TRU blue: CARB citing reefer-unit violators

Jan. 27, 2010
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) began enforcing the Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) in-use performance standards this month. According to a news release, CARB inspectors issued nearly 100 citations for violations of the TRU ATCM in the first part of this month. CARB adopted its Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) for TRUs and TRU generator sets on February 26, 2004

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) began enforcing the Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) in-use performance standards this month. According to a news release, CARB inspectors issued nearly 100 citations for violations of the TRU ATCM in the first part of this month. CARB adopted its Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) for TRUs and TRU generator sets on February 26, 2004.

The Board is “fully committed to fully enforcing all aspects of the TRU ATCM,” CARB noted. “Inspectors are currently inspecting at border crossings, scales, roadside inspection stations, agricultural inspection stations, distribution centers, shippers, delivery points, ports, truck stops, intermodal facilities and any place that TRUs may operate. Audits are now being conducted at TRU fleet terminals to ensure in-use standard compliance has been achieved and that ARBER [the Air Resources Board Equipment Registration] information is accurate. Any person who knowingly makes a false material statement, representation, or certification in any form or in any report required by the TRU regulation is subject to a fine up to $35,000 per violation.”

According to CARB, “Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) are refrigeration systems powered by diesel internal combustion engines designed to refrigerate or heat perishable products that are transported in various containers, including semi-trailers, truck vans, shipping containers and rail cars. Although TRU engines are relatively small, ranging from 9 to 36 horsepower, significant numbers of these engines congregate at distribution centers, truck stops and other facilities, resulting in the potential for health risks to those that live and work nearby.”

To help businesses understand and comply with the new regulations, CARB’s TRU website has posted various compliance assistance materials, including a list of “Control Technology Options for Complying with the TRU ATCM” plus a list of compliance assistance contacts. There is also a section explaining how to register TRUs. Registration is required for TRUs that are based in California and voluntary for TRUs that are based outside of the state.

A toll-free TRU help line is also available: 1-888-TRU-ATCM (1-888-878-2826) for assistance with compliance questions. Questions related to in-use performance standards may also be emailed to [email protected]. Questions related to registration may also be emailed to [email protected]

Suppliers of reefer units, such as Carrier Transicold and Thermo King, have also offered help with compliance requirements.

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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