12/13/2016



How one state senator wants to clean up truck pollution
By Rachel Uranga

Aiming to help pay for California Gov. Jerry Brown’s effort to take the dirtiest big rigs off the road, state Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, is pushing a $600 million bond to fund cleaner trucks and goods movement.

Mendoza introduced legislation last week that would place a bond measure on the June 2018 ballot to support Brown’s sustainable freight program and direct hundreds of millions of federal dollars towards building up infrastructure for cargo movement.

The program would add 100,000 low- or zero-emission trucks to the road and impose stricter emission requirements.

“California should continue to focus on cleaner and more efficient goods transportation while raising our standards for air quality,” Mendoza said in a statement Monday. “Our community and our economy improve when we make innovation a top priority.” Read more >




 


11/29/2016



L.A.-Long Beach port pollution plan needs specific goals
By The Editorial Board, The Pasadena Star-News

The goal of eliminating pollution at the Los Angeles and Long Beach port complex is one that everybody applauds, but how to get there is proving to be challenging and not so unanimous.

As one observer said, the devil is in the details.

In a rare joint meeting of the Los Angeles and Long Beach port governing boards, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently urged commissioners to build a plan with measurable results to get to zero emissions by 2035.

He encouraged commissioners “to be bold, to set a very high bar, to not just go for glitter and generalties but to hold ourselves accountable with frameworks that we can measure and results we can share. We shouldn’t be scared of that.”

Those are strong marching orders that we applaud, but Garcetti’s requests reveal the difficulty port officials will face in bridging industry concerns about the costs of green technology and demands to clean up the environment. Read more >




 


11/21/2016



Ports of L.A., Long Beach pursue next phase of Clean Action Plan
By publisher@thetrucker.com

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are “aggressively deploying zero and near-zero emission trucks and cargo-handling equipment and expanding programs that reduce ship emissions” as part of the next phase of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), spokesmen said.

Proposals will also focus on freight infrastructure investment, innovation and technology to improve supply chain efficiency, comprehensive energy planning, and increased advocacy for stricter emissions standards and government incentives to help pay for projects that advance testing and commercialization of zero and near-zero emission vehicles, the twin ports said a combined statement.

The updated CAAP provides one of California’s first opportunities to implement the vision laid out in the State’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan.
Read more >





11/10/2016



Ports of LA and Long Beach to expand clean-air initiatives
By Donal Scully

The governing boards of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the busiest two container ports in the US, have announced a joint public meeting to be held on November 17 to discuss updating the San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP).

On the agenda of the CAAP Discussion Document will be how to expand the clean air initiatives that have already shown significant success in reducing air pollution related to port activities over the past 10 years since the CAAP began.

The figures show the neighbouring ports’ pro-active approach to lowering emissions has seen diesel particulates down by 85%, nitrogen oxides by 50% and sulfur oxides by 97% over that time. Read more >




 

11/3/2016



How the Port of Oakland cut 76% of its diesel emissions in 10 years
By Jennifer McKevitt

The Port's actions are laudable, but above all show the power of benchmarking, goal-setting and stakeholder communication or standards for achieving sustainability goals. A close look at the Port of Oakland's 2015 Seaport Air Emissions Inventory report reveals the long-term emission reduction process.

First, the Port commissioned an emission inventory in 2005, to set a benchmark. Then, the Port released a "Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan" in 2009, in which it details goals, forecasts and a plan to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions by 85% by 2020. Over the years, the plan added initiatives on clean trucks, seaport air emissions, clean water and business partnerships to achieve the goal. Read more >




11/2/2016



Wave of environmental regulation heading for California ports

By JOC

The tightrope that California ports must walk in balancing the commercial needs of their private-sector tenants with the demands of state and local environmental regulators played out last week at events in Oakland and Los Angeles-Long Beach. Read more (you must register on their website for free) >





10/27/2016



A Vicious Cycle: How LA’s Record Breaking Smog May Exacerbate Itself
By Sami Grover

Southern California recently experienced some of its worst smog in years. As Tony Barboza of the LA Times reported, persistent inversion layers caused by unusually hot, stagnant weather were trapping ozone and other smog particles, creating a build up of dangerously contaminated air.

What’s interesting is the fact that the sources of these ozone emissions — trucks, cars, forest fires, etc. — are also major sources sources of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for heating up our planet and increasing the likelihood of such hot, stagnant weather in the first place.

It’s a classic example of a “negative feedback loop,” in which emissions cause local smog issues while also driving climatic changes that will make these smog conditions worse. In some instances, there may even be a third layer to this climate-air quality double whammy: with smog causing individuals to take their car rather than walk or cycle in polluted air. Read more >




 


10/26/2016



World Logistics Center, air district agree to cash settlement for Moreno Valley project
By DAVID DANELSKI AND IMRAN GHORI

A lawsuit settlement between Moreno Valley and regional air quality officials over the planned World Logistics Center calls for the developer to pay millions toward air cleanup programs.

Under the agreement, developer Highland Fairview will pay the South Coast Air Quality Management District 64 cents per square foot as the giant warehouse complex is built. It’s expected to encompass 40.6 million square feet when completed.

The air district stands to gain as much as $26 million over 15 years in the agreement. The project would be the size of 700 football fields on what is now mostly farmland in eastern Moreno Valley.

A spokesman for Highland Fairview president and CEO Iddo Benzeevi said Benzeevi would have no comment. Read more >




 


10/26/2016



EPA, NHTSA publish Phase 2 fuel efficiency rule
By Kevin Jones

It’s official: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Tuesday published in the Federal Register 2,762 pages of the next truck fuel efficiency rule, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles - Phase 2.”

The rule was finalized in mid-August; Tuesday’s publication starts a 60-day countdown to the date the rule takes effect.

Called for by President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the rule sets GHG emissions targets through 2027, and is a follow-up the Phase 1 targets put in place by the Obama administration in 2011. That initial round covered model years 2014-2018. Read more >




 


10/26/2016



New Jersey's Ambitious Plan to Clean Up the Port Authority's Mess
By Max Rivlin-Nadler

With Bridgegate and the now-fatal underfunding of New Jersey Transit dominating the headlines, it's easy to forget about other botched infrastructure projects in the Garden State. Take the Port Authority's incredibly mismanaged and ill-designed trucks replacement program, for example: Launched in 2009, it offered drivers grants to help pay for new, cleaner vehicles — up to $25,000 each. Most drivers make less than $30,000 a year; for many, especially those driving rigs with the older, dirtier-burning engines that the program meant to phase out, it was too good a deal to pass up. But the grant program was at best cosmetic. A new truck costs as much as $100,000; many drivers went into serious debt to cover the upfront capital, some ending up as much as $75,000 in the hole. To minimize the debt burden, the only alternative for many was to purchase trucks that were already years old, with unfamiliar emissions systems needing specialists to fix. Sometimes these replacements died on the side of the Jersey Turnpike. Read more >





 

10/24/2016



California pumps US$363m into low-emission sector incentives
By: Just-Auto.com

California's Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted a revised funding plan for proceeds from the cap-and-trade programme, which includes putting more clean vehicles in disadvantaged communities and will see US$363m pumped into the initiative.

The investments range from supporting increased numbers of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks and buses to rebates for low- and zero-emission passenger vehicles.

"The investment of $363m from our cap-and-trade programme for these low-carbon transportation projects will continue to drive the market for new technologies and put more ultra-clean and zero-emission trucks, buses and cars into the communities throughout California that need them the most," said CARB chairwoman, Mary Nichols.

The revised plan for fiscal year 2016-17 keeps much of the original funding plan (approved in June, 2016) intact, while addressing the smaller budget appropriation of US$363m. Read more >





9/26/2016



How to Reduce Diesel-Engine Emissions at Ports
By: Jessica Lyons

US ports can reduce emissions from diesel-powered ships, trucks and other port equipment through a variety of strategies and clean technologies, according to an EPA report.

National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at US Ports examines current and future emission trends from diesel engines in port areas, and explores the emissions reduction potential of strategies like replacing and repowering older, dirtier vehicles and engines and deploying zero emissions technologies.

US ports are set to expand significantly as international trade continues to grow, and the size of ships coming to ports increases. This growth means more diesel engines at ports emitting carbon dioxide. These engines also emit fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants that contribute to serious health problems. Read more >




 


9/23/2016



Ports Can Cut Diesel-Engine Emissions by Replacing Equipment, EPA Report Says
By Erica E. Phillips

The nation’s ports can reduce the harmful effects of diesel-engine emissions by replacing old equipment and improving cargo-handling operations, according to new research published Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA researchers evaluated different methods of reducing emissions from diesel-powered trucks, trains, ocean vessels and cargo-handling cranes at the nation’s seaports. For instance, replacing older drayage trucks—which haul cargo to and from port terminals—with newer, cleaner diesel trucks could reduce particulate-matter emissions by as much as 62% in the next five years, according to the new research.

“Diesel engines are the modern-day workhorse of the American economy,” the report said, “and although they can be reliable and efficient, older diesel engines can emit significant amounts of air pollution...which impact human health and the planet.” The report was part of the agency’s Ports Initiative, a collaborative effort with industry and government representatives as well as community groups that aims to reduce pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions. Read more >





9/19/2016



Gov Jerry Brown signs four climate change bills in downtown Fresno
By Gene Haagenson

The bill signing took place on top of a downtown parking garage, with a view of the Valley's air pollution problem. Something Governor Brown said the legislation will help ease.

"The air is bad, a lot of kids have asthma, a lot of old folks have bronchitis and other kind of respiratory diseases. And you put this poison into the air, you can actually take it out. That's what this bill is all about."

The four different pieces of legislation aim to use $900 million in cap and trade funds to pay for new clean energy projects, like public transportation, and the governor said put people to work.

"And those are good jobs. Whether it's the high speed rail which has 500 people working with solid jobs, with good benefits, or many of the programs I am signing into the law today. This is how you move people into the middle class," said Brown.

Along with money for electric cars, and walking trails funds will go to help agriculture be cleaner.

"The dairies and all that stuff you ever go by and look, those waste ponds and all that-- I won't say what the word is, but you know what it is. That could all be clean energy. And so can a lot of other things," said Brown. Read more >





8/29/2016



Sustainable Freight Action Plan Gets Mixed Reviews
By Billie Greer

The recently released Sustainable Freight Action Plan, which tries to balance economic and environmental objectives in the race to meet climate protection goals in California, is getting mixed reviews.

Developed by several state agencies in conjunction with stakeholder groups, the Plan is intended to meet the objective of improving efficiency and reducing pollution of the freight transport system in California, as set forth by Governor Brown in an Executive Order issued last year.

California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols said, “We listened to stakeholders, incorporated changes and will consult with them as we put the Plan into action. This dialogue…is the underpinning for the successful transformation of our freight transport system and the multiple benefits it brings to our environment, communities and our economy.” Read more >





8/26/2016



Report: California lawmakers are leading the way with new climate change mandates
By Chris Chin, Reuters

California legislature is once again setting the new laws to help combat climate change. They are, after all, the leading entity that led the first efforts of enforcing America’s Clean Air Act on automobile emissions.

However, these new greenhouse emissions mandates aren’t just focusing on the reduction of car emissions. Now, the new bill is intended to focus on improving California’s infrastructure. In the press conference for the vote, members of the Senate said the new requirements will affect all industries in the state, from agriculture, to oil refining, and even public utilities.

In a recent state Senate voting poll, a 25-13 support was recorded to set a new target for the state’s emissions. The goal is to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to levels equivalent to 40 percent below the recorded amount in 1990, by the year 2030. Through the voting process, California proudly said that they’re on track for meeting their original goal for 2020 of reducing emissions back to levels recorded in the year 1990.
Read more >




 


8/22/2016



Incentives help offset truckers’ costs in cleaning air: Guest commentary
By Shawn Yadon

Recently, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has been publicly criticized for “backsliding” on air quality by allegedly relying on incentives to clean the air, rather than regulations. But that’s far from the whole story.

Contrary to what some would lead you to believe, California has the toughest air quality rules and regulations in the country and nowhere is tougher on air quality in California than the South Coast.

Between 2008 and 2023, truckers will invest almost $1 billion annually in cleaner equipment. By 2023 it will be mandatory that all trucks on the road cut diesel soot by more than 99 percent. These existing regulations will also reduce smog-forming emissions in the South Coast by more than 70 percent from today’s levels.

Not content with this amazing progress, the state and the South Coast are pushing for new regulations including a federal engine standard which could result in a virtual elimination of smog-forming pollutants from trucks over the next few decades.

Let’s be clear. The incentives that some special interests label as too business-friendly exist to help offset the significant and often burdensome costs associated with meeting these myriad regulations. Many wrongly believe incentives shift the cost to the taxpayers and let industry off the hook but incentives are no free ride. Read more >




 


8/17/2016



Trucking Industry Cautiously Embracing New Federal Standards
By Amy Harder and Imani Moise

WASHINGTON—Major truck manufacturers and operators of large commercial fleets cautiously embraced federal standards released Tuesday requiring cuts in fuel usage of big trucks, one of the last in a long line of regulations President Barack Obama has issued over the past several years seeking to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions across the U.S. economy.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department jointly announced the final standards for big vehicles ranging from vans to garbage trucks to 18-wheelers that requires up to 25% lower carbon emissions and fuel consumption in certain models over the next decade compared with today.

Marking a departure from the divisive debates over Mr. Obama’s climate agenda, many executives in the trucking industry backed the standards, saying they ultimately help cut down fuel costs across large commercial fleets of trucks. Read more >




 

8/13/2016



Thousands of lives could be saved in California by stricter air pollution limits, study finds
By Tony Barboza

More than 2,000 Southern Californians die early each year from polluted air, and the region would benefit the most of anywhere in the country from reducing ozone and fine particle pollution below current federal limits, a new study has found.

The analysis by scientists at New York University and the American Thoracic Society, released Wednesday, estimated that more protective air quality standards would prevent 3,632 deaths a year in California, more than one-third of the 9,320 early deaths linked to dirty air nationwide.

The study estimates 1,341 avoidable deaths from pollution each year in the Los Angeles metro area and 800 in Riverside-San Bernardino. The region has “the most to gain” from attaining tougher air quality standards because of its large population and high pollution levels, according to the study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, a peer-reviewed journal.

Southern California has the nation’s highest levels of ozone — the corrosive gas in smog — and does not meet federal standards for fine particles, harmful soot and chemical-laden specks of pollution that can lodge deep in the lungs. Read more >




 

8/8/2016



HomeTrucking TechnologyElectric Vehicles Economics Will Push Adoption of Self-Driving, Electric Trucks
By Jerry Hirsch

Look for semi-trucks to become more intelligent and electric.That’s the assessment of Morgan Stanley Research analyst Ravi Shanker.

While there are hurdles, Shanker argues in a recent report to investors that powerful economic and regulatory forces will push the trucking industry toward electric, self-driving trucks. Look for autonomous trucks to be introduced in 2020, “around the time we expect to see the launch of electric semis, right as the new fuel economy and emissions regulations for commercial trucks gather steam,” Shanker said.

Established truck manufacturers and start-ups are already moving in that direction.

Daimler Trucks, the Mack division of Volvo Trucks and Tesla Motors all are developing electric trucks. Read more >




7/27/2016



Mercedes-Benz is presenting the first fully electric truck for heavy distribution operations
By Source

The world's most successful truck manufacturer Daimler Trucks is presenting the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck in Stuttgart today, as the first fully electric truck with an admissible total weight of up to 26 tonnes. This means that in the future, heavy trucks will take part in urban distribution operations with zero local emissions and hardly a whisper. The market launch of this technology is conceivable for Daimler Trucks at the beginning of the next decade. In the light distribution sector, Daimler Trucks has already been impressively demonstrating the day-to-day suitability of the fully electric truck in customer trials with the Fuso Canter E-Cell since 2014. The development of electric trucks and series production maturity are fixed parts of the strategy of Daimler Trucks to build on our technological leadership. For this purpose a considerable part of the future investments by the truck division in the fields of research and development flow in the further development of the full electric drive.

"Electric drive systems previously only saw extremely limited use in trucks. Nowadays costs, performance and charging times develop further so rapidly that now there is a trend reversal in the distribution sector: the time is ripe for the electric truck. In light distribution trucks, our Fuso Canter E-Cell has already been undergoing intensive customer trials since 2014. And with the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, we are now electrifying the heavy distribution segment up to 26 tonnes. We intend to establish electric driving as systematically as autonomous and connected driving," says Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses at the Board of Management. Read more >





7/22/2016



Tesla to enter the semi truck business, starting with ‘Tesla Semi’ set to be unveiled next year
By Fred Lambert

Probably the biggest surprise to come out of Elon Musk’s ‘Master Plan Part 2’ is that Tesla is developing a semi truck set to be unveiled next year. Although completely in line with its mission to accelerate the advent of electric transport, it’s still a whole new business for Tesla.

All-electric trucks are rare. BYD developed a model, which it started recently testing in a pilot project in the port of Los Angeles, but it is still a small, almost nonexistent, business. Read more >





7/14/2016



The port that fuels L.A.'s economy and fouls its air gets a pollution-reduction team
By Tony Barboza

Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday announced the appointment of an advisory panel tasked with reducing air pollution from the Port of Los Angeles by expanding the use of zero-emissions technology.

The 10-member Sustainable Freight Advisory Board, made up of representatives from industry, environmental groups, labor, and air quality agencies, will advise the city-owned port on how to work with manufacturers to develop and deploy cleaner trucks, trains, ships and cargo-handling equipment.

Trade passing through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports support hundreds of thousands of jobs across Southern California. Read more >





7/13/2016



Missouri governor vetoes truck platooning effort, cites 'unproven technology'
By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has turned back an attempt to authorize driver-assistive truck platooning technology on state highways.

State law now prohibits truck and bus drivers from following another such vehicle within 300 feet. Affected drivers are also prohibited from following another vehicle more closely than is “reasonably safe and prudent.”

