Posts Tagged ‘CARB’

Stick It To The Man: Unregistered Collection of Aging Mercedes Benzes Defies SFMTA DPT SFPD CHP CARB and EPA

Friday, November 9th, 2012

California registration? No thanks, that’s not for me. I prefer to use license plates from the Land of Enchantment and the Empire State.

But have you seen the urban snorkel (camera left, near the windshield) on my G-Wagen?

Breaking Bad:

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Sometimes I just don’t know.

Can Your Aging Mercedes Leave a Trail of Blue Smoke a Hundred Yards Long? Well, THIS One Can!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

[UPDATE: This might be a gasoline-powered 230S, if that’s even possible. My bad. If anybody in town has an unusual euro-only Mercedes, it’s this guy. It might even have a manual transmission.]

Old Mercedes diesels* might be really slow, and they might emit more particulates than a fleet of new cars, and they might get converted to run on french fry grease, but…

The most cartoonish cloud of smoke coming from a car exhaust I’ve ever seen:

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…they will never die. 

And here’s the thing – old diesels are exempt from California’s annual smog check program.

That’s a giant loophole big enough that you could drive a big old honking Mercedes Benz diesel through.

Hurray!

I’ve only been a Benz owner for less than a year now. However, I’m beginning to think that stamping out smoke on these 616s is like trying to rid your yard comletely of dandelions – it’s a fool’s errand.

I’ve had my IP rebuilt, rolled in a new timing chain, and had the valve seals replaced all within the last 6 months. Injectors are also new and the valves were adjusted when the seals were replaced. Fuel filters and fuel lines are also new and all fluids are fresh. The only differences between mine and yours are that I have lower compression and I use perhaps a 1/2 quart of oil in 2,000 miles.

Despite this, I still have some smoke. There’s a hint of whitish smoke on cold idle at start up and a bit of black smoke when I get on the throttle or climb steep hills.

I have another set of injectors that I had rebuilt and will install them in due course. I’ll also rebuild the vacuum pump as a preventative measure. But after that, this game of “whack a mole” has to end.

There is one good thing to come from all this work, however. My engine sounds silky smooth. No knocking, no nailing, and no hicccups. The only underhood sounds you hear are the clickity click of fuel injectors popping and the combustion inside the engine. So long as this continues to be the case and my oil consumption doesn’t increase, I should consider everything else to be inconsequential.”

*Pray that this particular old Mercedes is a diesel. ‘Cause otherwise this rig prolly needs to get oil added on a daily basis…

How to Live in San Francisco Rent-Free for the Long Term – Just Get Yourself an RV, No Problem

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Eventually, NIMBY homeowners, who, you know, have nothing against you personally but they just want you gone gone gone, will contact the authoritahs and here’s what they’ll do. They’ll send somebody over to knock on your door to see what you’re up to.

And here’s what you’ll do: NOTHING. And then the cops will leave. Easy peasy.

Eventually, you’ll get a colony going, you’ll be trading tips and laughing at the uptight NIMBY homeowners, you know, those impotent people.

You’ll be there for years, saving all kinds of money on rent, utilities and whatnot.

Baker, recently:

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Post, a while back:

Hurray?

OneBayArea Meets in Oakland Today – Four Bay Area Regional Agencies + 350 Pols

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Did you know that “The Future Begins Today?” Well it does, according to the four Bay Area regional agencies meeting right now in Oaktown.

That’s right, it’s Alphabet Soupalooza 2010 and it’s going off at the Marriott City Center in the 510. All your faves are there:

Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)

Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)

Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)

Put them all together and you get ABAGMTCBAAQMDBCDC! (Or OneBayArea.org, take your pick.)

All the deets:

Region Celebrates Earth Day With Launch of ‘One Bay Area’ Collaborative Effort at ABAG General Assembly and Summit

Regional Agencies and Local Governments Join Together to Chart Course to Meet Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets

OAKLAND, Calif., April 22 — Four Bay Area regional agencies today are launching a major outreach initiative, One Bay Area, at a regional assembly bringing together 350 Bay Area city and county elected officials, regional leaders and community stakeholders at the Oakland Marriott City Center. The regional agency partners — the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) — are coming together in a joint General Assembly and summit to mark the beginning of development of the SB 375 Sustainable Communities Strategy for the Bay Area. SB 375 refers to landmark legislation (authored by Daryl Steinberg and passed by the California Legislature in 2008) requiring regions in California to develop strategies for combating climate change and promoting sustainable communities.

“One Bay Area” harnesses the resources of regional agencies, local governments, county congestion management agencies, local planning and public works directors, city and county managers, public transit agencies, community members and stakeholder groups. These agencies must work together to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by cars and light trucks in the region over the next 10-25 years. These efforts will be showcased on a new website launched today, located at www.OneBayArea.org.

“One Bay Area underscores the simple and fragile fact that there is only one Bay Area to pass on to our children and grandchildren,” said Scott Haggerty, chair of MTC and Alameda County supervisor, who will be one of the speakers at the Summit.

Ever more deets, after the jump.

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Jerry Brown Throws Down: Hair Care Products Removed from Store Shelves in California

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Our California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide you polluting the air with hair care products not legal for sale in California. So he just announced a court judgment against Pro’s Choice Beauty Care, Inc, a New York-based distributor – now they’re blocked from selling “pollution-causing” products in CA.

Product is coming off the shelves right now at your K Marts, your RiteAids, your Targets, etc.

That means no illicit Big Sexy Hair Dense for Big Jerry:

These particular products weren’t meant for sale to Californians, so let’s assume that similar hairsprays and gels and whatnot, you know, all those things that you’ll see on sale tomorrow, have been given the O.K. Feel free to shop away.

