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12/28/2010 9:10:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

California Agency Delayed Environmental Rules in 2010

By Eric Miller, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Dec. 20 & 27 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

For some time, two things seemed certain for truckers in California: taxes and stiff environmental requirements. That didn’t change in 2010.

State environmental officials, facing pressure from federal regulators to improve the state’s poor air quality by 2014, continued their push to reduce heavy truck diesel emissions.

The same was true for officials at ports throughout the state, who have been feeling heat from citizens and political leaders to clean the dirty air in surrounding communities.

The good news for truckers has been that officials with the California Air Resources Board in 2010 began taking note of the devastating effects of the recession, granting some emissions reduction regulatory delays and offering cost-saving options to help ease the financial pain for carriers.

Before the end of 2010, CARB’s board of directors was expected to approve a slate of amendments to the state’s heavy truck diesel emissions reduction regulation, projected to save the trucking industry more than $3 billion in retrofits and engine replacements, and delay some compliance requirements by a year or more.

“The recession has significantly impacted the economic health of the regulated industry and, consequently, has greatly affected its ability to comply with the current regulations,” said a CARB staff report explaining the rationale for the amendments.

 

“Additionally, the recession has had significant social implications, causing a number of businesses to reduce their activities or go out of business, which has resulted in significant unemployment throughout the state.”

Because there were fewer trucks on the road, CARB said the state’s pollution levels were lower than projected, making the amendments achievable.

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