House and Senate lawmakers voted to advance a lengthy bill to the governor that includes a provision to setup a six-year pilot program to exempt from the state law truck platoons of up to two vehicles.

Nixon describes the technology as allowing multiple long-haul trucks to travel in tandem, with less than 50 feet separation, using wireless and radar-based technology to synchronize the braking and acceleration of the two “platooned” trucks.

The Democratic governor acknowledged that automated driving technology has advanced significantly within recent years; however, he said the “long-term safety and reliability of this technology remains unproven.”

“That fact was tragically highlighted with the recent fatality involving a self-driving passenger vehicle,” Nixon wrote in his veto letter.

In that incident, the driver of a Tesla Model S that was in autopilot mode drove itself under a tractor trailer that had crossed a divided highway. The motorist was killed. Read more >




6/29/2016



Clean Trucks: Much Needed and Ready to Deliver
By Jason Mathers

There was some good news from the U.S. Energy Information Agency recently. It found that the Clean Trucks program, which is expected to be jointly finalized this summer by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), will deliver huge carbon emission reductions.

The Clean Trucks program is designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the freight trucks that transport the products we buy every day, as well as buses, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and garbage trucks. The program’s first performance standards went into effect in 2014. The EPA and DOT are currently developing a second phase of performance standards. Strong standards can help keep Americans safe from climate change and from unhealthy air pollution, reduce our country’s reliance on imported oil, and save money for both truckers and consumers. Read more >




6/24/2016



Assemblymember introduces legislation to alleviate port congestion
Source

Seventieth District Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) introduced legislation on June 22 to streamline the movement of goods travelling through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. AB 531 would address the unacceptable levels of traffic congestion outside of the two ports by creating a dynamic gate management system, according to O’Donnell’s office.

The bill arises out of a growing concern among business, environmental and labor groups that the current gate management system, known as PierPASS, causes trucks to
wait for hours at a time to enter the ports. Despite criticism of the impact
truck wait times have on the environment and the economy, the gate system has failed to modernize. Trucks entering the ports continue to experience long delays waiting to pick up and drop off cargo. Read more >




container ship

6/22/2016



Push renewed to ban trucks older than ’07 at NJ/NY ports
By Jill Dunn

The Coalition for Healthy Ports and key Newark, N.J. politicians want the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to reinstate a plan to prohibit trucks with engines older than 2007 by next year.

At a June 16 press conference, Mayor Ras Baraka and Council President Mildred Crump asked PANYNJ to return to its original plan to bar pre-2007 diesel engines by 2017. Last January, the port authority announced it would only ban 1994 and 1995 engines by 2018. It also would commit $1.2 million to supplement the $9 million expected in federal grants to help truck owners replace trucks. Read more >




container ship

6/16/2016



Is Zero-Emission Freight Possible? The Port of Los Angeles Thinks So
By Katharine Gammon

In a conference room high above the 43 miles of waterways that make up the Port of Los Angeles, the view is incredible: cranes, ships and the massive Pacific Ocean. The port looks much the same from the outside as it did ten years ago, when the giant cargo ships and tens of thousands of diesel trucks spewed out nearly half the sulfur particles in the LA region.

Now, those emissions—and others—have dramatically declined at the country’s largest port. So what’s different?

“The guts inside the port are completely changed,” says Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.

From zero-emission electric trucks to ships that plug in, California has an ambitious plan to have an emission-free freight system by 2050. The efforts are already having a real effect on the health of people around southern California—and it could be a model for the rest of the country. Read more >




6/15/2016



Air officials inspecting Fresno big rigs to curb pollution
By Reuben Contreras

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --
Nearly 1 million big rigs travel through California each year and that's why the Air Resources Board is cracking down on trucks emitting toxic fumes.

The board cited trucks Tuesday for violations that lead to more pollutants in the Central Valley's air as part of inspections that are part of a statewide effort to reduce smog.

The random inspections are part of an effort by the ARB to keep smog levels down and to make sure big rigs are keeping up with regulations.

"We're also trying to provide information to the drivers about the necessary equipment and make sure they are not purchasing illegal or illegitimate equipment that could be more costly to them and it could damage their engines as well," Eloy Flores with the California Air Resources Board. Read more >




6/14/2016



Court rules against owner-operator emissions flexibility options for California emissions regs
By James Jaillet

A California Superior Court ruled last week to strike down several 2014-made amendments to the state’s strict emissions rules. The amendments meant to give compliance flexibility to owner-operators and other small fleet owners who may have trouble affording equipment upgrades or add-ons to bring their trucks into compliance.

The Superior Court of Fresno directed the California Air Resources Board on June 9 to void the amendments to its Truck & Bus Rule. CARB says the amendments will remain in effect, however, while it appeals the court ruling. The court decision did not affect the Truck & Bus Rule itself. Read more >




6/14/2016



What’s at stake in Southern California’s new war on diesel truck pollution
By Steve Scauzillo

Southern California’s anti-smog regulators opened a new front on the war on heavy-duty diesel trucks by joining a coalition of agencies stretching from Washington state to New York last week.

Their goal? To lobby the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require all new trucks to emit near-zero emissions by Jan. 1, 2024, a strategy that includes wiping out the diesel engine, the standard in long-haul trucking and replacing it with compressed natural gas truck engines.

Even if such battleground rules could be approved by EPA and the courts, with help from aggressive anti-smog agencies such as the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the changeover to near-zero emission trucks would take another 20 years because of long phase-in periods, slow turnover rates and unique market forces that include out-of-state truckers hauling goods from the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach using older vehicles. Read more >




6/10/2016



California Trucking Companies Must Comply With Clean Air Rules
By Tony Dreibus

Trucking companies will have to comply with a rule passed in 2008 that says all of their trucks must meet clean-air standards in California after the state’s superior court nullified amendments giving truckers more time to convert their vehicles.

A mandate was put in place in 2008 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that said trucks operating in California must comply with clean air rules or be taken off the road. Many companies and owner-operators, begrudgingly, complied with the ruling at their own expense. In 2014, however, amendments to the rule were adopted that gave trucking companies flexibility in adopting the mandate passed in 2008.

The suit asking for the amendments to be negated was filed by the California Trucking Association (CTA), a Sacramento-based industry group, and trucking firm John R. Lawson Rack and Oil of Fresno. The amendments, the CTA said, put members who’d spent millions of dollars on compliance at an economic disadvantage to those who hadn’t yet complied. Read more >




6/8/2016



GHG Rule: Explaining Phase 2
By Kevin Jones

Touted by the Obama Adminis­tration as a win-win-win for the environment, trucking industry and consumers, the proposed second round of fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are meant to reduce climate change impact while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation.

But nearly a year after being jointly published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Dept. of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the honeymoon between the government and the industry—if there ever was one—is certainly over.

The greenhouse gas (GHG) final rule is still up in the air, and no one is quite sure what to expect from it when it is published. Broadly, the proposed rule pits the trucking industry, which wants a cautious, doable program, against clean air groups that insist on the most aggressive of the proposal’s goals and timelines. Even within trucking, factions have developed: Engine maker Cummins supports a separate engine-only standard, and trailer makers argue that EPA has no authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate them at all. Read more >




6/4/2016



NOx Emission Reductions for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks Forthcoming
By Bruce Pasfield and Elise Paeffgen

The timeline for federal NOx emission reductions for medium and heavy-duty trucks is uncertain, but expected in California in 2017. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is expected to issue a NOx standard in 2017 that should reduce NOx emissions by up to 90 percent: the expected lower standard is 0.02 grams per brake horsepower hour (g/bhp-hr), a significant decrease for the current 0.2 g/bhp-hr. Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), California may issue emission standards that are more stringent than federal standards. While California is the only state with such authority, other states may adopt the more stringent emission standards promulgated by CARB.

California-only emission standards are often opposed by industry, as disparate standards across the country make compliance challenging for manufactures selling nationwide. A national emissions standard levels the playing field, and is often preferred by industry. EPA has not issued NOx standards for heavy-duty trucks since 2001; these standards took effect in 2007. Read more >




6/3/2016



AQMD board opposes bill to add 'environmental justice' members and urges feds to clean up truck emissions
By Tony Barboza

Southern California’s air quality board has come under criticism for a political shift that critics say has made it too friendly to polluting industries. Earlier this week, the state Senate approved a bill aimed at changing the balance.

On Friday, the South Coast Air Quality Management District board pushed back with an attempt to defeat the legislation, which would add three state-appointed “environmental justice” members to its ranks. Read more >




6/1/2016



State Senate flexes its muscle with Southern California's clean-air board
By M. Patrick McGreevy

Amid charges that polluting industries are taking over Southern California’s clean-air board, the state Senate on Tuesday approved countermeasures including an expansion of the board by three state apppointees.

Senate leader Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) introduced the bill that would expand the South Coast Air Quality Management Board from 13 to 16 members and require the board to submit to the state Air Resources Board its plans to meet federal and state air quality standards.

“As a result of deliberate efforts to weaken the board’s clean-air majority, there is not one single Latino on the board,” De Leon told his colleagues before they approved SB 1387 and sent it to the Assembly for consideration.

The new board members would be appointed by the governor, the Senate Rules Committee and Assembly speaker. Read more >




5/26/2016



California Zero-Emissions Project Includes Diesel Plug-In Hybrid Trucks
Source

New diesel technology will be part of a $23.6 million zero-emission transportation test program in California for emerging commercial vehicle technologies designed to reduce greenhouse gases, smog, and petroleum usage in ports and rail yards along busy freight corridors.

The California Air Resources Board awarded the $23.6 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District to fund four vehicle and engine manufacturers testing emerging zero-emissions technology deployed on 43 harbor trucks. The participating Volvo Group project, under its Mack Trucks brand, will couple a clean diesel engine with plug-in electric and hybrid capabilities. Read more >




5/24/2016



Cow Power at California dairy
By Amy Quinton via Capital Public Radio

Sacramento, California - The 700 cows on Cace Van Steyn’s dairy farm in Elk Grove excrete about 98,000 pounds of manure and urine every day. All that waste produces methane.

The dairy is now using a flush system to collect that manure from most of the stalls and carry it to a covered lagoon where an anaerobic digester converts the gas into enough electricity to power 125 homes. Van Steyn says there are other benefits.

“This helps because it makes the manure much more manageable and easier to access and then if you add the generator part of it that helps generate some cash. It’s a win win I think,” says Van Steyn. Read more >




5/4/2016



California’s Supply Chains Pursue “Green” Agenda with SB1338
By Patrick Burnson

Having introduced into the California State Senate a new bill designed to give an exemption from sales and use tax for port terminal operators purchasing zero or “near zero-emission” equipment, Lara is trying to advance two agendas.

Greater reliance on mechanized advances in seaport technology is being championed by California Senator Ricardo Lara and The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) an independent, not-for-profit trade association.

Having introduced into the California State Senate a new bill designed to give an exemption from sales and use tax for port terminal operators purchasing zero or “near zero-emission” equipment, Lara is trying to advance two agendas.

“California has a vision for its public ports to be both an economic lifeline for our state, supporting millions of jobs, while working on the cutting edge of environmental improvement, investing billions to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and support California’s global leadership on climate change,” says Lara.

He says that Senate Bill 1338 will accelerate these efforts by reducing the cost to install zero and near-zero emission equipment at the ports.
Read more >




5/3/2016



State issues draft plan for freight system of the future
By ARB

SACRAMENTO – State agency leaders today released the Draft California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, an ambitious document that lays a foundation for modernizing California’s multi-billion dollar freight transportation system. Developed in response to Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-32-15, which calls for a single integrated action plan for California, the Draft Action Plan was drafted by the California State Transportation Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Agency, California Air Resources Board, California Department of Transportation, California Energy Commission and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development with broad stakeholder input.

The Executive Order directs the state agencies to pursue a shared vision to “improve freight efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies and increase the competitiveness of California’s freight system.” Benefits include meeting the state’s freight infrastructure, public health, air quality and climate goals. Read more >




5/2/2016



New California Environmental Plan Could Transform Trucking
By Jerry Hirsch

Get ready for California environmental regulations to shake up another industry – this time it will be freight and shipping.

Look for state regulators to release a draft of California’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan later this week.

The plan aims to transform trucking and shipping in the Golden State to zero-emission technologies by 2050, said consultant Erik Neandross, chief executive of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates.

One of the milestones comes in 2030 when California wants 100,000 freight zero-emission or near-zero-emission trucks and industrial vehicles in operation. Read more >




4/25/2016



On This Waterfront, Robot Longshoremen Are the New Contenders
By John Lippert

On one end of a dock at America’s busiest port, tractor-trailers haul containers through dense, stop-and-go traffic. Sometimes they collide. Sometimes the drivers must wait, diesel engines idling, as piles are unstacked to find the specific container they need.

A few hundred yards away, advanced algorithms select the most efficient pathway for autonomous carriers to move containers across the wharf. The four-story-high orange machines cradle their cargo, passing quietly within inches of each other, at speeds as fast as 18 miles an hour, but never touching. Self-driving cranes on tracks stack the containers and then deliver them to waiting trucks and trains with minimal human intervention.
Read more >




4/21/2016



Clean air advocate: California has nation's dirtiest air
By SCOTT SMITH Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Millions of Californians live in places with dirty air, according to an annual report card issued Wednesday that ranks two major urban areas in the state as the nation's most polluted.

Bakersfield tops the list for having the most unhealthy days from airborne particles spewed by highway traffic, diesel trucks, farm equipment and fireplaces, the American Lung Association's State of the Air 2016 report says. Los Angeles remains the nation's leader in harmful ozone pollution from car tailpipes emitting smog, the report says.

Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks, lead to lung cancer and cause premature death. Read more >




4/13/2016



Southern California's reduction in smog linked to major improvement in children's health
Source: ScienceDaily.com

A study that tracked Southern California children over a 20-year period has found they now have significantly fewer respiratory symptoms as a result of improved air quality. Researchers examined a health issue that makes many parents anxious while pulling at their pocketbooks: bronchitic symptoms that could land otherwise healthy children in a doctor's office or hospital. Read more >




4/8/2016



Group continues push for diesel particulate filter ban
By George Lurie

A Golden State truckers’ group is continuing to pressure the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to repeal a controversial regulation requiring all older buses and heavy trucks operating in the state be retrofitted with a pollution-control device known as a diesel particulate filter.

The Alliance for California Business, which filed a lawsuit against CARB over the regulation in November 2013, last month asked a Glenn County Superior Court judge to reconsider an earlier motion to dismiss the case and instead allow the lawsuit to proceed to trial.

“The Alliance is prepared to prove at trial that the diesel particulate filter (DPF), when it is working exactly as designed and intended, is mechanically unreliable, damages diesel engines and endangers California residents,” said Bud Caldwell, owner of Northgate Petroleum in Chico and president of the nonprofit Alliance. Read more >




4/7/2016



A fleet of self-driving trucks rumbles across Europe
By Lucas Mearian

A caravan of about a dozen self-driving, semi-trailer trucks for the first time finished a trip across parts of Europe this week.

The autonomous truck challenge was organized by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and included rigs from six manufacturers, including Volvo, Daimler and Volkswagen subsidiary Scania. The convoy journeyed from manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Sweden to the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

A Scania semi-trailer traveled the longest distance -- more than 2,000 miles and across four national borders. The network of authorities involved in the pilot project included federal governments, roadway authorities and consumer groups from six nations. Read more >




4/6/2016



IdleAir Responds to Challenge of Lower Diesel Prices
By Truckinginfo.com

With diesel prices hovering around $2 per gallon, a near 50% drop since mid-2014, the idle-reduction industry has faced a challenging economic environment, according to IdleAir in an update given at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show.

Low gas prices have reduced the benefit of using idle reduction services and technologies, but IdleAir said that it has responded by offering more value, locking in long-term electricity rates when possible, and streamlining internal operations to reduce costs.

The company has been offering discounted deals like the Rest Special, with two–day weekend and Reset stays for as low as $1.25 an hour since late 2013. In 2015, it introduced other discount bundles, including $20 for 12 hours and a bundle of 10 hours of ConvoyTV and power for $12.50 that includes WiFi.

At the fleet level, IdleAir is rolling out pre-purchase and volume discounts and is starting to tie dedicated terminal pricing to half of national DOE diesel prices. Read more >




4/4/2016



Air quality district picks former EPA administrator as chief amid protests
By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

DIAMOND BAR >> Environmental activists interrupted a four-hour meeting of the South Coast Air Quality Management District governing board Friday, accusing the district of bowing to petroleum industry interests as it voted for a new executive officer.

The protesters, dressed as clowns and representing the Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign, added to the chorus of criticism levied against the four-county air district since firing its longtime chief, Barry Wallerstein, in early March.

Wallerstein, who served on the board for 23 years, was seen by many in the environmental community as a tough-minded enforcer of air quality rules, and called his dismissal an attempt to replace him with a business-friendly administrator. Read more >




3/31/2016



A judge ruled in favor of Long Beach and other litigants in a <a href='http://www.presstelegram.com/article/ZZ/20130605/NEWS/130609594'>pivotal lawsuit</a> challenging a $500 million rail yard project approved by the Port of Los Angeles, officials announced today. (File photo)Long Beach wins lawsuit over $500 million rail yard plan for Port of Los Angeles
By Andrew Edwards, Press-Telegram

A judge’s ruling in favor of Long Beach and other litigants in a pivotal lawsuit challenging a $500 million rail-yard project at the Port of Los Angeles puts the project on an indefinite pause and may give Long Beach officials considerable leverage in negotiating greater environmental protections for any future project design.

“It certainly strengthens our hand, definitely,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said after Wednesday’s ruling was announced. “The city is now in a position where we have a court standing on our side.”

The case centered on BNSF Railways’ plan to build a 185-acre rail yard, called Southern California International Gateway, on land in the Wilmington area of Los Angeles. The project site is located near neighborhoods, schools and the Century Villages at Cabrillo veterans housing complex in West Long Beach. Los Angeles’ City Council approved the project, which is also known as SCIG, in May 2013 and several parties filed lawsuits against the project shortly thereafter.

