CARB to Delay Enforcement of Registration Requirements

Agency Will Wait Until EPA Rules on Advanced Clean Fleets Waiver Issue
Trucks at Port of Long Beach
Trucks load and unload containers at the Port of Long Beach. Trucks involved in drayage operations are among those impacted by the Advanced Clean Fleets rule. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

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The California Air Resources Board is allowing fleets flexibility with some reporting requirements mandated under its Advanced Clean Fleets rule, which is set to take effect this year.

The agency in a Dec. 27 letter sent to the California Trucking Association said it would not take enforcement action as to the rule’s “high-priority or drayage fleet” reporting requirements or registration prohibitions until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency either grants a preemption waiver applicable to those regulatory provisions or determines a waiver is not necessary. CTA in October filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the rule.

The ACF regulation applies to trucks performing drayage operations at seaports and rail yards; fleets owned by state, local, and federal government agencies; and so-called “high-priority” fleets that are defined as those that own, operate, or direct at least one vehicle in California and which have either $50 million or more in gross annual revenue, or alternatively fleets that own, operate, or have common ownership or control of a total of 50 or more vehicles.

The regulation affects medium- and heavy-duty on-road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 8,500 pounds, off-road yard tractors, and light-duty mail and package delivery vehicles, according to the CARB website.

The agency in the letter also said its registration system will not prevent fleets from adding new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines during the affected period.

The letter further states that CARB will not take enforcement action against vehicles that exceed their “useful life periods.” In the rule, this is defined as trucks that are either 13 years old starting from the model year that its engine was first certified by CARB or EPA, or alternatively the date that the vehicle exceeds 800,000 vehicle miles traveled or 18 years from the model year that its engine was first certified by CARB or EPA. This concession means that CARB will not de-register these vehicles from its database until EPA either grants a preemption waiver for these regulatory provisions or determines a waiver is not necessary.

CARB in November sought a preemption waiver from EPA regarding the challenged provisions of the ACF rule.

Steven Cliff


In the letter, addressed to CTA Senior VP for Government Affairs Chris Shimoda and signed by CARB Executive Officer Steven Cliff, the agency still encourages fleets to comply with the rule while the waiver request is pending and said it “reserves all of its rights to enforce the ACF regulation in full for any period for which a waiver is granted or for which a waiver is determined to be unnecessary.”

Cliff in the letter added, “In light of these representations from CARB, I understand CTA has agreed not to file a preliminary injunction motion seeking to enjoin enforcement of the challenged provision of the ACF regulation while the waiver request is pending before U.S. EPA.”

He added, “We appreciate the opportunity to discuss issues with regulated parties and other stakeholders. And we are pleased the parties were able to come to an understanding to avoid resource-intensive motion practice in this litigation. We look forward to continued discussions with CTA and its members.”

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