Alliance for California Business Press Release – April 13, 2015
JUDGE DENIES ACB’S REQUEST FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, BUT LEAVES DOOR OPEN TO PRESENT MORE EVIDENCE ON THE LINK BETWEEN THE TRUCK AND BUS FIRES AND DPF DEVICES REQUIRED BY CARB
Judge Peter Twede of the Glenn County Superior Court has denied the Alliance for California Business’s (“Alliance”) request for a preliminary injunction which would precluded CARB from requiring truck owners to install the Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs), which is suspected of causing multiple truck fires and posing a dangerous risk to all persons who travel on California streets and highways.
At a hearing on January 9, 2015, Alliance presented declarations from numerous truck owners and drivers, as well as experts, concerning the mechanical unreliability and risk of fire posed by the DPF devices. One of the declarants, Hank de Carbonel, explained that the devices “increase the likelihood of fires and explosions in or around the DPF system.” Other truck drivers described being stuck on the side of the highway or trucks taken out of use due to a multitude of mechanical problems all attributable to the DPF device. Many of the declarants expressed their concern and fear of fires and explosions caused by the DPF device.
Says Tony Hobbes, an Alliance member, “CARB has no explanation for these fires, though Alliance is informed that CARB has started to investigate some of them. The question for me is this: when will CARB tell California citizens what’s really going on here.”
In his ruling denying the injunction, Judge Twede explained that “[w]hen a party seeks to enjoin a state agency in the performance of its duties, the party must make a significant showing of irreparable injury, as there is a general rule against enjoining agencies in the performance of their duties.” Judge Twede acknowledged that “the possibility of these safety issues is very concerning” and noted that Alliance raised valid economic and potential safety concerns.
“Judge Twede is acknowledging the potential harm caused by DPFs and clearly open to reviewing more evidence linking truck and bus fires to the devices,” explained Alliance member, Bud Caldwell. “Since the hearing in January 2015, we have continued our investigation of truck fires and believe that we are close to meeting the standard set by our trial judge in this matter. We look forward to providing that information because this is about the safety of everyone who drives on the highways of this state.”
Alliance will be reporting further on its investigation efforts in the coming weeks and expects to return to court on this important safety issue before June 1, 2015.