Long Beach officials contended in their lawsuit that Los Angeles and BNSF failed to provide a complete analysis of the SCIG’s potential environmental impacts, which would have been disproportionately borne by people living in West Long Beach. Read more >




3/25/2016



Glenn County judge asked to reconsider truck filter ruling
By Laura Urseny, Chico Enterprise-Record

Chico >> As promised, the Alliance for California Business has asked a judge to reconsider his decision made earlier this month about an air filter that the trucking industry says is expensive and potentially dangerous.

On Monday, the Chico-based alliance filed paperwork asking Glenn County Superior Court Judge Peter Twede to reconsider the matter of the safety of diesel particulate filters, saying there was new information that was not available at the time of his ruling.

“The Alliance is prepared to prove at trial that the DPF (diesel particulate filter), when it is working exactly as designed and intended, is mechanically unreliable, damages diesel engines and endangers California residents. The Alliance will also demonstrate that the DPF violates specific state and federal laws forbidding the operation of vehicles on roads and highways that present precisely the kind of safety risk presented by the DPF requirement,” according to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon by the Chico-based alliance, which represents businesses and trucking firms throughout the state. Read more >




3/24/2016



Port of L.A. helped pay for cleaner China Shipping vessels--which later stopped docking in L.A.
By Jack Dolan and Tony Barboza

The Port of Los Angeles paid a Chinese government-owned shipping company $5 million in 2005 to equip cargo vessels to plug into electric shore power while at dock to keep their massive diesel engines from polluting neighborhoods near the harbor.

The company, China Shipping, used the money to upgrade 17 ships, but the city didn't get all the promised environmental benefits. Most of the vessels stopped traveling to Los Angeles in 2010, a Times review of shipping industry data showed.

The ships that took their place on the Asia-to-Los Angeles route were not all equipped for shore power. From 2010 to 2013, a period in which residents were promised that virtually every vessel docked at the terminal would plug in, half left their engines running, port records show. In 2012, 88% left their engines running. Read more >




3/24/2016



Clean Tech Firm Quantum Fuel Files Chapter 11
By Matthew Heller

The maker of alternative fuel-storage tanks for the trucking industry is seeking a buyer through the bankruptcy process.

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies, a maker of alternative fuel-storage tanks for the trucking industry, has filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it would pursue a buyer through the Chapter 11 process.

The Lake Forest, Calif., company estimated in court papers it has $23 million in assets and about $22 million in debt to hundreds of creditors. Douglas Acquisitions, an affiliate of an existing second-position secured creditor, has agreed to provide $6 million in financing to help keep Quantum afloat while it is in bankruptcy.

“The company intends for the Chapter 11 filing to enable it to seek an acquirer” through an expeditious sale under section 363 of the U.S Bankruptcy Code, Quantum said in a news release. Read more >




3/18/2016



EPA rejects Southern California smog-fighting program as ineffective
By Tony Barboza

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rejected part of a smog-reduction plan by Southern California air quality regulators, saying it has failed to cut pollution from oil refineries and other big emissions sources as required by federal law.

The EPA says an emissions-trading program administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District has been ineffective in reducing smog-forming pollutants and has allowed some of the region’s largest-emitting facilities to avoid installing pollution control equipment.

An excess of pollution credits trading at “artificially depressed” prices has resulted in a cap-and-trade program for smog-forming emissions that does not satisfy emissions control requirements under the federal Clean Air Act, according to a letter from Deborah Jordan, air division director for the U.S. EPA regional office in San Francisco.

In its decision, the EPA faulted part of a 2012 air district plan that seeks to reduce soot, or fine particle pollution, across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties through the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market, or Reclaim, program. Read more >




3/16/2016



Air Pollution Reduction Program Ruled Illegal
By Howard Fine

A controversial program to give local refineries and major manufacturers more flexibility in reducing air pollution has been ruled illegal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, officials disclosed late Wednesday. The federal agency said the program fails to meet national clean air standards.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District in December adopted revisions to its cap-and-trade pollution credits program, known as Reclaim, involving local refineries, power plants, cement plants and other major industrial facilities. But instead of adopting a staff recommendation for faster and more broad-based reductions in the smog-forming pollutant nitrogen oxide, the district’s board chose a slower pace of reductions favored by the oil industry.

At the time, Western States Petroleum Association President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, said in a statement, “We are pleased the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Board listened carefully to the concerns of many of the participants in the RECLAIM program … Today’s decision prioritizes strong environmental protections without jeopardizing thousands of jobs and our region’s economic vitality.”  Read more >




3/14/2016



In towns with most polluted air, fear that smog fight will slow down at AQMD
by Paloma Esquivel

When Mira Loma resident Stephen Anderson drives through his community he's surrounded by warehouses. The sprawling complexes housing the world's goods sit next to schools and parks, neighborhoods and shopping centers, bringing a stream of diesel trucks that pollute the air with their exhaust.

The Riverside County community has paid a heavy price for the development, Anderson says. Mira Loma has for years suffered from some of the dirtiest air in the nation.

So Anderson and his wife were dismayed at recent moves by Southern California's air quality board that were widely viewed as efforts to weaken pollution regulations.

"It's a blow to all the progress that's been made," Anderson said. Read more >




3/10/2016



AQMD's weaker new smog rules under attack from state and environmentalists
by Sharon McNary

State leaders and environmentalists are pushing back against the board overseeing air quality regulators for the Los Angeles basin because of its adoption of new anti-smog regulations favored by the oil industry.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is under attack from three directions over its Dec. 4 decision to adopt weaker pollution rules preferred by the Western States Petroleum Association over a more stringent program proposed by AQMD staffers.

The California Air Resources Board responded to that decision with a critical letter telling the AQMD board that its decision did not meet the requirements of state or federal law. A CARB representative told KPCC on Wednesday that the agency doesn't plan to sue in the short-term, but it could take administrative actions in the future if a series of discussions with AQMD officials and the board about the changes don't bring the results it wants. Read more >




3/8/2016



Push to Cut Diesel Exhaust Emissions Is Far From Over for Heavy-duty Trucks
by Curt Bennink

On-road diesel engine emissions regulations have been around since the early 1970s, but these standards were achieved with in-cylinder solutions that did not require extensive technological innovations. That changed when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set on a path to dramatically reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) almost two decades ago.

In October 1997, EPA adopted new emissions standards for model year 2004 and later heavy-duty diesel truck and bus engines. The goal was to reduce NOx emissions from on-road heavy-duty engines to levels of approximately 2.0 g/bhp-hr beginning in 2004. Since then, emissions limits have been cut to 0.01 g/bhp-hr for PM and 0.20 g/bhp-hr for NOx. Read more >




3/7/2016



Opinion - Partisan politics on air pollution are helping to make L.A. smoggy again
By The Times Editorial Board

Last Friday was a bad day for clean air. First, the board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District voted to fire its longtime executive officer. Then, it reconfirmed its support for a plan to let oil refiners, power plants and other major polluters keep spewing emissions.

The two votes weren't exactly a surprise. The AQMD, which regulates air quality for 17 million people here in the nation's smoggiest region, is governed by a 13-member board comprised of elected officials and appointees from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. New appointees to the board — whose arrival in February gave Republicans a majority on the panel — had pledged to reduce environmental regulations. And the executive officer, Barry Wallerstein, had pushed for strong pollution controls against the wishes of the oil industry and other business groups.
Read more >






3/7/2016



Southern California air board moves to weaken pollution regulation
by Tony Barboza

Southern California's air quality board moved forcefully to weaken pollution regulation Friday, firing the agency's longtime leader and reaffirming new smog rules backed by oil refineries and other major polluters.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District board dismissed Barry Wallerstein in a 7-6 vote during a closed-door session, a month after Republicans took control of the panel vowing a friendlier approach to industry.

Wallerstein, 62, was appointed executive officer in 1997 and presided over the agency charged with protecting the health of 17 million people in the nation's smoggiest region. During his tenure, pollution diminished sharply across the region, but remains far from meeting federal health standards. Read more >




3/2/2016



Southern California smog regulator may be forced out amid shift on air board
by Tony Barboza

Southern California's air quality board is moving to replace its top executive a month after Republicans gained a majority on the panel with new appointees who have vowed to make pollution regulations less burdensome for businesses.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District gave notice in an agenda item posted Tuesday that its governing board will hold a closed-door session to evaluate the performance of longtime Executive Officer Barry Wallerstein and consider his resignation, dismissal or other personnel actions.

The appointment of an acting director to replace Wallerstein might also be considered at the session, which will take place at the air board's monthly meeting Friday in Diamond Bar.

The potential departure of Wallerstein, who has worked for more than three decades at the nation's most powerful regional smog-fighting agency, comes after a campaign to shift its governing board toward regulation that is friendlier to industry. Read more >




2/24/2016



Air quality regulator files second lawsuit against Moreno Valley logistics project
By Jim Steinberg

MORENO VALLEY >> Southern California air quality regulators have filed a second lawsuit against the city of Moreno Valley in an effort to keep a massive warehouse development from happening as approved.

Last summer, Moreno Valley City Council approved the development of the World Logistics Center, believed to be one of the world’s largest warehouse projects ever proposed.

The project involves a space greater than 700 football fields and would create “significant air quality impacts in an area that doesn’t meet federal air quality standards,” said Barry Wallerstein, executive officer of the Diamond Bar-based South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Moreno Valley to rescind its adoption of two initiatives designed to evade legal challenges to the project under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The suit also asks the court to stop the city from approving any permits or other actions allowing the project to proceed.

Numerous other lawsuits have been filed against the project, including those by the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Riverside County Transportation Commission and Riverside County. All of the lawsuits are in Riverside Superior Court.

“The lawsuits by the SCAQMD and out of town special interests have no merit, and we fully expect the courts to dismiss these baseless lawsuits,” said Eric W. Rose, a spokesman for Moreno Valley-based Highland Fairview, the developer of the WLC. Read more >




2/12/2016



Air Pollution Claims 5.5 Million Lives a Year, Making It the Fourth-Leading Cause of Death Worldwide
By Christina Procopiou

You probably don’t think of air pollution as a factor that affects how long you will live. It’s actually the fourth greatest risk of death, though, right after high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking. More people die from air pollution than die from alcohol and drug abuse, or unsafe sex. New research from the Global Burden of Disease Study shows that every year 5.5 million people across the world die from diseases—such as cardiovascular disease and stroke—related to air pollution, making it the leading environmental cause of disease by far.

More than 85 percent of the world's population now lives in areas where the World Health Organization Air Quality Guideline is exceeded. Power plants, industrial manufacturing, vehicle exhaust and burning coal and wood all release small particles into the air that are dangerous to a person's health. Indoor and outdoor air pollution in two countries, India and China, account for 55 percent, or 3 million, of those 5.5 million deaths. The study also found that more such deaths are expected over the next two decades unless stricter limits on carbon emissions are imposed. Read more >




2/9/2016



The EPA's Crackdown On Race Cars, Explained
By Patrick George

Will a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency really hinder your plans to turn your daily driver into a badass track-only machine? It will, officials from aftermarket trade association SEMA and the EPA itself confirmed to Jalopnik today. Here’s what all of this means.

Last night SEMA announced a pending EPA rule that, in the interest of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, would “prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into racecars” and “make the sale of certain products for use on such vehicles illegal,” in their words.

Naturally, this sparked a wildfire of controversy in the tuning and racing communities. Suddenly the ability to participate in grassroots racing series like LeMons, Spec E30, AER and more seemed in doubt. But it wasn’t immediately clear, in the pages and pages of regulations and proposed red tape, what the rule change really meant. Read more >




2/7/2016



Survey: California the worst for trucking industry
By Rene Ray De La Cruz

HESPERIA — While many economic experts say the trucking industry is thriving across the nation, one survey reports that California is the worst state to be in the business.

Merchant Cash USA, an alternative finance business lender, surveyed individuals involved in the trucking industry to put together its "Best and Worst States for Trucking Industry in 2016" report. It found there are 500,000 for-hire fleets on the road today, but many trucking firms and independent operators are struggling in the Golden State.

Although the industry made a record $700 billion last year, many smaller trucking firms in California are plagued by new government regulations, rising equipment costs, the hiring of new drivers, limiting driving hours and competition to raise pay.

J.B. Hunt Transport Regional Operational Manager Scott Chatten said he agrees with the report, adding that California Air Resources Board regulations have hurt the industry. Read more >




2/5/2016



Hub Group Drops Port Trucking Operation, Cites Driver Costs
By Erica E. Phillips

LOS ANGELES— Hub Group Trucking has closed its Southern California terminal serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach just over a year after converting its local fleet from independently-contracted drivers to full-time employees.

In an emailed announcement to customers last week, Hub Group Inc. Chief Executive David Yeager said the company will now employ “a core group of high-service outside carriers” to bring container loads from the ports to nearby warehouses and rail yards, a service known as drayage. Read more >




2/2/2016



The Environmental Impact of Long-Haul Trucking
by Jesse Hirsch

When Mike Roeth sees pictures of tractor-trailer trucks from over a decade ago, he has a visceral reaction, a kind of shudder meets a wince.

“I see those old trucks hauling down the highway, belching black smoke—it’s not real pleasant,” says Roeth, director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

There’s a popular conception of the diesel semi—the only big truck for many decades—as a monster of the road, ripping down the highway at reckless speeds, guzzling gas with abandon, leaving a toxic trail of exhaust. It’s something of a pop culture parable, thanks to Smokey and the Bandit, Maximum Overdrive, and the rest of our trucking lore. But this mythology has its roots in reality. Not so long ago, semis were grimier, drivers more aggressive, regulations laxer. Read more >




1/27/2016



A Look at the California-Compliant Trailer
by Jim Park

The California-compliant trailer has proven to be a fairly benign creature. There was some gnashing of teeth back in 2009 when the California Air Resources Board announced that most 53-foot box trailers domiciled and operating there would have to meet a set of requirements intended to minimize the amount of fuel needed to pull the things. The hue and cry soon died down as fleets realized that the regulation would actually save them money.

Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs and communications for the Western States Trucking Association, says his group took a wait-and-see approach before condemning the rule outright.

“We looked at it and felt that it was largely unnecessary, but that compliance with the rule would produce cost savings,” he says. “Sure enough, most of the complaints died down soon enough.” Read more >




1/26/2016



Port of NY/NJ criticized for going soft on truck emissions
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The Environmental Protection Agency is pressuring a major U.S. port facility to keep strict emissions standards in place.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey rolled out a plan mid-January to spend $1.2 million of port money and $9 million in federal funds to replace trucks – a reduction from previous versions of its Truck Replacement Program. New York/New Jersey ports also decided not to ban pre-2007 model year diesel trucks from entering the ports by January 2017 as it had previously planned.

The ports of New York and New Jersey have set a goal that all trucks serving the ports be equipped with 2007 or newer model year engines. About 6,300 trucks serving port terminals have model year engines built between 1994 and 2006. They’d cost an estimated $150 million to replace.

An estimated 70 percent of trucks that serve the ports are pre-2007 model year.

The EPA is not happy with the revised plan.

In a letter to Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, the federal agency reportedly said it was disappointed.

“Your decision to reverse course on replacing older polluting trucks is especially disappointing given that in the past few years the terminals in Newark and Elizabeth have seen a significant rise in congestion and long lines at the gates,” EPA wrote, according to The Wall Street Journal. “It is becoming a common occurrence, hurting the terminals, the truckers and the communities.” Read more >




1/25/2016



California to test taxing drivers by the mile
By Keith Laing

Some drivers in California will soon pay taxes based on how many miles they travel, instead of how many gallons of gas they buy, The Associated Press reports.

The plan, known in transportation circles as Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), has faced opposition in Washington, where it has been floated as alternative to the 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax that is currently used to pay for infrastructure projects.

California is moving ahead with a pilot program that will involve 5,000 drivers who will volunteer to track their mileage via one of five manual and automated means, according to the report.

State officials have stressed that participants in the mileage fee pilot program will not be forced to install GPS trackers on their cars.

"Participants do not need to purchase or install any new technology to be part of the pilot, and many can use existing technology such as smartphones and their vehicle odometer," the California Department of Transportation says in a frequently asked questions section of its Road Charge website. Read more >




1/22/2016



Electric Trucks Will Be Environmental Game Changer (When Perfected)
By Enviroman

Electric cars are becoming more common on the roads, but when it comes to trucks and large freight vehicles, they still seem to be far away from being replaced by electric trucks. This however will probably be only true for a short while longer as automotive technology. Ian Wright, who is a co-founder of Tesla, claims that commercial trucks are the real market for electric vehicles, not cars. We already have electric truck concepts which are working, and there are other ways as well in which the fleets are being turned into electric-powered vehicles.

Battery Issues Holding Electric Trucks Back

There are some issues which have kept electric trucks and cars off the market. One problem is that it is rather hard for the batteries to store all the power needed to travel any sort of distance, though this is changing fast as our battery technology is improving.

Batteries will probably become much cheaper and better as Tesla’s commitment to open a multi-billion dollar battery production factory for which they already have the funding for gathers steam. When batteries are cheap and efficient enough, one part of the problem will be solved. There is also an issue with the charging stations required to charge these vehicles, as they are not common. This is a bigger problem for personal vehicles than it is for commercial vehicles. Read more >




1/22/2016



Anti-pollution deal may be tough to enforce
By James Bruggers

The JBS pork processing plant in Butchertown stepped out in front by agreeing to make sure all trucks using its large parking lot be equipped with California-compliant refrigeration units that limit soot and other toxic exhaust from burning diesel fuel.

State and local authorities have said they don't know of any other parking lot in Kentucky with such a requirement, which is scheduled to take effect in 18 months.

But just what does California-compliant mean when it comes to what are called transportation refrigeration units, and how will Louisville Metro government officials make sure the company lives up to its promise?

