CARB: Truck inspection sent ‘a clear message to truckers’

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said its month-long multi-agency campaign in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans and the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture that inspected 4,053 trucks at roughly 40 locations throughout the state during August “sent a clear message to truckers” that the state is stringently enforcing pollution laws.

Trucks were inspected for compliance with many air pollution laws including those requiring owners of certain model year vehicles to install diesel soot filters to reduce harmful diesel emissions. CARB noted an overall compliance rate of more than 80%.

In particular, for 1996-1999 model year trucks — the first model years required to currently be in compliance under the comprehensive Truck and Bus regulation passed in 2008 — the compliance rate was 90%.  This includes those truck owners who met the regulatory requirements by either registering their vehicles with CARB to take advantage of flexibility in the regulation, or who had already installed diesel soot filters.

“We’re pleased to see such a high level of compliance,” said CARB executive officer James Goldstene.  “While CARB will continue to dedicate significant resources to assist fleets in complying with California’s clean truck requirements, owners and operators should understand that our enforcement efforts will continue throughout the year, and that our goal is to make every month a ‘clean truck month.’ The word is out that CARB is fairly enforcing these critically important regulations and working to ensure a level playing field for everyone in the trucking industry.”

Overall, a total of 817 citations were given during the four-week effort.  Of that total, 212 were for violations of the Transport Refrigeration Unit rule, 191 for non-compliance with the Bus and Truck rule, 187 for idling infractions, and 174 for Emissions Certification Labels violations.

To help educate drivers and reinforce the importance of obeying air pollution laws and proper vehicle maintenance, CARB staff distributed more than 4,600 information packets in English and Spanish. 

Environmental groups, community organizations and industry all expressed support for “Gear Up for Clean Truck Month,” lauding its goals to enforce a wide range of mobile source regulations all focused on cleaning up diesel emissions, improving air quality and protecting public health in the most feasible cost-efficient manner.

CARB warned truck owners to take note of impending deadlines in order to place equipment orders and prepare for compliance with a variety of regulations.  Deadlines coming up quickly for diesel vehicles include:

Dec. 31, 2012:

Transport Refrigeration Units with 2005 model year engines must be replaced with Ultra-Low-Emission TRUs.

Jan. 1, 2013:

Under the Truck and Bus regulation, diesel truck fleets must either install diesel soot filters (or upgrade equipment) on trucks with 2000 to 2004 model year engines or meet phase-in option requirements. For vehicles covered under the Drayage Truck Regulation, 2005-2006 engine model year trucks greater than 33,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating must have diesel soot filters.

Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas regulation:

Fleets with 20 or fewer affected trailers must register if they want to use a compliance option that will allow them up to four additional years to participate in the Small Fleet Compliance Plan. Low-rolling resistance tires are required for 2010 model year and older tractors that pull 53 foot-long box-type trailers. SmartWay aerodynamic requirements must be met by all 53-foot or longer box-type trailers not using a phase-in option.

For specific information on CARB’s rules and deadlines, visit the CARB Truck Stop or call the Diesel Hotline at 1 866 6DIESEL (1 866-634-3735).

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