Truck owners who run in California will be granted an additional time to comply with the state’s most expensive trucking regulation to date. But this will only happen if they can start ordering new equipment.
On Wednesday, November 13 2013, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that it would give truck drivers and owners more time to comply with the Truck and Bus Regulation. By January 1 2014, trucking companies can get into an agreement with an authorized retrofit installer for a PM filter retrofit. They can also sign a purchase contract or order a truck replacement with a diesel particulate filter.
A diesel particulate filter (DPF) is a device that is designed to get rid of diesel particulate matter, otherwise known as soot, from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine.
Most trucks that operate in the state will be required to have a diesel particulate filter. This is because the CARB has heard complaints that from the transportation industry that many trucks weren’t able to meet the deadline. A lot have also questioned the CARB’s statistics on just how many trucks are still in need of an upgrade.
The main goal of these actions is to give plenty of time for the truck owners to complete efforts in compliance. The other goal is to provide flexibility for many of these lower use vehicles, as well as vehicles that operate only in certain states.
The CARB staff has proposed a low use exemption for trucks that can operate within 5,000 miles. Yet it is hinted that this exemption serves as a warning for long haulers who work in California.
Also, vehicles that operate more than 5,000 miles per year, but less than 1,000 miles per year within California’s borders, can also qualify for the exemption. CARB’s announcement just came a couple of weeks after they heard 43 members of the public discuss about the Truck and Bus Rule. This included harsh comments from residents of California who have ties to small trucking companies.
Some people at the meeting have mentioned that this rule was the toughest on these small trucking companies, since they can’t replace equipment as quickly as the large companies.
Others at the meeting have complained that giving these small companies more time for compliance created an uneven playing field. The rules won’t be more effective if unless the CARB brings in more enforcement.
Chris Shimoda, a member of the California Trucking Association, has said that a significant number of trucking fleets have spend millions of dollars just to comply with the CARB’s emissions regulations. Blaine Stumph has said that his trucking company has already invested in meeting CARB’s deadlines. He adds that buying new equipment and trucks add taxes, fees, and regulation costs.
CARB Board Member Jon Balmes says that he voted for the Truck and Bus Rule in 2008. But in October 24 2013 meeting, he said that the rule needs to be modified in order to help small trucking companies. Balmes has also mentioned that being out of work is not good for one’s health.