Compliance generally means that only refrigeration units that are seven years old or younger will be allowed, according to a California Air Resources Board spokeswoman. Units older than that would need to be equipped with particulate filters or other pollution reduction measures. Read more >




1/11/2016



California: New air-pollution rule doesn't do enough
By AARON ORLOWSKI

A recent Southern California emissions reduction rule might not pass legal muster because it doesn’t do enough to curb pollution, California air quality regulators warned in a letter to the South Coast Air Quality Management District this week.

The amended rule, which was approved 7-5 by the air district board in December, mandates that Southern California’s biggest stationary polluters, power plants and refineries reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 12 tons per year. That was less than the 14-ton emissions reduction that district staff urged board members to adopt.

The California Air Resources Board must approve the air district’s rule change and on Thursday sent the district a letter saying that “the amendments do not appear to meet the minimum emissions control requirements in California law” for those sources.

“This action will negatively affect the health of people living in the region,” the letter adds.

Nitrogen oxides, when released into the atmosphere, contribute to particulate pollution and ozone, which aggravates heart and lung conditions and is a hallmark of smog. Currently, the South Coast air district – a region that includes Orange County and the urbanized areas of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties – is out of compliance with federal ozone standards.

The decision to reduce nitrogen oxides by 12 tons rather than 14 was contentious. Read more >




12/28/2015



Manufacturers, businesses sue over ozone rule
By Devin Henry

The industry groups most critical of new smog rules from the Obama administration are suing over those standards.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) limits on surface level ozone on Wednesday.

In a statement announcing the lawsuit, NAM reiterated its long-held arguments against the rule, calling it costly to implement and saying it threatens jobs in industrial sectors.

“The EPA’s ozone regulation, which could be one of the most expensive in history, is unworkable and overly burdensome for manufacturers and America’s job creators," said Linda Kelly, NAM's senior vice president and general counsel. "Manufacturers across the United States need regulations that provide balance and allow us to be globally competitive."

The Chamber also said the rule threatens jobs. Read more >




12/14/2015



Jerry Brown preaching climate apocalypse
By OC Register (Opinion)

Since he burst on the national political scene when first elected California governor in 1974, Jerry Brown has been a combination ascetic, budget hawk, bureaucrat and visionary. Contradictions still are part of the package as he looks toward his final two years in his second stint heading the state.

“We don’t even know how far we’ve gone, or if we’ve gone over the edge,” he warned at a July climate conference at the Vatican. “We are talking about extinction.”

That reminds me of the late Yogi Berra’s remark about a popular restaurant, “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.” For Brown, there are so many people spewing out so much heat, we’re all gonna die.

That’s similar to his rhetoric in 1970s about an “era of limits.” Construction of new infrastructure projects was limited, part of the reason the state now has crumbling roads and needs to build new dams and reservoirs. Read more >




12/8/2015



China and the world turn to California for climate change expertise
By Chris Megerian Contact Reporter

China’s top negotiator at the United Nations summit on climate change practically gushed as he described his country’s relationship with California.

During a speech Monday, Xie Zhenhua described Gov. Jerry Brown as an “old friend” whose administration has provided green wisdom from across the Pacific.

“For that,” he said to Brown, “I give tribute to you.”

It was a ceremonial reminder of the unglamorous work occurring behind the scenes between China and California, and a glimpse of how the state wants to play a key role in stemming global warming.

Although California lacks a formal seat at the negotiating table while countries seek an international accord, the state has something many places do not — a track record of ambitious environmental programs that could be imitated around the world.

Politicians have spent years trying to position California as a trailblazer on climate change, even writing into law that the state should take a “global leadership role.” That effort is taking on increased urgency as countries pledge new limits on greenhouse gas emissions and explore concrete steps to meet their targets. Read more >




 

12/4/2015



Poll: Californians say climate change a very serious problem
By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — More than half of Californians view climate change as a very serious problem facing the state, a higher rate than their counterparts nationwide, and a majority support the state's efforts to curb emissions, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The poll by the Public Policy Institute of California comes as thousands of officials gather in Paris for the U.N. Climate Change conference. They include Gov. Jerry Brown, who will promote the state's efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and urge other states and provinces to sign on to his nonbinding pact pledging to reduce carbon emissions.

In the poll, 57 percent of adults rated global climate change as a very serious problem. Another 23 percent said it is a somewhat serious problem, while 18 percent called it not too serious or not a problem.

Californians also appear to have bought into messaging from Brown and fellow Democrats who say efforts to address climate change by curbing emissions, making buildings more energy efficient and reducing oil will not hurt the state's economy: 45 percent believe the state's efforts will lead to more jobs. About a quarter said there would be no effect on jobs and about two in 10 said the state would lose jobs.

"Californians are taking global climate change very seriously and seem to be unmoved by the arguments about the negative impact of state actions on jobs," PPIC President and CEO Mark Baldassare said.

In a spring poll by the Pew Research Center, 45 percent of Americans rated global climate change as a serious problem. Read more >




12/2/2015



Truck filter court date changed
By Laura Urseny, Chico Enterprise-Record

Orland >> A Glenn County Superior Court date for the further discussion of diesel particulate filters and driver safety has been moved back a week.

In September, Glenn County Superior Court Judge Peter Twede set Dec. 4 as the date for a hearing between the Chico-based Alliance for California Business and the California Air Resources Board over the filters.

That date has been changed to 1 p.m. Dec. 11 but still in Orland at the Glenn County Courthouse, 821 E. South St.

The hearing was to give both sides a chance to comment on the existence of “an exemption” for the state-required filters on older diesel trucks.

At the September hearing, the attorney for the Alliance for California Business indicated some truck drivers were concerned about installing the mandated filters because of safety issues, fearful their trucks could catch fire.

It’s also a public safety problem, argues the alliance, which believes that some truck fires in California have been related to the filters. Read more >




12/1/2015



E.P.A. Rule Requires a Big Jump in Biofuel Use
By DIANE CARDWELL

The Environmental Protection Agency released its much-delayed biofuel mandate on Monday, raising the amounts of biofuel that refiners are required to blend into conventional vehicle fuel from levels proposed in May.

The agency set levels for 2014 and 2015 at what producers actually used in those years, and it increased the total volume of renewable fuel required by the end of 2016 to 18.11 billion gallons, an 11 percent increase from 2014, the agency said.

“The biofuel industry is an incredible American success story, and the R.F.S. program has been an important driver of that success — cutting carbon pollution, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and sparking rural economic development,” Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for E.P.A.’s Office of Air and Radiation, said in a conference call with reporters. “With today’s final rule, and as Congress intended, E.P.A. is establishing volumes that grow the amount of biofuel in the market over time.” Read more >




11/13/2015



California Climate and Health, Part I: Drought Stirs Up Trouble for State’s Air Quality
By Cameron Scott

The policies that made California a model of how big, developed economies can thrive while safeguarding the environment did not originate in some statewide sense of kumbaya.

They were a desperate response to serious air quality problems in Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and Fresno.

Bad air is a serious drag on public health, driving up rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, and death.

California’s efforts to rein in pollution — by requiring smog tests for all cars and trucks and mandating that utilities generate a significant fraction of the power they sell from renewable sources — have delivered decades of improvements in ozone and particulate matter pollution.

But the severe drought the state has weathered the past three years threatens to roll back those gains. Read more >




11/5/2015



National Parks Fail EPA Ozone Mandates
By Tori Richards

The EPA's newest ozone pollution threshold has placed 26 national parks at non-compliant levels. But while the rest of the nation's communities must spend billions conforming to the new normal, the parks – including such gems as Sequoia and Rocky Mountain – may be off the hook. The National Park Service blames power plants for much of the problem. But scientists and officials from California say that car emissions – and the tourism that brings $15.7 billion per year to the parks -- are mostly to blame.

"Usually ozone pollution is caused by traffic rather than power plants," said Dr. Saewung Kim, an assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of California, Irvine. "Power plants have done a great job cleaning up their emissions and ozone-causing pollutants." Read more >




10/29/2015



Smoke From Wildfires Is Killing Hundreds of Thousands of People
By Randy Lee Loftis, National Geographic

Dr. Praveen Buddiga knew he would find a packed waiting room when he arrived at his office that warm September day in California’s Central Valley. White flakes drifted from the sky, as if he were inside a snow globe.

The Rough Fire, a 152,000-acre blaze sparked by lightning in the Sequoia National Forest, was lofting thick smoke, soot, and ash into the air—and into the lungs of Buddiga’s patients 35 miles away, in Fresno.

As an allergist, Buddiga knows that wildfires pose a serious, sometimes lethal, threat to people’s health, particularly for those with asthma or heart disease.

“Older [patients] made the universal choking sign—you know, hands around the throat,” Buddiga says. “Younger ones just pointed to their chests. The Rough Fire was devastating for us.” Read more >




10/28/2015



Court presses OOIDA on ‘unconstitutionality’ of Calif. emissions regs during oral arguments
By James Jaillet

The court overseeing the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s lawsuit against California and its stringent emissions regulations heard oral arguments last week in the case, and, per one report, OOIDA faced tough questions about its suit and the evidence used to support it.

Court documents show the Oct. 22 proceedings occurred, but offer no details on what was said. B2B legal journal Law 360, however, reports a three-judge panel “grilled” the owner-operator advocacy group and its complaint against California’s regulations.

The judges questioned both the jurisdiction of OOIDA’s suit and the court precedents OOIDA’s attorneys are using to backup their claims.

OOIDA’s suit, however, continues its run in court despite being dismissed in court twice in the previous 12 months.

OOIDA originally brought the suit in December 2013, claiming the California Air Resources Board’s Truck & Bus regulation violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The suit was dismissed in November 2014, but OOIDA was able to revive the case shortly after when one of the owner-operator plaintiffs in the case received a citation for not complying with the state’s emissions regulations. Read more >




10/22/2015



The EPA's 'Climate Change Liberation Army'
By Adam Andrzejewski

Why does the EPA need a $715 million police force, a $170 million PR Machine, a nearly $1 billion employment agency for seniors, and a $1.2 billion in-house law firm?

During last week’s Democratic presidential primary debate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said the most important adversary of the United States was “climate change.” The EPA is ready for the fight in ways taxpayers haven’t imagined.

Recently, our organization, American Transparency, published our OpenTheBooks Oversight Report – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We captured and analyzed $110 billion worth of EPA contracts (FY2000-2014), grants (FY2000-2014), salaries (FY2007-2014) and bonuses (FY2000-2014). Read more >




10/20/2015



16 ATA Member Fleets Named EPA SmartWay Excellence Award Winners
By Trucking News Staff

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) this week congratulated the 39 winners of the EPA SmartWay Excellence Awards – particularly the 16 members of ATA who were honored here at the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition.

“For more than a decade, SmartWay has been a model of cooperation between industry and government to tackle a serious issue,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “It is our hope that SmartWay will continue to offer a road map to continued reductions in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions and I congratulate all the fleets who have already shown tremendous leadership in this arena.”

“EPA is pleased to honor these SmartWay Partners with a 2015 Excellence Award,” said Chris Grundler, director of the EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “SmartWay carriers work diligently to bring our families the goods we need each day, while contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future for our children.” Read more >




10/14/2015



Port of Los Angeles has failed to meet pollution-cutting measures
By Tony Barboza

The Port of Los Angeles has failed to carry out vital pollution-reduction measures it agreed to make after a legal settlement more than a decade ago, according to a document released by the port.

In an environmental notice, the port revealed it has not completed 11 of 52 measures it agreed to impose to reduce air pollution, noise and traffic when it allowed the expansion of the China Shipping terminal.

Among the steps not taken are requirements that all ships slow as they approach the port and shut down their diesel engines and plug in to onshore electricity when docked to reduce harmful emissions. Also not met were mandates that trucks and yard tractors be fueled by less-polluting natural gas and other alternative fuels. Read more >




10/12/2015



Cutting ozone will require radical transformation of California's trucking industry
By Tony Barboza

At a laboratory in downtown Los Angeles, a big rig spins its wheels on massive rollers as a metal tube funnels its exhaust into an array of air quality sensors. Engineers track the roaring truck's emissions from a bank of computer screens.

The brand-new diesel truck is among the cleanest on the road, the engineers at the California Air Resources Board testing lab say. Even so, its 550-horsepower engine spews out more than 20 times the smog-forming nitrogen oxides of a typical gasoline-powered car — and that won't be good enough for the state to meet stricter federal smog limits adopted this month.

Cutting ozone, the lung-damaging gas in smog, to federal health standards while meeting state targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions will require a radical transformation of California's transportation sector over the next two decades, air quality officials and experts say.

Millions of new electric cars must replace gasoline-powered models. Buses will have to run on hydrogen fuel cells. New technologies and cleaner fuels need to proliferate quickly to slash pollution from trucks, cargo ships and trains. Read more >




10/07/2015



U.S. EPA holds trucking company accountable for failure to
install emissions controls on its California fleet
By Karen Caesar, CARB

SAN FRANCISCO—Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Estes Express Lines will pay a $100,000 penalty
for violations of the California Truck and Bus Regulation, for failing to install particulate filters on 73 of its heavy-duty
diesel trucks (15% of its California fleet).

In California, mobile sources of diesel emissions, such as trucks and construction equipment, are one of the largest sources of
fine particulates. About 625,000 trucks operating in California are registered outside of the state, many are older models
emitting particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The California truck rules are the first of their kind in the nation and will
prevent an estimated 3,500 deaths in California between 2010 – 2025.

The California Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted into federal Clean Air Act plan requirements in 2012 and apply to
privately-owned diesel trucks and buses. The rule also requires any trucking company to ensure their subcontractors are only
using compliant trucks, and requires companies to upgrade their vehicles to meet specific NOx and PM2.5 performance standards in
California. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions levels or use diesel particulate filters, which
can reduce the emissions of diesel particulate into the atmosphere by 85% or more.

“Trucks represent one of the largest sources of air pollution in California, and the state has the worst air quality in the
nation,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA’s enforcement efforts are aimed at
ensuring all truck fleets operating in California are in compliance with pollution laws.”

“ARB’s partnership to enforce our clean truck and bus regulation with our partners at EPA is vitally important to us,” said ARB
Chair Mary D. Nichols. “It helps bring vehicles that are operating illegally into compliance, and levels the playing field
for those who have already met the requirements.”

In addition to the penalty, Estes will spend $290,400 towards projects to educate the out-of-state trucking industry on the
regulation and for replacing old wood burning devices in the San Joaquin Valley. Estes will pay $35,000 to the University of
California Davis Extension to implement a state-approved training program for out-of-state trucking firms on compliance with the
rule. Estes will also pay $255,400 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Burn Cleaner Incentive Program that
will be used to replace 80 or more wood-burning devices with cleaner ones.

Estes is a large, private, for-hire trucking firm based in Virginia that owns and operates diesel-fueled vehicles in all 50
states. In February 2015, EPA issued a Notice of Violation to Estes after EPA’s investigation found that the company failed to
equip its heavy-duty diesel vehicles with particulate filters and failed to verify compliance with the Truck and Bus Regulation for
its hired motor carriers. Estes now operates only new trucks in California.

Fine particle pollution can be emitted directly or formed secondarily in the atmosphere and can penetrate deep into the
lungs and worsen conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Read more >




10/07/2015



UC Berkeley scientists measure diesel truck emissions in Caldecott Tunnel
By Charles Fisher

A team of campus researchers is measuring the relative levels of diesel truck emissions passing through Berkeley’s Caldecott Tunnel in an effort to determine the effectiveness of California’s new emissions requirements.

The researchers, a group of scientists from the campus’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have been using a set of cameras, monitors and a research van to gather data that describe the amounts of relative gases and diesel particulate matter emitted by the large trucks.

“We bring a bunch of air pollution analyzers we have in a research van,” said Thomas Kirchstetter, principal investigator for the project, who is also a scientist at the lab and an associate adjunct professor at UC Berkeley. “It’s a mobile laboratory.” Read more >




10/06/2015



CWI ISL G Near Zero natural gas engine certified to near zero NOx; 90% below current standard
By Green Car Congress

Cummins Westport Inc. (CWI) announced that its new ISL G Near Zero (NZ) natural gas engine is the first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Air Resources Board (ARB) in California that meet the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards for medium-duty truck, urban bus, school bus and refuse applications.

Cummins Westport ISL G NZ exhaust emissions will be 90% lower than the current EPA NOx limit of 0.2 g/bhp-hr and also meet the 2017 EPA greenhouse gas emission requirements. CWI natural gas engines have met the 2010 EPA standard for particulate matter (0.01 g/bhp-hr) since 2001.

Performance and efficiency will match the current ISL G, with engine ratings from 250-320 horsepower, and 660-1,000 lb-ft torque available. Base warranty, extended coverage options, maintenance procedures and service intervals are also the same as the current ISL G. The new engine has similar emission control systems (throttle body injection, TWC, EGR, etc.) as the current 0.20 g/bhp-hr NOx ISL G. Read more >




10/01/2015



California supports U.S. EPA action to strengthen national ozone standard
by C.A.R.B.



Just-released ARB strategy to control pollution from cars and trucks puts California on trajectory to meet new standard

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board supports the U.S. EPA’s decision today to strengthen the national ambient air quality standard for ground-level ozone pollution, bringing the national standard more in line with California’s 10-year-old standard.

Strengthening the standard provides health, environmental and economic benefits for all of California. Science demonstrates that adverse health impacts continue to occur with the previous 8-hour average ozone standard level of 75 parts per billion. The U.S. EPA has now lowered the level of the standard to 70 ppb, making it more health protective.

“We support using the most up-to-date science and recognize that even as the new ozone standard gets tougher to attain California will continue to make progress by employing cleaner technology and fuels,” ARB Chair Mary D. Nichols said. “The new standard will mean a reduction in premature mortality, hospitalizations, emergency room visits for asthma, and lost work and school days. This is especially critical in the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley, where nearly two-thirds of our state’s residents live, including large numbers of people who work outside and who have asthma and other chronic heart and lung diseases.”

