Alliance for California Business Press Release – January 12, 2015
THE CHALLENGE TO CARB’S DPF REQUIREMENT MARCHES ON
WILLOWS, CA. On Friday January 9, the Glenn County Superior Court heard arguments by the non-profit Alliance for California Business (Alliance) as well as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as to whether CARB should be permitted to enforce its requirement that trucks and buses be equipped with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) while further litigation continues regarding whether the device unlawfully places Californians at risk of violating state health and safety laws.
Speaking before Honorable Judge Peter Twede and a courthouse packed with individuals impacted by the regulation, Alliance attorney Therese Cannata of Cannata, Ching & O’Toole described the increasing number of truck and bus fires taking place on California’s roadways and presented testimonial evidence to the Court linking these fires to the inherently flawed nature of the DPF, a device that is now required on most heavy duty diesel trucks and buses throughout the state. The Alliance submitted to the court the declarations of more than 20 truck owners and drivers, who described how the DPF requirement have negatively effected them, and two experts concerning the flawed engineering of the device as well as risk of increased air pollution caused by the DPF.
CARB, citing to annual premature death estimates that fluctuate anywhere from 5,400-24,000, has continually asserted that the DPF requirement is imperative to save the lives of people affected by diesel particulate matter. Despite this, CARB has issued multiple extensions for compliance with the DPF requirement for those Californians still affected by the recession, a fact that may ultimately undermine CARB’s contention.
Counsel for the Alliance implored the Court to take a closer look at the mechanical shortcomings of the DPF device and to convene an evidentiary hearing if necessary to draw from as much information as possible regarding the performance and safety record of the DPF since the requirement began.
“Unfortunately, CARB has chosen to address the health and safety issues through DPF recalls after they have been sold, not by testing them for safety prior to approving them for sale on the open market,” explained Alliance member Hank de Carbonel. “While this makes it easier on the DPF manufacturers to bring products to market sooner, it turns California highways into a testing laboratory for these dangerous devices. This is unacceptable.”
Last Friday’s hearing came just days after the same court denied CARB’s attempts to have the lawsuit dismissed on procedural grounds, instead deciding that if indeed the DPF device poses a health and safety threat to Californians, “[s]uch a violation of law resulting from the DPF retrofit and upgrade requirement would support the invalidation of the regulatory requirement.”
At the close of the hearing, Judge Twede took the matter under submission.