Climate Work
Leila H. Cook, manager of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, presented an update - at the 24th annual Clean Air Conference held recently in Boulder, Colo. - on the EPA's initiatives to slow down changes in climate that are negatively impacting public health and welfare.
Because transportation accounts for approximately two-thirds of crude oil consumption and global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase by 60 percent by 2050, she predicts an exponential jump in bio-fuel sophistication.
The EPA has initiated studies to analyze Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas thresholds to assess the impact of bio-fuels. These studies measure environmental impact, agricultural factors and transportation difficulties of new bio-fuels against fuels they will potentially replace.
National Survey Reveals States' Views Toward OBD Programs
At the 24th Annual Clean Air Conference, held recently in Boulder, Colo., the director of project implementations and decentralized programs of Gordon-Darby Inc. described the disconnect between the May 2008 report of the Transitioning Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) Workgroup's support of a remote OBD and the reality of the 35 states' views.
Not one state expressed interest in implementing a mandatory remote OBD program, while 12 others showed interest in moving to voluntary remote OBD programs. However, voluntary programs in California and Maryland have proved to be ineffective because motorists only participated until their cars started to fail.
More than half of the surveyed I/M programs showed they have no interest in moving to remote OBD programs because of too many uncertainties. Contractors are calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support remote OBD programs because they believe the EPA's support of the programs would cause state views to shift.
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