ARB’s control programs, together with efforts to reduce air pollution at the local and federal levels, have achieved tremendous success in reducing emissions and providing continued improvement in air quality. The South Coast and San Joaquin Valley are the nation’s only two air basins designated ‘extreme’ nonattainment.

Further reductions are needed to meet the new standard -- and California’s air quality and climate goals. With a standard of 70 ppb, several rural counties likely will fall out of attainment, adding to the state’s existing 16 ozone nonattainment areas. New nonattainment areas are expected to include Amador, Tehama and Tuolumne counties and the Sutter Buttes area.

One of several goals California must meet are the existing ambient ozone air quality standards in 2023 and 2031, which will require an estimated 80 percent reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions below current emission levels in the South Coast air basin, with substantial reductions needed in the San Joaquin Valley and other nonattainment areas of the state.

New draft strategy released
In a just-released discussion draft of the State’s strategy for its cars and trucks to meet federal air quality standards, the ARB outlines a proposed strategy that continues to build on previous efforts to meet critical air quality and climate goals over the next 15 years. Released Wednesday, the strategy provides a comprehensive foundation for the ongoing transformation of the state’s vehicle fleet putting California on a path to likely meet the new more health-protective federal ozone standard.

The draft strategy (Discussion Draft Mobile Source Strategy) is designed to provide public health protection for the millions of Californians who still breathe unhealthy air and to help California do its part to slow global warming and reduce its dependence on petroleum. In part, the proposed strategy would:
•    Establish requirements for cleaner technologies;
•    Ensure in-use performance over the lifetime of the vehicle;
•    Increase the penetration of zero-emission technologies for cars, trucks and off-road equipment;
•    Require cleaner-burning renewable fuels;
•    Enhance efficiencies in moving people and freight throughout California; and
•    Transform the state’s vehicle fleet using zero- and near-zero-emission technologies in order to help meet California’s air quality and climate change goals.

National low-NOx standard urged
Reducing emissions from heavy-duty trucks – significant contributors to emissions that form ozone -- is an important element of the mobile source strategy. ARB, therefore, urges U.S. EPA to adopt tighter national NOx emissions standards for on-road heavy-duty engines (fueled by either diesel or CNG). NOx, a product of incomplete combustion, contributes to the formation of not only ozone but also fine particle pollution (PM2.5), a serious health threat in California.

ARB will develop new heavy-duty diesel engine emissions standards within the next several years, while simultaneously petitioning U.S. EPA to establish a corresponding national standard, in order to maximize emission reductions from all vehicles operating in California, regardless of whether they were purchased in a different state.

Vehicles purchased outside of California account for one-third of the heavy-duty vehicle miles traveled in the state on any given day. For that reason, a lower NOx standard that reduces emissions from all trucks operating in California is critical to meeting future air quality goals and tackling this public health challenge.

For more information on the new National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone, an ARB fact sheet is available here.

 

9/28/2015



Deadly Diesel Emissions Plummeting in California
Irvin Dawid

Amidst the bad publicity coming from Volkswagen's engineered fraud on diesel emissions testing comes good news from California Air Resources Board: The cancer risk from airborne toxins, most of which come from burning diesel fuel, dropped 76 percent.

"An Air Resources Board study, published (Sept. 21) in the prestigious scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology, shows that the cancer risk from exposure to the state’s most significant air toxics declined 76 percent over a 23-year period in California, a direct result of regulations targeting unhealthful emissions from these air pollutants," writes Melanie Turner for the ARB. Read more >




9/24/2015



EPA talks Phase II rollout at TMC
Lucas Deal

It’s been a little more than three months since the EPA and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) introduced its joint proposed Phase II GHG and fuel economy regulations.

Since then, the trucking industry has been aggressively hunting for more information about the proposed rule.

On that note, Tuesday was a step forward.

During a technical session Tuesday at the Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) Fall Meeting in Orlando, EPA Representative Matt Spears spoke in detail on how Phase II was written and how the EPA plans to introduce its new regulations in the industry, beginning in 2018. Read more >




9/23/2015



Truckers case against CARB continues after ‘exemption’ surfaces
By Laura Urseny, Chico Enterprise-Record

Orland >> A Glenn County Superior Court judge has given a California trucking and business group another month in its case against the California Air Resources Board and diesel particulate filters.

Judge Peter Twede on Friday gave the Alliance for California Business 30 days to file a brief in regards to an exemption CARB says truckers have in regards to the filter.

A state attorney said Friday in court that truckers can file for an exemption if they believe the diesel particulate filter required by the state on older vehicles would cause unsafe conditions in their truck.

While the state attorney said the exemption is well known, alliance attorney Therese Cannata said the alliance has never heard of this exemption. Read more >




9/22/2015



Study links California regulations, dramatic declines in cancer risk from exposure to air toxics
By California Air Resources Board

SACRAMENTO - An Air Resources Board study, published today in the prestigious scientific journal “Environmental Science & Technology,” shows that the cancer risk from exposure to the state’s most significant air toxics declined 76 percent over a 23-year period in California, a direct result of regulations targeting unhealthful emissions from these air pollutants.

The study quantifies emission trends for the period from 1990 through 2012 for seven toxic air contaminants (TACs) that are responsible for most of the known cancer risk associated with airborne exposure in California.

“These impressive reductions in California’s most hazardous toxic contaminants in our air took place against a backdrop of more than two decades of steady growth in California, with a growing population, and increasing numbers of cars and trucks that used ever larger quantities of gas and diesel,” Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols said. “There is no way these improvements in public health would have occurred without a strong, well designed program to reduce public exposure to toxic air pollution.” Read more >




9/17/2015



Judge will consider CARB DPF lawsuit Friday
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

A legal action seeking to halt California’s enforcement of its diesel particulate filter regulation could come to a head as soon as Friday, Sept. 18.

Glenn County, Calif., Superior Court Judge Peter Twede is scheduled to hear a motion by the California Air Resources Board to dismiss a legal action brought by a trucking industry veteran and his organization.

The hearing will begin at 1 p.m., and will likely include an audience of interested truckers.

Plaintiffs in the case, the Alliance for California Business, believe DPFs have been the cause of 31 fires or more in the last 18 months, including several in CARB’s drought-worn home state.

The organization is seeking an injunction against the Truck and Bus Rule to prevent its enforcement by CARB. The lawsuit questions the safety of technology used to meet California’s Truck and Bus Rule – a multibillion-dollar rule that has banned trucks with pre-2007 model year engines and required DPFs on virtually all trucks hauling freight in the Golden State. Read more >




9/16/2015



There's a Simpler Way to Fight Climate Change, California
By Editorial Board

Say this for California's landmark bill to reduce carbon emissions: It doesn't lack for ambition. At the same time, it shows the pitfalls of relying too much on regulators instead of the market.

The original bill would have set in law three extraordinary targets for 2030: Get half the state's power from renewable sources, double the savings from energy efficiency in California buildings, and cut the amount of gasoline used by half. The state's goal is to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050, compared with 1990 levels.

The oil industry lobbied furiously against the mandate to cut fuel use, arguing that it would force the board to ration gasoline or even ban certain types of cars. That argument proved successful: Governor Jerry Brown and Democrats in the state senate said last week they would leave the requirement for cutting gas consumption out of the bill. Read more >




8/24/2015



Port of Oakland Opening Gates on Saturday to Reduce Truck CongestionPort of Oakland Opening Gates on Saturday to Reduce Truck Congestion
By: Trucking News Staff

The four international marine container terminals at the Port of Oakland are developing a program to operate terminal gates on Saturdays to reduce weekday congestion at the port. The new program, called OakPass, is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, pending review by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and other conditions.

The terminals have submitted a filing to the FMC describing the proposed program. The terminals are currently working to ensure that an adequate supply of labor will be available to operate the new gates. OAKMTOA has established OakPass LLC, a not-for-profit company, to manage the Saturday gate program.

“The Port of Oakland and the four international container terminals agree on the need for additional capacity to reduce congestion and accommodate future volume growth,” said John Cushing, president of OakPass. “After spending well over a year evaluating options including night gates, we determined that adding a Saturday gate is the most practical and cost-effective method to increase capacity in a way that meshes with availability of truck drivers and longshore workers and serves the entire supply chain.”

To help pay for the cost of the new gates, the terminals will begin collecting an Extended Gate Fee (EGF) of $17 per 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU), or $34 on a typical 40-foot container. The EGF will be assessed on loaded import and export containers entering or exiting the terminals between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Read more >




8/20/2015



California Drivers Get High Performance Renewable Diesel
By Environment News Service (ENS) 2015

LOS ANGELES, California, August 19, 2015 (ENS) – High performance renewable diesel fuel was introduced to Southern California drivers this week by Propel Fuels, based in Sacramento.

Called Diesel HPR (High Performance Renewable), the fuel is a low-carbon, renewable fuel that meets petroleum diesel specifications and can be used in any diesel engine.

Refined from recycled fats and oils, Diesel HPR does not contain biodiesel or petroleum diesel. It is diesel refined from renewable biomass through Neste’s advanced hydrotreating technology called NEXBTL.

Neste, based in Espoo, Finland, is the leading producer of renewable diesel in the world, with an annual production volume of more than two million tons. The company is the world’s largest producer of renewable fuels from waste and residues. Read more >




8/19/2015



OEMs, Cummins disagree on separate GHG engine standard
By Kevin Jones

LONG BEACH, CA. The second public hearing on proposed truck fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards shaped up much like the first: Trucking industry representatives expressed qualified support for the stringency goals and implementation schedule outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while air quality regulators and environmental groups called for tougher restrictions and a tighter timeline. And within trucking there is a divide over exactly how the engine and complete vehicle should be measured.

The big four North American heavy-duty truck manufacturers (Daimler Trucks North America, Navistar, Paccar and Volvo Trucks North America) spoke with one voice Tuesday, as Dan Kieffer, director of emissions compliance for Paccar, delivered a statement on behalf of all.

Calling the Phase II rule “historic in its scope and complexity,” Kieffer noted “a long list of technical and protocol issues” the truck makers will work closely with EPA and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to resolve. Read more >




8/19/2015



Environmentalists, industry debate proposed new federal clean-truck rules
By Sandy Mazza, Daily Breeze

Environmentalists and trucking industry representatives clashed Tuesday at an all-day hearing in Long Beach on the federal government’s next regulatory phase of diesel truck emissions, which experts say account for 20 percent of greenhouse gases.

With government regulators listening intently, California officials called the emission reduction targets for medium and heavy-duty trucks too lenient, while industry leaders complained they are too restrictive and poorly thought out.

Their arguments were delivered in back-to-back public hearings on the 629-page proposed law drafted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation. The rule, in short, is considered “phase two” of the environmental initiative launched in 2010 by President Barack Obama.

Rep. Grace Napolitano, whose district includes much of the San Gabriel Valley, spoke in favor of stricter rules that would lead to a 40 percent reduction of 2010-level vehicle emissions by 2025.

Read more >





8/18/2015



Trucking toward cleaner air: Guest commentary
By Michael Brune

When my parents were kids, our cars didn’t require seatbelts. They remember sitting in the backseat catching air as the car rolled over speed bumps and potholes. But because of American innovation and the desire to keep our families safe, the car I drive my kids around in has airbags on all sides, and endless safety features. And our next car will probably be able to drive itself.

Along with technology that keeps our families safe, our cars are more fuel-efficient than ever before, which means they are safer for our environment. And thanks to more hybrids and electric vehicles on the road and fuel efficiency standards, our passenger cars go further on a gallon of gas than we could even imagine when I was a kid. Or not use any gas at all.

But the heavy-duty trucks driving alongside us haven’t kept pace — in fact, oil use from freight trucks is growing rapidly. While heavy-duty trucks account for only 7 percent of the vehicles on the road, they guzzle a quarter of all fuel. And our tractor trailers are stuck in the 1970s, still averaging roughly 6 miles per gallon. Read more >




8/14/2015



California Aims to Regulate Sustainability Into Freight System
by David Cullen

When it comes to rolling out regulations, California leads the nation. Rules written by the Golden State, due to its immense population and gargantuan economic might, tend to be adopted sooner or later by other states and to influence federal rulemaking. This is especially so when it comes to rules aimed at environmental protection and sustainability.

That’s why trucking stakeholders across the country will be keenly watching developments in California that will determine the potentially sweeping impact of a recent proclamation by Gov. Edmund G. ("Jerry") Brown, Jr.

Brown’s Executive Order B-32-15 directs state agencies to craft an “integrated action plan” by next July that would set “clear targets to improve freight efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies [for cars and trucks] and increase competitiveness of California's freight system.” Read more >




8/12/2015



Wind is blowing China's air pollution 'straight across' to the US West Coast
By Barbara Tasch

A new study links the increase in ozone precursor emissions in Asia to increased levels of ozone over the US's West Coast.

In the study, published Monday, a team of six researchers from US and Dutch universities found that ozone concentrations over China increased by about 7% between 2005 and 2010 and that ozone traveling in the air from China has reached the western part of the US, challenging the reduction of ozone levels there.

China's meandering pollution likely offset the 2005-10 reduction in ozone that had been expected following US policies aimed at reducing emissions, by roughly 43%, the researchers found.

Over that period, the US government put in place emission-reducing measures and curbed the production of ozone-forming nitrogen oxides by 20% on the West Coast, according to Wageningen University. Yet that did not improve the quality of the air especially in terms of ozone reduction.

And the increased air pollution in Asia might be at least partly to blame.

Lead researcher Willem Verstraeten of Wageningen University in the Netherlands said in statement that the "dominant westerly winds blew this air pollution straight across to the United States."

He added: "As a manner of speaking, China is exporting its air pollution to the West Coast of America." Read more >




8/11/2015



Air pollution from China undermining gains in California, Western states
By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Aside from smartphones, toys and computers, China exports a different kind of product into the western United States — air pollution.

A study released Monday by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA found that smog-forming chemicals making their way across the Pacific Ocean from China are undermining the progress California has made in reducing ozone, the most caustic component in L.A. smog.

From 2005 through 2010, western states have cut ozone-forming air pollutants by 21 percent, but the NASA/JPL study found no drop at all when measuring smog-forming gases in the midtroposphere, located 10,000 to 30,000 feet above ground level.

Just under half of what should have been a 2 percent drop was offset by China’s contribution, stemming from a 21 percent rise in ozone-forming pollutants emitted by car tailpipes and coal plants from a robust Chinese economy during the six years studied. Slightly more than half was due to natural causes — stratospheric ozone descending through the sky as a result of cyclical atmospheric winds helped by an El Niño in 2009-2010, the scientists concluded. Read more >




 

8/10/2015



Customer acceptance of upcoming emissions standards at the forefront of Phase II public hearing
By Lucas Deal

As environmentalists and manufacturers shared their thoughts on realistic fuel consumption reduction goals for medium- and heavy-duty engines for next decade, it was ATD Chairman Eric Jorgensen who offered the most likely obstacle to the success of the EPA and NHTSA’s new proposed Phase II regulations during an open public hearing on the regulations Thursday in Chicago.

Speaking on behalf of more than 1,800 truck dealers and as president of JX Enterprises, Jorgensen says the environmental benefits of Phase II won’t be determined by complexity or detail of the ruling—it will be how much it costs to implement it in new trucks.

The desire to reduce fuel consumption and emissions is shared by environmental groups and the trucking industry alike, Jorgensen says, but if Phase II attempts to reduce emissions too drastically it could become cost prohibitive to the end users who will ultimately bear the financial burden of the new technology.
“We need to find the sweet spot,” Jorgensen says. “[Phase II] only works if the trucks are in use,” purchased by end users at reasonable prices, he said. Read more >




 

8/06/2015



First hearing on EPA's Phase 2 truck standards is Thursday in Chicago
By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor

OOIDA says that even though EPA has extended the comment period for its proposed Phase 2 greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for trucks through Sept. 17, the time is still short for truckers and truck owners to adequately process and comment on provisions that will affect their bottom lines for the next 12 years and beyond. OOIDA aired some preliminary concerns in a letter to EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials on Wednesday, July 29.

OOIDA leadership acknowledges that a short extension for public comments granted by the Environmental Protection Agency will last 30 days beyond the second of two scheduled public hearings in regards to the agency’s proposed Phase 2 standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy for heavy-duty trucks. However, the Association is concerned that the time frame for comments on a proposal that stands to add $10,000 to $13,000 to the price of new trucks by 2027 requires proper analysis and vetting by the stakeholders the proposal stands to affect.

“This is an extremely complex proposal, and a longer comment period ensures that OOIDA and other stakeholders, as well as our membership of small-business owners and professional truck drivers, have ample opportunity to review the proposal and comment,” OOIDA leadership stated in the letter, signed by Association Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.

“While extending the comment period 30 days beyond the last planned public meeting is a laudable decision, it does not adequately provide for sufficient time.” Read more >




8/03/2015



Opinion: California’s Zero-Emissions Plan on the Horizon
By Shawn Yadon; CEO California Trucking Association

This year, the freight movement sector will be facing the development of new emissions rules affecting trucking, warehousing and distribution centers in California. Through legislative approaches, executive orders and other regulatory measures currently in development, a slew of new compliance concerns are just around the corner. Since the early years of the 21st century, California has greatly reduced community health risks from freight emissions. As a result, the trucking industry — three-fourths of which is made up of small family-owned businesses — has cut particulate matter emissions by 99% by investing more than $7 billion in clean truck technologies. This number alone is equivalent to taking 1.4 million cars off the road. However, on July 17, California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation calling for a new wave of regulations on the freight movement industry, which accounts for one-third of the state’s economy and jobs. Read more >




7/31/2015



California group suing CARB believes 31 fires have been caused by DPF
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

A coalition of businesses and truck owners who are suing the California Air Resources Board believe a recent rash of roadside fires is part of a larger trend – diesel particulate filters failing the very environment they were designed to protect.

The Alliance for California Business believes DPFs have started as many as 31 fires in the last 18 months, including several in CARB’s drought worn home state.

Bud Caldwell, the organization’s president and owner of 11 trucks, says multiple fires in recent weeks appear to be the result of fires that started below the truck’s engine compartment.

