Press Release 11/25/13

 

CARB Action on Diesel Particulate Filters Falls Short of Economic Fairness for Truckers

Recent actions by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to delay full implementation of

its requirement for the installation of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) on most trucks operating in

the state do not address serious concerns by drivers about the safety and effectiveness of the

devices, according to the Alliance for California Business (ACB).

By January 1, 2014, most trucks operating in the state will be required to have a DPF. At its

October 24, 2013 board meeting, ACB and others in the trucking industry told CARB that

thousands of trucks have yet to comply, and won’t be able to meet the deadline. The truck

owners told CARB that the DPF is a technically flawed device that causes constant repair

problems and resulting delays in shipments. It places truck drivers and the general public at risk

of fires and other truck-related accidents. The DPF is designed to reduce diesel particulate

matter, but it leaves a giant carbon footprint on the state when it malfunctions or damages trucks

– which is often. Small businesses and agriculture are most immediately impacted, but the effect

of the DPF requirement will be felt throughout the state, as businesses struggle to absorb the

financial impact by raising prices or reducing service to rural areas.

None of this is news to the trucking industry, but for the first time it appeared that someone on

the Board had finally listened. On November 14, 2013, CARB announced that it would give

some truck owners more time to comply with the Truck and Bus Regulation. Trucking owners

or companies must show “good faith compliance” by doing one of the following by January 1,

2014: (1) enter into an agreement to buy and install a DPF; (2) sign a purchase contract and

order a replacement truck equipped with a DPF; or (3) show that they were approved or denied a

loan or other financing for a retrofit DPF or replacement truck equipped with a DPF.

Alternatively, a truck owner could register the truck as one that stays exclusively within a

designated low NOx county or drives less than 5,000 miles per year. In addition, CARB advises

that it is going to provide further information to stakeholders and hold meetings to review these

issues.

Says ACB Chairman of the Board Jim Paiva: “CARB’s olive branch to California businesses

comes late in the day and won’t help most of our members. The DPF technology is unsafe and

unreliable. For those who have installed these filter devices, they must endure the cost of

constant mechanical failures and the threat of engine fires. The rest of us are waiting for the

other shoe to drop, knowing that the CARB enforcement police are, as we speak, pulling over

trucks and issuing large fines for noncompliance.”

ACB board member Rick Cinquini adds, “It just amazes me that CARB now says that it wants to

start exploring the problems with a regulation they are already enforcing. Shouldn’t they have

done that before requiring thousands of truckers to buy these dangerous and defective DPF devices?”

Board member Mike Manna points out that “the area or mileage limitations just won’t

work for companies that need to use trucks for different purposes on different days. That’s just

not how the trucking business works.”

ACB president Bud Caldwell finds CARB’s dishonesty about the number of trucks affected

alarming: “It’s not the small number predicted by CARB. CARB’s statistics on the number of

trucks that still need to be upgraded appear to be numbers pulled out of a hat, and also fail to

consider the trucks coming into the state.” Mr. Caldwell also asks CARB to explain this: “why

is it that CARB funding to purchase the DPF or new trucks is limited or not available at all to

truck owners whose trucks do not frequent certain corridors (the ones that are most impacted by

pollution in the state). At the same time, CARB requires these same trucks (the ones that do not

frequent this corridor) to buy the DPF or replace their trucks on the CARB schedule. How is that

fair?”

Again, Mr. Caldwell: “The Alliance for California Business brought its lawsuit to require CARB

to put an end to a program that by design will require truck owners fit their trucks with a

dangerous and mechanically defective DPF device, and by doing so causes more harm to the

environment than it cures. CARB’s newest advisory tells us that CARB is finally thinking about

these issues, but these weak and incomplete compliance deferments or carve-outs temporarily

help only a handful of affected California truckers. They do not relieve truck owners of  the fears

and terrible economic uncertainty created by these regulations.”

Mr. Cinquini summed it up: “It was CARB’s responsibility to know and disclose the real facts

about the DPF before requiring any truck owner to install that device. It is now CARB’s duty to

agree to an unconditional moratorium on the DPF devices until it is clear that they are safe,

affordable, reliable, and do no harm to California’s environment and economy.”

 

One Response to “Press Release 11/25/13”

  1. ronald keegan | December 20, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    hi,I run into California every week along with a lot of out of state trucks. Your new CARB law is gonna shut this country down. The fuel tax that your state wont be getting plus all the jobs that affect this with out the freight not coming in or going out. My truck is a 1999 Peterbilt. When it was built it passed epa regs. DPF filters are bad. The trucks that are in dealerships sitting because they wont run cost a lot of money to fix plus the owners aren’t making any money. You need to put this CARB rule off before you cause a big problem in America. You will affect millions of jobs because of this. I hope you read this and change the rule before jan 1 if not this country will stop all because of your state. I hope you listen to this….

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