All the deets:

Brown Removes Pollution-Causing Products from Store Shelves

Oakland-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a court judgment against Pro’s Choice Beauty Care, Inc., a New York-based hair care product distributor, blocking the company from selling “pollution-causing” products that also exacerbate respiratory illnesses.

The judgment also requires the retailers Rite Aid, Long’s Drug Stores, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreen Company, Ralphs Grocery Company, Kmart and Target to remove these products at all California stores.

“Pro’s Choice sold thousands of containers of pollution-causing hair products to consumers who unknowingly exposed themselves and the environment to harmful pollutants,” Brown said. “Today’s agreement will remove products from store shelves that pollute our air and exacerbate respiratory diseases such as asthma.”

Pro’s Choice, the largest distributor of professional hair care and nail products in the country, buys U.S. brand-name products overseas and re-imports the products to sell them below suggested retail value. The products are then redistributed to pharmacies, grocery chains, and wholesale clubs throughout the country.

In late 2006, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and several district attorneys notified Brown’s office that many products supplied by Pro’s Choice contained air contaminants well above the state’s limits on volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) Despite numerous tests and repeated violations and requests for compliance, Pro’s Choice continued to sell these products to retailers.

Brown’s office filed a lawsuit against the company in 2008. The company was charged with violating California’s Health and Safety Code 4200 et seq., which protects air quality and prevents companies from intentionally discharging pollutants into the air.

VOCs significantly contribute to the formation of smog. Under California law, depending on whether the product is a hair spray, mousse, gel or styling product, each must meet California’s stringent standards for VOC content. According to the American Lung Association’s 2009 State of the Air Report, California has five of the top-ten worst smog areas and the highest rate of asthma in the country.

Some of the non-compliant products Pro’s Choice resold to retailers include:

- Big Sexy Hair Dense at a Target in Modesto, CA;
- Redken Fabricate at a RiteAid in Modesto, CA;
- Sebastian Threads Microber Cream at a K-Mart in Lodi, CA;
- Sebastian Shaper Plus at Ralphs in Sacramento, CA;
- John Paul Mitchell Freeze and Shine Super Spray Firm Hold at Longs in Stockton, CA; and,
- Short Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel at Rite Aid in Torrance, CA.

Today’s judgment requires Pro’s Choice to:
- Stop selling or distributing products that violate the limits of VOCs;
- Pull all of the products found in violation;
- Identify and sort products that are non-compliant before distributing them for sale in California;
- Obtain written verification from the manufacturer

RV Living is Gaining in Popularity on the Streets of San Francisco

Monday, June 15th, 2009

You can save a lot of money on rent if you buy a mobile home and then start living in it for years on the streets of San Francisco.

All you need to do is fire her up once a week to avoid the street sweepers.

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Still Life in Mobile Homes. Click to expand

What was once a single recreational vehicle on this block is now a motionless convoy in 2009. Mercy me.

On It Goes…

Living Off The Grid Yet On The Streets of San Francisco

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Lots of people would like to live in San Francisco, but rents can be high. So, some just get an RV and just put it in a place where it’s free to park overnight. Which is pretty much everywhere in San Francisco.

Get a quiet Blue Max generator (chugga chugga chugga...) to keep your laptop charged up (but don’t tell the CARB!) and find a free source of WiFi, and then you’ll stay connected when you’re living rent-free in the City. Off the grid.

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Still life in mobile homes.

You should be fine as long as you don’t try this in the Sunset district, where they’d run you out of town in a New York minute.

DriveClean – All New Cars in California to get SMOG and Greenhouse Gas Ratings

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Back a half-century ago, Oklahoma Senator Almer Stillwell “Mike” Monroney gave us the ubiquitous window sticker that you’ll see on the side of just about every new vehicle for sale. For your protection, of course. Thanks Mike.

But window space is going to get a little more crowded with information now that California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have teamed up to give you DriveClean. Now, you’re your going to get a SMOG score plus a Global Warming Score:

SMOG
Smog is a haze-like form of air pollution produced by the photochemical reaction of sunlight with volatile organic compounds (including non-methane organic gases) and oxides of nitrogen that have been released into the atmosphere, especially by automobile operation.

GREENHOUSE GASES
Greenhouse gases (ghg) emitted from vehicles include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) from air conditioner refrigerant. Greenhouse gas emissions are the sum of all the ghg emissions and are identified as the CO2-equivalent value.

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So, something like a giant hybrid Lexus LS 600h L, which gets a relatively good Smog Score of 8, will get a poorer Global Warming Score. On the other hand, if they ever tested an old school Honda CRX HF, it would get a very poor Smog Score and a very good Global Warming Score. So it’s educational to have two separate scores.

The all-electric “2008 Tesla Roadster” (both of them! haha!) has a rating of a perfect 10 due to its “0 lbs.” of Annual Smog Emissions. The catch is this: ‘Does not include upstream emissions.” Uh oh. It’s a little funny how some people will bend over backwards to come up with a nonsensical 135 MPG figure for an all-electric car, but other people can’t even hazard a guess as to “upstream emissions,” which exist. (Of course, you power your Tesla with solar, of course, but averaging out emissions from coal fired and nuclear panner plants and the like wouldn’t be a crazy thing to do.)

So, check it out. And don’t miss the acronym page, with plenty of fun phrases like “Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle.” (How would that compare with something like “Partial Herpes-Free Sex Partner?”).  

During a confusing time when an outfit like Lexus categorizes its hybrid products separately, (as if they’re an entirely different species of vehicle even though they are pretty similar to their gas-only stablemates), these ratings from DriveClean could have merit. So far, so good.