“But nobody investigates fires unless there is a death,” Caldwell told Land Line.

Caldwell pointed to multiple fires along California highways during the last year, including four separate fires believed to be set by a single truck on July 6 and fire from one truck spreading to two others at a Natomas, Calif., truck stop last November. Read more >




7/21/2015



Navistar Inc. fined $250,000 for violating state air emissions regulations
By C.A.R.B.

SACRAMENTO - Navistar Inc. paid $250,000 in penalties to the Air Resources Board for failing to follow proper testing procedures for one of its diesel exhaust filters, as required by state law.

“Companies that are in the business of providing pollution control technology for vehicles must make sure that their products actually do what they say they will do,” said ARB’s new Enforcement Chief, Todd Sax. “Navistar sold diesel particulate filters in California without proper testing at specified intervals, in violation of our air quality laws. To their credit, once they were notified of these infractions, they took prompt action and cooperated fully with ARB.”

The state’s Verification Procedure requires compliance testing for each category of diesel particulate filters after a certain number of units are sold or leased in the California market. Results of these tests must be submitted to ARB’s Executive Officer after each phase of testing in the form of a compliance report.

Navistar. failed to follow the in-use compliance requirements of the Verification Procedure for the DPX™ Catalyzed Soot Filter System. The company had sold more than 200 in California, with many installed on school buses in the San Diego County region, which should have triggered the required testing.

Illinois-based Navistar has agreed to follow all required procedures and paid $187,500 to the Air Pollution Control Fund to support air quality research, and $62,500 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to clean up school bus fleets throughout the state.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems. Read more >






7/21/2015



EPA Sues Navistar, Says Some 2010 Engines Were Illegal
By Tom Berg

Navistar Inc.’s 2009-2010 “transition” strategy for exhaust-emissions compliance has led to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA claims 7,750 Navistar diesels sold in International trucks during 2010 were not true 2009 models, and without formal exemptions, they were illegal.

The suit is the latest development resulting from the company's tried but failed strategy to use a less costly method to meet emissions limits. It was temporarily helped by EPA in an emergency ruling that allowed continued production of the engines while Navistar continued to work on its technology. That ruling was challenged by competitors and thrown out by a federal judge. Read more >




7/16/2015



How to Get Started as an Owner Operator in the Trucking Industry
Written by SayCampusLife Admin

Being a truck driver offers plenty of benefits, including job security and competitive wages. But you can really boost your earning power by taking things to the next level by becoming an owner operator.

Develop a business plan. You’ll essentially be in business for yourself, so you’ll have to come up with a business plan pertinent to your niche, and determine your estimated cash flow, expenses, start-up costs, and so forth. Make sure this plan is thorough, as you’ll have to refer to it when you apply for financing to get your business up and running.

Identify the employment potential for owner operators in your area. Get in touch with the local industry and large firms that use owner operators. Search our website for employment opportunities with either a price or a bidding range offered. Make sure you can easily get a gig before you invest in your truck.

Buy the right truck you can afford. Identify the niche you’ll be in, and shop around for the appropriate truck. Scope out a number of dealers and financing options, and understand the type of maintenance that will be needed.

Buy insurance that will cover your vehicle. There is significant liability in the trucking industry, so you’ll have to make sure that the insurance policy you purchase will adequately cover your vehicle. The prices will range quite a bit, so make sure to take your time in the shopping process.

Hire an accountant to take care of the books. You’ll be spending all your time working, so leave it to the professionals to take care of all your tax forms and invoices for you. Your accountant will also be able to help you track your expenses, which is important to keep your budget intact.

Learn to do basic maintenance on your truck. You can save yourself a lot of money performing basic maintenance like changing tires rather than always relying on a mechanic. Read more >




7/16/2015



Judge dismisses most of OOIDA lawsuit against CARB, transfers owner-op’s claim
By James Jaillet

The federal judge overseeing the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s lawsuit challenging California emissions standards has again dismissed most of the owner-driver advocacy group’s litigation.

U.S. District Judge Morrison England issued the ruling last week. He also transferred the remaining elements of the case to a larger federal appellate court.

OOIDA’s 2013 lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board and some of its members, challenging the Constitutionality of the state’s tough emissions regulations, was dismissed in full in November of last year. But a citation issued to one of the owner-operator plaintiffs in the case allowed OOIDA to revive it and bring its claims back to court. Read more >




7/15/2015



Federal Regulators Formally Publish Phase 2 GHG Emissions-Reduction Proposal
By Transport Topics © , American Trucking Associations Inc.

Federal regulators on July 13 formally published their proposal in the Federal Register that would tighten greenhouse-gas emissions for trucks, improve their fuel economy and regulate trailer efficiency for the first time. Details of the Phase 2 joint proposed rule were first announced June 19 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The proposal would phase in more stringent standards for heavy- and medium-duty trucks from 2021 through 2027. The more than 1,000-page main proposal includes separate standards for engines and vehicles. Read more >




7/10/2015



This 100 Percent Electric Eighteen-Wheeler Just Hit The Road In Germany
by Ari Phillips

On Tuesday, an all-electric tractor-trailer hit the road in Munich, Germany — the first time such a large electric vehicle made by a European manufacturer has gone into regular service in Europe, according to BMW, the company behind the project.

The 40-ton truck has a range of about 62 miles per charge, which takes three or four hours. Its first deployment will entail transporting vehicle components — such as shock absorbers, springs and steering systems — over stretches of less than two miles across Munich seven times a day.

Developed by BMW Group and the SCHERM group, a German automotive service provider, the big rig is a model from the Dutch manufacturer Terberg. According to the companies, the truck is “CO2-free, quiet and generates almost no fine particle pollution.” They also state that compared to a standard diesel engine truck, the electric truck will save 11.8 tons of carbon dioxide per year — the equivalent of the emissions produced by driving one of BMW’s more efficient cars, which gets an average of 60 miles per gallon, around the world almost three times. Read more >




7/10/2015



California Coalition to Promote Benefits of Natural Gas Trucks
by NGT News

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) says it is teaming up with the California Trucking Association (CTA) to help expand awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel for heavy-duty trucking and goods movement.

"SoCalGas is pleased to join with the California Trucking Association to help its members learn more about the many ways natural gas fueling and clean natural gas engine technologies can help them save money, clean up our air and mitigate the environmental impact of goods movement," states Rodger Schwecke, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas. Read more >




7/8/2015



Bosch: Emissions – How diesel affects air quality
By Automotive World

Bosch explains why diesel is crucial to achieving CO2 targets, how to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, and what impact smokers and tires have on emissions of particulate matter

Paris, London, Stuttgart – air quality is at the focus of debate all over Europe – a debate that often centers on diesel engines.
Air quality is at the focus of debate all over Europe – a debate that often centers on diesel engines. “In Bosch’s view, it’s important to base the air quality debate on facts,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. Read more >




7/8/2015



Trucking Industry Faces Stricter Fuel Efficiency Standards
By Lauren Gardner

Medium- and heavy-duty fleet trucks would have to meet stricter fuel efficiency standards under a proposal by federal environmental and highway regulators, part of the Obama administration’s effort to reduce climate-warming pollution across the economy.

The standards proposed on June 19 would cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 billion metric tons over the life of the nation’s fleet, agencies said.

That’s roughly equivalent to the pollution linked to electricity use by all U.S. households for one year. The standards — covering tractor trailers and the largest vans and pickup trucks — would begin in the 2021 model year and be applied through model year 2027.

For trailers, the standards would take effect in the 2018 model year.

The transportation sector is the second-largest contributor to the U.S. carbon footprint, after the utility industry, according to the EPA. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks emit about 20 percent of the sector’s carbon pollution while accounting for just 5 percent of the vehicles on the road. Read more >




7/6/2015



Moreno Valley warehouse project raising concerns over air quality
By Jim Steinberg, The Sun

MORENO VALLEY >> A master planned warehouse development that would fill nearly 700 football fields has raised concerns among state and regional air quality regulators, the Riverside County Transportation Commission and the American Lung Association.

The proposed World Logistics Center — with its 40.6 million square feet of warehouses and 14,000 daily truck visits — is planned for construction east of Moreno Valley and south of the 60 Freeway. Construction of the $3 billion project is expected to take 15 years.

“This project is so large that it will have consequences for the region,” said Ronald Loveridge, who is director of the UC Riverside Center for Sustainable Suburban Development and former longtime mayor of Riverside.

The project is coming up for approval at a time real estate professionals say the combined San Bernardino and Riverside county area is experiencing its third and largest warehouse building boom. Read more >




7/2/2015



Trucking Companies Try New Approach at Congested California Ports
By Erica E. Phillips

LOS ANGELES—A handful of companies are betting the days of truck drivers owning their own vehicles is coming to an end.

Operating primarily in Southern California, the firms are buying trucks and employing drivers full time to haul goods the short distance between ports and nearby rail yards and warehouses, a key link in the national supply chain known as drayage trucking.

The new outfits include a startup backed by private equity firm Saybrook Capital LLC and others that converted from independent contractor models, where drivers own or lease their own trucks. While all-employee drayage companies account for less than 5% of the more than 10,000 drivers at Southern California ports, that’s double their share a year ago, according to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is working to organize the employee drivers. Read more >




7/1/2015



Study: Fireworks cause a toxic brew of unhealthy air
by Shannon Rae Green

The thousands of Fourth of July fireworks celebrations across the nation bring a toxic brew of air pollution to our atmosphere, according to a recent study from federal scientists.

The exploding fireworks unleash tiny particles — about 1/30th the diameter of a typical human hair — that can affect health because they travel deep into a person's respiratory tract, entering the lungs.

The tiny particles are known as "particulate matter" and include dust, dirt, soot, smoke and liquid droplets and are measured in micrometers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A micrometer is one-millionth of a meter. Read more >




6/29/2015



Trucking Speeds Ahead as Fastest-Growing Small Business Industry
by Benjamin Pimentel

Those big rigs you see rumbling down the freeway are a sign of good times.

Trucking is now the fastest-growing small-business industry in the U.S., thanks to a robust economy and expanded options for small-business loans and financing.

Two kinds of small businesses in trucking posted the biggest jumps in revenue in the 12-month period ending May 31, according to a report released this month by Sageworks, a financial analysis software company.

General freight trucking, which covers small businesses that transport a wide range of merchandise, was at No. 1, recording a nearly 25% uptick in sales, the report said. Read more >




6/26/2015



‘No Idling’ Regs Coming to Commerce
By Jacqueline Garcia, EGP Staff Writer

Diesel burning trucks idling for long periods is a problem in the City of Commerce. On Tuesday, city officials, residents and local environmental groups unveiled the city’s latest effort to try to curtail the practice: 20 new “No Idling” signs to be installed in areas where truck drivers tend to stop off for a while but keep their engines running.

The new signs were created in partnership with East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the California Environmental Protection Agency, (CalEPA) and are meet new new regulations set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regarding the idling of commercial vehicles.

The new regulations require “No Idling” signs to be placed at locations where significant numbers of idling trucks have been found. Read more >




6/22/2015



EPA, DOT release proposal for next phase of emissions, fuel economy standards, set to take effect 2018
By Matt Cole

The EPA and DOT announced Friday their plans for Phase 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles.

Phase 2 of the program would “significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles, helping to address the challenges of global climate change and energy security,” according to the EPA.

The proposed standards will begin in model year 2018 for trailers and 2021 for tractors and culminate in vehicle-wide — engine, truck and trailer — standards for model year 2027 vehicles.

The EPA said the proposed plan will cut GHG emission by approximately 1 billion metric tons and conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold during the program. Read more >




6/22/2015



America's Trucking Industry May Become a Bit Less Dirty
By VICE News

The US government proposed on Friday new rules to limit emissions from big, heavy-duty trucks and long-haul tractor trailers — a move that underscored the Obama administration's commitment towards fighting climate change.

The new emission standards would apply to a wide range of vehicles, from the largest pickup trucks and vans to semi-trucks, as well as trailers, and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 billion metric tons and conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold, according to the joint guidelines from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The proposed rules hold the potential to significantly cut US emissions: The transportation sector is the second largest contributor, accounting for about 27 percent of the nation's carbon pollution. Yet, the trucking industry is weary of the costs of implementing the proposed rules, which the public has 30 days in which to submit comments, but it also sees potential savings in improved fuel efficiency. Read more >




6/22/2015



Proposed Rule for Big Trucks Aims at Cutting Fuel Emissions
By CORAL DAVENPORT and AARON M. KESSLER

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday introduced a major climate change regulation intended to reduce planet-warming carbon pollution from heavy-duty trucks.

The rule, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department, is the latest in a march of pollution constraints that President Obama has put forth on different sectors of the economy as he seeks to make tackling climate change a cornerstone of his legacy.

The proposed rule is meant to increase the fuel efficiency of the vast rigs that haul goods as varied as steel, timber and oil, as well as packages from Amazon.com. The regulations will also set emissions targets for other types of trucks larger than light-duty pickups, like delivery vehicles, dump trucks and buses. Read more >




6/17/2015



Pope's climate change encyclical could sway U.S. opinion: scientists
By Mary Wisniewski

Some U.S. scientists are expressing hope that Pope Francis' encyclical on global warming embracing the view that it is mostly caused by human activities will change public opinion in the United States, where the issue is highly politicized.

Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe said the pope's document is important because more facts alone will not convince climate change skeptics.

"We have to connect these issues with our values," said Hayhoe, who described herself as an evangelical Christian.

Some U.S. scientists are expressing hope that Pope Francis' encyclical on global warming embracing the view that it is mostly caused by human activities will change public opinion in the United States, where the issue is highly politicized.

Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe said the pope's document is important because more facts alone will not convince climate change skeptics.

"We have to connect these issues with our values," said Hayhoe, who described herself as an evangelical Christian. Read more >




6/15/2015



Study finds truck fleet clean-up dramatically decreases engine emissions near Port of Oakland
BY Karen Caesar

Black carbon and oxides of nitrogen down 76 percent and 53 percent, respectively, in four years

SACRAMENTO - A study funded by the California Air Resources Board demonstrates that mandatory upgrades to diesel truck fleets serving the Port of Oakland are responsible for significant reductions in two major air pollutants.

According to research conducted by Berkeley scientist Robert Harley and based on data collected from thousands of trucks near the Port of Oakland, emissions of black carbon, a key component of diesel particulate matter and a pollutant linked to global warming, was slashed 76 percent from 2009 to 2013. Emissions of oxides of nitrogen, which leads to smog, declined 53 percent. Also during this period, the median age of truck engines declined from 11 to six years, and the percentage of trucks equipped with diesel particulate filters increased from 2 percent to 99 percent.

Dr. Harley will elaborate on these results during an ARB-hosted research seminar and webcast open to the public at 1:30 pm (PDT) on Thursday, June 18. More information can be found here at this link http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/seminars/harley4/harley4.htm

The webinar will be archived on ARB’s website.

The study findings are considered dramatic because they occurred over a relatively short time. Comparable emissions reductions could normally take up to a decade through gradual replacement of old trucks or natural fleet turnover.

In this case, the improvements are attributed to the ARB’s Drayage Truck Regulation and to the Comprehensive Truck Management Program at the Port of Oakland, which require vehicle owners serving the port to clean up their trucks by either replacing them with newer models or installing diesel particulate
filters.

Diesel trucks are one of California’s biggest sources of air pollution. Because they are so durable, they can operate for decades and emit significant amounts of diesel pollution unless they are retrofit with filters or replaced.

Adopted in 2007, the ARB’s Drayage Truck Regulation requires all trucks serving major California ports and intermodal rail yards to be registered and upgraded according to a staggered implementation schedule. By Jan. 1, 2023, all class 7 and 8 diesel-fueled drayage trucks must have 2010 or newer engines.
Currently, pre-2007 model year (MY) trucks cannot serve the ports. All 2007-2009 MY trucks are compliant through 2022.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

6/12/2015



More Isn’t Always Better
BY Matt Schrap

EPA to propose stricter Phase 2 GHG Standards for new HD engines
There seems to be little respite for the heavy duty trucking industry when it comes to emissions reductions in this day and age. While California toys with the idea of a zero-emission, all-electric fleet, the Feds have again thrown down the gauntlet in their efforts to squeeze additional Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions from the heavy duty trucking fleet via “Phase 2” new engine standards to take effect in 2027.

While some regulators and politicians have described the industry as a “necessary evil”, industry members themselves are passionate defenders of their work, pointing to the fact the vast majority of Americans would be “naked and starving” if the trucking industry stopped moving.

Of course, no one in the industry wants to stop moving and they especially don’t want their customers naked or starving. That brings us to a crossroads; the economy needs the industry to help maintain and grow economic activity and the industry needs a strong economy to maintain and grow the industry, it is a symbiotic relationship. As goes trucking, so goes the economy. The industry is the proverbial canary in the coal mine when it comes to the economic health of the country. Read more >




6/8/2015



Don't give CARB more power to punish drivers
BY PATRICIA C. BATES

At the same time that Californians want clean energy, they want it to be affordable and reliable. Wind does not always blow, the sun does not always shine, and these sources are more expensive than traditional ones.

The unanswered question of affordability is a major flaw in Senate Bill 350, which is part of a broader legislative package that attempts to address climate change. The Senate recently approved SB350 without bipartisan support; it’s now before the Assembly. Read more >




6/8/2015



New U.S. truck emissions rules could touch off industry struggle
By Nick Carey

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. environmental regulators are expected within days to propose rules to make trucks more fuel efficient, and trucking industry executives and lobbyists familiar with the process said the rules will probably call for boosting fuel efficiency by 2027 nearly 40 percent from 2010 levels.

Truckers say the industry is willing to accept tighter federal standards, since motor fuel accounts for about a third of its costs. Truckers also want consistent standards throughout the country instead of a separate state rule in California.

