Preparing for CARB in court


Our biggest problem is money!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Alliance for California Business (ACB) is gaining ground and support in our effort to cause the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to come face to face with the disaster they created with their Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). With the assistance of Assemblyman Dan Logue, the ACB has met on several occasions and gained support from members of both parties of the legislature, Governor Brown’s staff with CARB staff present, the CHP, local government (Boards of Supervisors), and Air Quality Boards from the 18 counties who support us.

We are now at 19 months from our 28 March 2013 Chico meeting which started the ACB. We have put together a formidable case against CARB’s Truck and Bus Regulation, only asking that the DPF requirement be suspended throughout the State of California until the DPF devices are proven safe and mechanically reliable. We do not ask for damages, only safety. Additionally, we are presenting our evidence to Congressman Doug LaMalfa for assistance at the federal level.

Our attorneys have put together sworn declarations of damages caused by DPF’s from farmers, small truckers, large truckers, repair shops, equipment dealers, loggers, petroleum carriers, waste haulers, bus operators, government entities, public and private vehicle inspectors and others.  More recently, we’ve obtained, after a long search, an automotive engineer with expertise in these new emission systems including the DPF devices.  This expert opinion is, in the view of our attorneys, a critical and necessary piece of evidence — to convince the trial judge in the first instance and provide a strong evidentiary record in support of our requests.

Many of our members have already complied with these new regulations but we are standing together with those facing compliance deadlines in order to stop what we see as an irresponsible and potentially dangerous regulatory requirement. We have noted another phenomenon that should alarm all members of our industry.  Over time, two groups within the transportation industry are being formed: compliant carriers and non-compliant carriers. The compliant carriers believe that they alone should be allowed to operate, idling the non-compliant carriers and causing rates to spike, creating a profitable trucking industry. This has never and will never occur. In an obviously profitable trucking market other companies will be formed to take advantage of the situation and will naturally dilute the market and dry up the profitability. Small regional operators fill great primarily seasonal needs, and these are needs not suited to larger carriers which must operate the whole year. The people employed by these carriers are frequently semi-retired or owner-operators that only work and license their vehicle for partial years. It must be recognized, if you operate a vehicle over 26000 lbs, you are subject to CARB regulations. 

CARB is pitting these two factions against each other. The compliant truck owners are saying “no more delay” and the non-compliant owners are saying “we can’t afford the DPF’s or a new truck – we’re being forced out of business.” This debate among those who should be united in purpose and mission has allowed CARB to ignore the most severe issues with these regulations which are the safety and reliability of the mandated equipment on large diesel powered engines, on road and off road.  

Our biggest problem now is money. In deciding to oppose one of the most powerful regulatory agencies in the state, we knew it would be hard work and costly.  Our legal expenses are mounting and we still have work to do.  Our lead attorney has been exceptional in setting up our case and in trying to make it as affordable as possible. We have received generous contributions from our local farm and business leaders now for a second time and we must ask every concerned person or organization to please contribute to your maximum ability.

As Assemblyman Dan Logue said “this isn’t about our filters, it’s about our freedom.”

 

Bud Caldwell

President

Jim Paiva

Chairman

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