But various segments of the trucking industry disagree about how federal rules should be structured and implemented. So the Environmental Protection Agency proposal for heavy trucks could prompt an intramural struggle to influence the final regulations. Read more >




6/8/2015



Air quality rules tightened after cancer risk found to be 3 times higher
By Tony Barboza

Dozens of Southern California facilities, including oil refineries, aerospace plants and metal factories, will face new requirements to reduce toxic emissions or notify their neighbors of the health risks from their operations under rules approved Friday by air quality officials.

The move by the South Coast Air Quality Management District governing board follows new guidelines from state environmental officials that estimate the cancer risk from toxic air contaminants is nearly three times what experts previously thought.  Read more >




6/4/2015



For truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, it's a waiting game
by Brian Watt

More than 40 percent of U.S. imports flow through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. An army of 14,000 short-haul truck drivers are tasked with hauling that cargo from the port complex to warehouses and rail yards around Southern Calfornia. But some of those truckers say, despite their critical role at the ports, they are among the lowest paid workers there, due to ridiculously long wait times.

There are an estimated 14,000 truck drivers operating in the port complex. They collectively move, on average, 11,000 cargo-filled containers each day, according to numbers from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Their ability to make a good living depends on how they are classified - and there are haves, and have-nots. Read more >




6/2/2015



Big Trucks Emit Huge Amounts Of Carbon Every Year. The EPA Is About To Do Something About It.
by Katie Valentine

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose new standards for heavy-duty trucks this week, regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions from tractor trailers and other big trucks.

It’s not yet known exactly what cuts the proposed regulations will call for, but according to the New York Times, the rule will likely require heavy trucks — like tractor trailers, buses, and garbage trucks — to increase their fuel economy by up to 40 percent compared to 2010 levels by 2027. Right now, the Times reports, a tractor trailer averages just five to six miles per gallon of diesel fuel. This rule could raise that to as much as nine mpg. Read more >
Potential fuel savings in heavy-duty trucks.
Read more >




 

 

5/29/2015



Peterbilt Concerned About Federal GHG Requirements
By Jonathan S. Reiskin

DENTON, Texas — Peterbilt Motors Co. is eager to see how the upcoming second phase of federal greenhouse-gas regulation will tell truck makers how to score the carbon dioxide emissions from their vehicles.

Since January 2014, manufacturers have had to file reports on emissions by truck model, which collectively must fit under an aggregate limit. The proposed new rule, expected sometime in June, will probably make the task more difficult, said Peterbilt Marketing Director Todd Acker.

“There will probably be a lot more inputs on what is scored. We need to know what data to collect,” Acker said here May 28 at the company’s Technology Showcase event for reporters and editors. Read more >




5/28/2015



Truck Platooning Report Shows Fuel Economy Gains
By TruckingInfo.com

A report on the first phase of research into the possible benefits of truck platooning technologies showed that all trucks in a platoon gained fuel efficiencies, with the lead truck gaining as much as a 5 percent improvement while the trailing truck got up to 10 percent improvement.

The study, which was conducted by Auburn University’s GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, along with partners Peloton Technologies, Peterbilt Motors, Meritor-Wabco and the American Transportation Research Institute.

As part of the Federal Highway Administration’s advanced research project on heavy truck cooperative cruise control, the first phase of the study looked at the commercial feasibility of driver assistive truck platooning, or DATP. Read more >




5/26/2015



Truckers' secret to fuel efficiency: take it easy
By Nick Carey

EAST DUBUQUE, Illinois (Reuters) - Mario Enriquez says there’s no real trick to getting great fuel mileage in a big truck.

"Just take it easy," says the 61-year-old native of El Paso, who’s driven an 18-wheeler for 11 years. "I don't gun the engine, I just gradually give it the gas."

Enriquez averaged 9.74 miles per gallon from February to April in an International ProStar made by Navistar International Corp. For that, his employer, Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT), awarded him a Nissan Versa compact car. Enriquez wasn’t even the best of the company’s drivers in the latest quarter, but no driver is allowed to win more than once and all those ahead of him were previous winners.

The mileage performance Enriquez and truckers like him can achieve with current trucks is significant because it could influence how far the U.S. government pushes heavy truck makers to boost the average fuel economy of future Class 8 trucks – the over-the-road haulers like the ones MVT operates.

Environmentalists want the Environmental Protection Agency to set a standard of 10 miles per gallon, up about 40 percent from current levels, as part of a broader effort to curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Some truck manufacturers say that could be too aggressive.

But owners of truck fleets such as MVT are running ahead of regulators and manufacturers, taking advantage of new technology and new ways of motivating drivers to cut fuel consumption. Their primary goal is cutting fuel bills, one of a trucking company’s biggest costs. In the process, some truckers are already achieving mileage close to the target that green groups want the EPA to set. Read more >




5/26/2015



New Environmental Study Urges “Caution” for Policymakers Considering Replacing Clean Diesel Trucks With Natural Gas Vehicles
By Steve Hansen

Washington, D.C. – A new study published today said that switching from diesel to natural gas in heavy-duty trucks could worsen and accelerate negative climate impacts unless methane leakage can be lowered. The study also outlined the need for increased data and new policies to lower methane leakage in order for natural gas heavy duty trucks to have a possible environmental advantage over new and future clean diesel trucks.

The study – “Influence of Methane Emissions and Vehicle Efficiency on the Climate Implications of Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Trucks” - was conducted by scientists at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Columbia University’s Lenfest Center for Renewable Energy and published today in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Read more >




5/18/2015



California Awards $15M for Alt-Fuel Trucks
By TruckingInfo.com

The California Energy Commission has approved nearly $15 million in grants for several projects that will fund alternative-fuel armored security trucks and refuse trucks in in the state.

North American Repower LLC was awarded $3 million to demonstrate the efficiency and viability of six armored security trucks converted from diesel fuel to plug-in hybrid electric-renewable natural gas.

Security protocols usually require armored vehicles to have their engines running during each scheduled stop, which burns fuel and emits pollutants. The demonstration vehicles, which have near-zero emissions, will operate in an all-electric mode during stop-and-go usage and in hybrid-mode during continuous vehicle operation, according to the California Energy Commission. Read more >




5/14/2015



Hidden Cost of Convenience: How Online Purchases Are Costing SoCal Communities
By Joel Grover and Matt Schrader

With the click of a mouse, you can now get almost anything delivered overnight from online retailers like Amazon, Zappos, Walmart and many others.

But that speedy convenience comes at a high price — it’s creating worsening pollution for parts of Southern California and is possibly making thousands of people sick, an NBC4 I-Team investigation has learned. Read more >




5/14/2015



Bakersfield trucking company to pay large fine for air quality violations
By BakersfieldNow staff

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A Bakersfield trucking company has settled with the state for violating air quality regulations.

Randy's Trucking Inc. will pay $524, 675 to the Air Resources Board. This is the largest ever settled for failure to comply with California's regulation to cut harmful diesel emissions, according to ARB.

Randy's Trucking failed to clean up its fleet according to the timetable set forth in the statewide Truck and Bus Regulation. The company also did not properly self-inspect its diesel trucks to ensure that they met state smoke emission standards.

ARB said Monday that Randy's Trucking will pay $392,755 to the Air Pollution Control fund to support air quality research and $130,920 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to clean up school bus fleets throughout the state.

"It's vital for businesses to know that we can't relax our standards or make exceptions when it comes to protecting public health," ARB enforcement chief Jim Ryden said in a news release. "Fortunately fines this high are rare and company owners are being more proactive in making their diesel fleets compliant. Randy's Trucking has been cooperative and is working towards full compliance on an approved schedule that reflects their commitment to upgrading their equipment." Read more >




5/8/2015



$400k trucks? Overdrive talks to CCTA’s Joe Rajkovacz about impact of emissions regs
By Matt Cole

A recent decision by a federal court denied the California Construction Trucking Association’s appeal of the EPA’s greenhouse gas standards based on a lack of standing.

The CCTA has been at the forefront of challenging EPA regulations on the trucking industry in California and nationally, and the group says the “EPA neglected to comply with a nondiscretionary statutory duty” to provide its greenhouse gas emissions standards to the Science Advisory Board, an expert body charged with providing scientific advice to EPA, prior to issuing them.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found CCTA was unable to demonstrate how it and truck buyers were actually harmed by the rule and how vacating it would provide them with relief. The CCTA says the new standards have increased the price of trucks, making them unaffordable for smaller businesses and truck owners. Read more >




5/6/2015



Siemens Starts eHighway Building
By Fleets&Fuels

A variety of trucks and designs have been proposed and numerous studies made of the concept, which is also known for the catenary or pantograph lines that would connect the trucks to the electrical grid (F&F, August 13, 2014).

“This first-of-its-kind system will use electricity delivered via overhead lines to electrify road lanes and provide clean and efficient power to trucks,” Siemens Mobility president Kevin Riddett said in a blog post today. Read more >




Freightliner Inspiration Truck

5/6/2015



Freightliner unveils the first road-legal self-driving truck
By LA Freightliner

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck is the first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States, showcasing what is possible through the energy of infinite inspiration.

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck is a realistic vision of the future, combining the latest technological developments already deployed in today’s modern on-highway trucks with exciting breakthroughs in safety and connectivity that hold the promise to reduce highway congestion and improve the environment. Learn more >

5/5/2015



Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti calls new port trucking firm Eco Flow a model for the industry
By Karen Robes Meeks

Nearly a week after Los Angeles and Long Beach port truck drivers picketed terminals, rail yards and trucking companies because they want to be considered employees and not independent contractors, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday the creation of a short-haul firm that he says will become a new model for the trucking industry.

Standing among port truckers and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters at Dodger Stadium, Garcetti announced the formation of Ontario-based Eco Flow Transportation, which has been operating for a month and includes 80 employee drivers. Many of them formerly worked for Total Transportation Services, Inc., which allegedly misclassifies truckers as independent contractors instead of employees. Truckers say the designation allows companies to skirt labor laws and pay less-than-fair wages.

Eco Flow, in contrast, has the potential to grow to 500 employee drivers by next year, under an agreement with the Teamsters. Read more >




5/1/2015



California Cities Lead Worst Air Pollution List
http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2015/04/california-cities-lead-most-polluted-list.aspx

California cities rank at the top of the list of the areas with the worst air pollution, according to the American Lung Association's "State of the Air" report for 2015.

Los Angeles-Long Beach ranked first on the list of highest pollution by ozone, while Fresno-Madera ranked at the top of the list by year round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution. This year's report has shown improvement over a year ago, said Harold Wimmer, the association's national president and chief executive.

"This year's report shows encouraging progress, evidence of the success of our long fight for cleaner, healthier air for all Americans," Wimmer said. "Paired with that progress is evidence of troubling challenges." Read more >




4/30/2015



Bill would rein in 'secret science' of the EPA
By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor

There’s a bill in Congress that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from using “secret science” to impose regulations. Republicans supporting the bill say that EPA science needs to be more transparent and reproducible. Democrats that want the bill withdrawn say it would harm efforts to protect public health.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the Secret Science Reform Act, HR1030, in March. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is set to mark up various pieces of legislation on Tuesday, April 28, and its version of the Secret Science Reform Act, S544, is on the agenda.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., introduced S544 in February, with Senate EPW Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., among the seven cosponsors. Read more >




4/30/2015



Report: Southern California’s air some of the worst in U.S.
By Jim Steinberg

Despite progress, Southern California’s air remains home to some of the worst air in the United States, the American Lung Association said Tuesday in its annual State of the Air report.

The Los Angeles-Long Beach area ranked no. 1 as the most ozone-polluted in the United States and fifth for year-round particle pollution, the report said.

The report raised the specter of drought and climate change as threatening gains since the report began 16 years ago.

“Los Angeles remains as the metropolitan area (nationwide) with the worst ozone pollution, as it has for all but one of the 16 reports, although it reported its lowest average year-round particles and fewest high ozone days in the report’s history,” said Janice Nolan, assistant vice president, National Policy and Advocacy, American Lung Association. Read more >




4/29/2015



California touts aggressive plan to reduce greenhouse gases
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - California would aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under a plan announced Wednesday that steps up the state's previously established target, which has cut emissions partly by forcing companies to pay for their carbon pollution.

Gov. Jerry Brown's executive order is loftier than a federal goal that also aims to curb global warming, but it gives the state more time to achieve it. Brown's plan lacks specifics, but he previously has cited increasing renewable electricity sources, reducing petroleum use in vehicles, doubling the energy efficiency of existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner as ways to reduce emissions.

Brown set a target of reducing emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels over the next 15 years and called it the most aggressive benchmark enacted by a government in North America.

"With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it's one that must be reached - for this generation and generations to come," Brown said in a statement. Read more >




4/28/2015



Trucking Groups Lack Standing to Challenge EPA Heavy-Duty Truck Standards, Court Says
By Andrew Childers

April 24 — A federal appeals court dismissed challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks after finding the petitioners lacked standing to bring their lawsuits.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found in an April 24 per curiam opinion that California trucking groups opposed to the EPA's greenhouse gas emissions limits on the grounds they could increase costs for vehicles failed to demonstrate how they were actually harmed by the rule and how vacating it would bring them relief. The EPA's greenhouse gas rule (RIN 2060–AP61) was issued jointly with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's corporate average fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Trucking groups, however, only challenged the EPA's portion of the standards.

Vacating the EPA's rule would leave the NHTSA standards in place, the court said in its decision. “Therefore, even were we to vacate the EPA standards, the NHTSA standards would still increase the price of vehicles,” the court said. Read more >




4/27/2015



Truckers at Nation's Biggest Port Complex Strike Over Wages
By CHRISTOPHER WEBER Associated Press

Truck drivers who haul goods from the nation's busiest port complex in Southern California walked off the job Monday in a dispute over their wages and employee status, months after another West Coast labor conflict cost major delays in billions of dollars of trade.

The move comes after a weekend vote from the Teamsters. "Several hundred" drivers from four companies at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were striking, Teamsters spokeswoman Barb Maynard said during a Monday conference call.

The strike was not expected to shut down all business at the ports, where some 16,000 truckers haul cargo.

Maynard said the drivers have been victims of "persistent wage theft" from employers because they are treated as independent contractors instead of employees. Read more >




4/27/2015



Is Dirty Air Damaging the Brains of Some City Dwellers?
By Linda Carroll

City air pollution could hurt your brain, Harvard researchers suggested Thursday.

Brain scans showed that seniors exposed to higher levels of the kind of small particle pollution that can come from car exhaust had a higher risk of mini-strokes and a smaller brain volume compared to those living in less-polluted areas, according to the study published in the journal Stroke.

The new findings are "provocative," said the study's lead author, Elissa Wilker, an instructor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and a researcher at the Cardiovascular Epidemiological Research Unit at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In fact, dirty city air seems to cause the equivalent of a full year's worth of aging inside the brain.

"It suggests that subtle but potentially harmful effects are going on: The effect on the brain of being one year older is similar to the effect of pollution," she said. Read more >




4/23/2015



ARB joins feds, ports and air districts to beef up enforcement of clean diesel regulations
By dchelini@arb.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has teamed up with local and federal agencies to significantly increase enforcement of California’s Heavy-Duty Diesel regulations statewide. These partnerships leverage ARB’s ability to bring vehicles that are operating illegally into compliance and level the playing field for those that have already met requirements.

ARB currently has extended agreements with various local air districts and ports to enforce its diesel-related regulations. Through these partnerships, air districts can write citations for noncompliant vehicles and equipment subject to various diesel regulations, helping support extensive enforcement of the truck and bus regulation. ARB also recently developed an agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency for enforcement of rules for drayage trucks and aftermarket parts. Read more >




4/21/2015



The Greening of the World’s Ports
By Erica Gies

VANCOUVER, British Columbia—On a bright, sunny March day, the industrial hubbub at the Port Metro Vancouver in British Columbia blends seamlessly with residential life playing out in the phalanxes of metal-and-glass apartment buildings that line both sides of Vancouver Harbor. People stroll in waterfront parks, taking in views of stacked shipping containers painted in primary colors and the dinosauric cranes that dot the port. Across the water in North Vancouver, giant piles of yellow sulfur and white salt sit dockside, waiting for shipment. The air smells fresh, the water looks clean, and a harbor seal surfaces, lolling by the white tents of Canada Place, the cruise ship terminal.

Not too long ago, the idea of a clean, green port would have been an oxymoron. The gateways to global commerce have ranked as some of the world’s most polluting places, industrial behemoths spewing toxins into the air and water. Now, as globalization booms and more ships than ever are crossing oceans, some ports are working toward being more environmentally friendly—to people, wildlife, and the environment. Read more >




4/20/2015



Truckers sue to end biodiesel mandate
By David Shaffer , Star Tribune

Minnesota truckers and other interests sued Minnesota on Friday seeking to end the state’s requirement that diesel sold at the pump contain 10 percent biodiesel.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota alleges that the state mandate is in conflict with federal clean air and renewable fuels laws. The suit asks for a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the existing mandate and any future expansion of a higher biodiesel ratio.

In court papers, the 690-member Minnesota Trucking Association alleged that the mandate drives up the price of diesel fuel and forces trucking companies to ignore truck engine warranties that specify using no more than B-5, or 5 percent ­biodiesel.

Since 2009, Minnesota has required the blending of biodiesel, which is produced from soybean and industrial corn oils and waste oils from the food industry. Last July, the state blending ratio increased from 5 percent to 10 percent for part of the year, and eventually could rise to 20 percent. It remains at B-5 from October to March to reduce the risk of fuel thickening into jelly during cold months. Read more >




4/16/2015



Some governors push back over McConnell letter to defy EPA
By RIK STEVENS

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's call for governors to defy proposed federal rules to limit pollution has been met with mostly silence, but leaders in downwind New England states and drought-stricken areas in the West are pushing back.

The Kentucky Republican wrote to all the nation's governors in March after the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to limit carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants. McConnell said he thinks the rule is illegal and, if enacted, would hurt the U.S. economy and kill energy jobs.

Democratic Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin was blunt in his response to McConnell. Read more >




 

4/14/2015



Emissions Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Where We've Been
by Rolf Lockwood

After well over a decade of endless wrangling over emission-control technologies and nonstop complaints on the user side about cost and reliability issues, things have gone quiet on the engine front. It hasn't been this way since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started tinkering with things back in the 1990s.

In fact, the EPA was at it as early as 1974, though the broad and heavy crunch came later. It really began in 1997 when the EPA set the standard for model years 2004-06.

But after all the trouble and woe brought on then and later with the 2007 emissions regime, which linger on for many of you, the 2010-spec heavy-duty diesel has proved to be a huge improvement in terms of both reliability and fuel economy. Read more >




4/14/2015



Rebranding the EPA’s clean air agenda
By Chris Horner

On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear an important case, Murray Energy v. EPA, regarding what used to be the Environmental Protection Agency’s global warming agenda. At issue are sweeping rules that amount to rewriting the Clean Air Act, an effort made necessary when Congress, via the proper democratic process, rejected turning that act into a global warming law for rationing our most abundant sources of energy.

The reason behind Congress rejecting the scheme also explains President Obama’s effort this past week to sway the court, indicating in an interview widely promoted by the White House that global warming possibly caused his daughter Malia’s asthma.

This may seem a stretch given that since Malia was born in 1998, the earth has experienced no increase in mean temperature. Such a link is at best highly tenuous, particularly given that one of Malia’s parents (Mr. Obama) was a smoker. Read more >




4/13/2015



California Energy Commission Grants Millions for Alt-Fuel Sector
by NGT News

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved a number of grants for the alternative fuels sector and given the OK to a 2015-2016 investment plan update for the commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP).

In total, the CEC approved more than $83.7 million in grants and loans for 46 different energy-related projects.

For the alt-fuel sector specifically, it gave nearly $9 million to three awardees in Poway, the City of Industry and Milpitas to encourage the manufacturing of alternative fuel vehicles and vehicle components in California. Read more >




4/10/2015



California green port, truck, rail programs lauded in reducing emissions
by Bill Mongelluzzo

Green programs implemented by the port, trucking and rail industries in California have contributed mightily to harmful emissions reductions in the state over the past 20 years, according to a University of Southern California study published last month in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association.

The study covers pollution from all mobile sources, including the worst offender, private automobiles, and freight transportation-related emissions are but one piece of a larger picture. Nevertheless, the message for container ports, the trucking industry and intermodal rail operators across the country is clear: Emissions-reduction programs work.

For example, nitrogen dioxide, which is a by-product of engine combustion, decreased by 28 to 53 percent between 1994 and 2011 in communities from San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast to San Diego. Inhalable particulate matter, which are microscopic pieces of dirt floating in the air, decreased by 13 to 54 percent in the region. Those pollutants are directly linked to a host of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, heart disease and cancer. Read more >

4/8/2015



Oregon Looks to Catch Up with California’s Standards on Diesel Engines
by Chris Gray

New diesel engines are very clean, but old ones linger in Oregon, and the state is at risk of becoming a dumping ground for trucks that California doesn’t want, given its phase-out of older engines.

California passed regulations that will phase-out older, dirtier diesel engines from its roads and industrial areas by 2023.

Now Oregon is considering similar regulations -- not necessarily because the state is an environmental leader, but because it’s at risk of becoming a dumping ground for all those engines that next-door-neighbor California doesn’t want. Read more >




4/2/2015



CARB-Type Regs Could Spread to Other Jurisdictions
By Deborah Lockridge

California fleets that have had to fork over funds to buy new cleaner-burning trucks or retrofit with diesel particulate filters may well have a leg up over the rest of the country under the Environmental Protection Agency's upcoming rules.

That's according to my colleague Chris Brown, executive editor of HDT sister publication Business Fleet.

In a recent blog post, Brown points out that the federal government is tightening the Clean Air Act, and the new standards will catch in its net many more jurisdictions around the country. Read more >




4/1/2015



Phase 2 GHG Rule Delayed, EPA Says
By Eric Miller - Transport Topics

The proposed Phase 2 greenhouse-gas emissions rule for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, originally planned for publication in March, has been delayed until June, the Environmental Protection Agency announced.

The proposal was sent for White House review on March 27, according to EPA’s Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker.

The joint EPA-National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed rule will address fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty on-highway vehicles for model years beyond 2018 but likely would not take effect before 2020, according to EPA.

The Phase 2 rule will follow the first-ever greenhouse-gas emissions and fuel-efficiency standards issued in 2011.While the Phase 1 rule addressed engine technologies to reduce emissions, the Phase 2 rule is expected to include technologies for new trailers. Read more >




 

Spike In California Air Pollution Brings Reminder Of Bad Old Days
By Sharon Bernstein

KINGS COUNTY, Calif., March 27 (Reuters) - The brown haze over California's San Joaquin Valley breadbasket on some winter days has been an unwelcome reminder of the bad old days, when pollution hung so thickly that people were warned to stay inside.

Years of tight environmental rules improved California air quality so much that the state has not issued a smog alert in a dozen years. But prolonged drought and warmer temperatures have triggered a spike in the number of winter days thick with soot and dirt, while summer days have been marred by smog.
Read more >




3/30/2015



Personal accounts drive CARB hearings
By Betty Plowman

The coordination hearings that took place March 13-14 in Fairfield not only revealed that the California Air Resources Board failed to “coordinate” the implementation of its regulations on trucks with local governments, but they revealed that the board’s regulations were arbitrary, unreasonable and are unsupported by scientific data.

CARB’s duplicity and rigidity has devastated small businesses and families throughout the state and will continue to do so unless it is held accountable.
Personal testimonies of truckers during the hearings were heart-wrenching. Families that have been in the trucking business for generations, had paid for their equipment, built a successful business and planned for retirement are seeing it stolen from them by an out-of-control bureaucracy. Read more >




3/27/2015



New Bill Proposes $5,000 Fine For Diesels ‘Rolling Coal’
by Jeff Cobb

A proposed law against diesel drivers who are caught “rolling coal” would fine them up to $5,000 for this increasingly popular practice of tampering with emission controls.

While some in the world are trying to go zero or partial zero emissions, others are finding it a new pass time to modify their trucks to spew heavy black soot and smoke in this practice reminiscent of an old time freight train. Read more >




3/24/2015



ATA Joins Suit Against Oregon's Clean Fuels Program
By Truckinginfo.com

The American Trucking Associations has joined a lawsuit against the state of Oregon to block the state’s low carbon fuel standards. ATA joins the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Consumer energy Alliance in the suit.

ATA is against the Oregon Clean Fuels Program, which it says unfairly benefits Oregon’s biofuels industry and harms out of state refiners and producers. The program will regulate the entire carbon lifecycle of fuel sold in the state. ATA contends that would be in violation of the Commerce Clause. Read more >




3/23/2015



Paris will ban half of all cars from driving Monday to combat pollution
By Jon Terbush

Beset by worrisome smog, Paris on Monday will ban half of all personal vehicles from the streets, Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Saturday.

Only cars with odd-numbered plates will be allowed on the streets unless they are carrying more than three people. Electric and hybrid vehicles will still be permitted regardless of plate number, as will, of course, emergency vehicles. As for those who will be forced to leave their cars at home, public transit in and around the city will temporarily be free.

Last March, Paris imposed a similar one-day ban on half the city's cars. The new ban comes after the city's air pollution spiked high enough last week to (briefly) become the worst in the world. Read more >






3/20/2015



CARB offers webinars, other informational opportunities on diesel regs
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The California Air Resources Board is offering multiple classes for truck owners and drivers to learn more about the state’s emissions regulations.

In an effort to help educate the trucking community about emissions rules compliance, CARB will host on-site classes and a few webinars that truckers and others can watch anywhere with an Internet connection.

CARB will host Course 514, Truck and Bus & Tractor-Trailer GHG Regulations Overview, Compliance and Reporting multiple times in March and April. Read more >




3/18/2015



Imports plunged at West Coast ports amid labor dispute
By Chris Kirkham

Months of congestion at West Coast ports -- the result of a labor dispute and other logistical problems -- led to major shifts in U.S. trade patterns.

Import data for the first two months of this year show that the volume of container cargo coming into West Coast ports plummeted nearly 18% compared with the same period last year, according to the trade research firm Zepol. At the same time, the amount of cargo coming into East and Gulf coast ports grew by 10%.

Import data for the first two months of this year show that the volume of container cargo coming into West Coast ports plummeted nearly 18% compared with the same period last year, according to the trade research firm Zepol. At the same time, the amount of cargo coming into East and Gulf coast ports grew by 10%. Read more >




3/16/2015



CARB now to allow retrofits for reefer rule compliance
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

It isn’t every day that a California Air Resources Board staff member can tell truck owners they may be able to spend less money than expected to comply with a state emissions regulation.

The good news explains the excitement coming through the phone line from CARB Staff Air Pollution Specialist Rod Hill concerning Transportation Refrigeration Units, or reefers.

“What we’re trying to make sure happen is to make sure these folks are aware that engine replacement as a compliance option has gone away,” Hill told Land Line Magazine. “The good news is, it’s actually cheaper to retrofit than replace the engine.”

“The compliance costs have effectively gone down,” he said. Read more >




3/16/2015



Big Rig Standard Could Save Biggest Trucking Fleets $1.7bn
By www.environmentalleader.com

FedEx, Walmart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and UPS — five of the country’s biggest trucking fleets — could cut their fuel use by 500 million gallons a year under the new heavy duty truck fuel efficiency standard, saving $1.7 billion on fuel, according to a Union of Concerned Scientists study.

The EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are expected to announce the standard this spring.

According to the study, Engines for Change, if today’s trucks met a 40 percent standard, oil use would be reduced by 9 billion gallons from shipping goods alone, saving truckers $30 billion in fuel costs and cutting more than 110 million tons of CO2 emissions.

Today’s heavy-duty trucks get around 6 miles to the gallon. The freight fleet uses 21 billion gallons of fuel a year.

The report says technology exists to make new trucks 40 percent more efficient compared to 2010 levels, in a cost-effective way. Read more >




3/13/2015



Backyard burger and wiener roasts targeted by EPA
By Paul Bedard

The Environmental Protection Agency has its eyes on pollution from backyard barbecues.The agency announced that it is funding a University of California project to limit emissions resulting in grease drippings with a special tray to catch them and a "catalytic" filtration system.

The $15,000 project has the "potential for global application," said the school.

The school said that the technology they will study with the EPA grant is intended to reduce air pollution and cut the health hazards to BBQ "pit masters" from propane-fueled cookers. Read more >




3/9/2015



CCTA Will Appeal CARB Decision to Supreme Court
By Steven Martinez

The California Construction Trucking Association has stated it will appeal the decision handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that rejected CCTA's lawsuit challenging the legality of truck and bus regulations implemented by the California Air Resources Board.

This is the second time CCTA has lost a legal decision over this suit. The association originally filed suit in 2011 in state district court to stop the regulations from taking effect. In its argument, CCTA cited the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act. Read more >




3/5/2015



Truck Rules All Around? Tightening Ozone Standard May Squeeze On-Road Trucking Fleet in US.
By Matt Schrap

Lost within the debate over energy policy and climate change is the tightening ozone standard and how this may impact the on-road trucking fleet in many states across the county. The plan is under scrutiny from Congress, but not because it will impact truck fleets, but because refineries and power providers will more than likely face increased costs and possible layoffs.

A newly formed subcommittee called the Interior Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been tasked in part to keep a close eye on the Environmental Protection Agency. One thing they will be looking at besides keeping a watch on EPA management and the national park maintenance backlog will be the tightening Ozone standard. Read more >




3/5/2015



Improvement In Southern California Air Quality Results In Healthier Lungs For Children
By Dianne Depra

A 20-year study has found that Southern California children today are breathing easier than their counterparts thanks to cleaner air in Los Angeles.

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers for the University of Southern California Children's Health Study took lung measurements to determine levels of development in children 11 to 15 years old and discovered that those part of the study between 2007 and 2011 exhibited large improvements compared to children at the same age group who participated in the study between 1994 and 1998 as well as 1997 and 2001. Read more >




3/4/2015



The U.S. Just Got One Step Closer To Regulating Airplane Carbon Emissions
by Emily Atkin

The White House received a key recommendation from the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday which could determine whether the agency will place limits on greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes.

According to a report from The Hill, the EPA sent the White House’s Office of Management and Budget its draft conclusion on whether carbon emitted from airplanes is cumulatively harmful to the environment. If the EPA’s decides that airplane emissions are indeed harmful, then the agency will be required to regulate those emissions under the Clean Air Act.

After the White House reviews the EPA’s conclusion, the agency can officially propose it to the public. That is expected to happen by May 2015, with a final decision expected to be made by 2016. Read more >




3/3/2015



TRU -- Engine replacement compliance option expires for model year 2008 and newer TRU (reefer) engines
By rhill@arb.ca.gov

Transport refrigeration unit (TRU) owners need to be aware that the engine replacement compliance option expires for model year
(MY) 2008 and newer TRU engines.

Repowering a TRU ceases to qualify as a compliance option when the replacement engine is no cleaner than the old engine being
replaced.  Title 13 California Code Regulations (13 CCR), section 2477.5(i) stipulates that a replacement engine shall meet a more
stringent emissions standard than the engine being replaced.  To evaluate if this limitation applies to their TRUs, TRU owners
need to determine what emission standard tier is met by the in-use engine being replaced and compare that to the tier
standard that is met by the cleanest replacement engine that will fit and perform in the TRU.

Examples follow:

1.    Trailer TRUs or TRU generator sets equipped with MY 2008 through 2012 Tier 4i in-use engines rated at 25-50 hp: The only
replacement engine that will fit and perform is another Tier 4i replacement engine, which does not result in a cleaner
replacement engine. Therefore, the repower compliance option for MY 2008 to MY 2012 25-50 hp trailer TRU and TRU gen set engines
fails to qualify in 2015.

2.    TRUs equipped with MY 2008 and newer Tier 4 in-use engines rated at less than 25 hp: The only replacement engine that will
fit and perform is another Tier 4 less than 25 hp replacement engine, which does not result in a cleaner replacement engine.
Therefore, the repower compliance option for MY 2008 and newer less than 25 hp TRU engines fails to qualify in 2015.

Please be aware of possible cases where TRUs manufactured in 2008 could still use the replacement engine compliance option if they
are equipped with Tier 2 engines:

Case 1:  During the first quarter of 2008, TRU manufacturers may have installed MY 2007 engines that were manufactured in the last
few months of 2007, which met Tier 2 emission standards.  This lag is allowed for normal production, shipping, and inventory
practices.

Case 2:  TRU OEMs may have installed “flexibility engines” into TRUs manufactured during the remainder of 2008 and possibly 2009
for a limited number of engines.  Flexibility engines that were installed in TRUs manufactured in 2008 and 2009 have an effective
model year of 2007 and met Tier 2 emission standards.

Flexibility engines have emissions labels that include the
following text:  “SELLING OR INSTALLING THIS ENGINE FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN FOR THE EQUIPMENT FLEXIBILITY PROVISIONS OF 40 CFR 1039.625 MAY BE A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW SUBJECT TO CIVIL
PENALTY.”

In-use engines that met Tier 2 can be replaced by replacement engines that meet the cleaner Tier 4i emission standards to
qualify as a compliance option under 13 CCR section 2477.5(i).

It should also be noted that the engine replacement compliance option is not very attractive for TRUs manufactured in 2008 that
are equipped with MY 2007 engines or flexibility engines that have an effective model year of 2007 that must comply by the end
of 2015.  Those replacement engines’ effective model year is 2012, so the ULETRU compliance deadline would be December 31,
2019, which only results in about four years of compliance before the ULETRU in-use performance standard has to be met.  For
example, if a trailer TRU that was manufactured in 2008 is equipped with an MY 2007 original engine, the compliance date is
December 31, 2015 (based on the unit manufacture year).  If the owner chooses to repower the TRU with a Tier 4i replacement
engine, the effective model year of the replacement engine is 2012 (the last year that Tier 4i was in effect), and compliance
with ULETRU in-use standard would then be required by December 31, 2019 (seven years after the effective model year).  In this
example, the operational life of the replacement engine would only be about four years (from late 2015 to the end of 2019).
What compliance options remain?  Retrofitting with a Level 3 Verified Diesel Emissions Strategy (VDECS) may be something to
consider because Level 3 VDECS meet the TRU Regulation’s ULETRU In-Use Performance Standard.  Another option is to replace the
unit with a new unit.

A Q&A to this effect has been added to TRU Advisory 13-18 (starting on page 7) at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/documents/advisory_13_18.pdf .

Where can I get more information?

For general information about the TRU Regulation, the TRU Website is at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/tru.htm

2/26/2015



California scientists link tiny particles in car exhaust to heart disease
By Tony Barboza

A new study by California scientists has linked chronic exposure to microscopic air pollutants in vehicle exhaust to deaths from heart disease. The finding bolsters evidence that ultrafine particles, which are not regulated by state or federal environmental agencies, are a key contributor to health problems among people living near traffic.

Scientists analyzed health data from 2001 to 2007 on a cohort of more than 100,000 middle-aged women across California who had worked as school teachers or administrators. They used a computer model to estimate the levels of ultrafine particles the women breathed. Read more >




2/25/2015



Driverless big rigs: new technologies aim to make trucking greener and safer
By Greg Harman

In the opening of Steven Spielberg’s 1971 film Duel, an impatient salesman gets stuck behind a rattling, soot-belching tractor-trailer on a lonely stretch of California highway. Just before the truck’s driver is revealed to be a homicidal maniac, the salesman has time to gripe about the vehicle’s billowing emissions. “Talk about pollution,” he coughs as he is enveloped in the rig’s thick, black smoke.

Pollution in the trucking industry has long been a public issue, and it’s one that certainly didn’t end when the first federal emission limits were introduced in 1974. For good reason: heavy- and medium-duty trucks, which include everything from ambulances and garbage trucks to cement mixers and semis, make up nearly a quarter of all US greenhouse-gas emissions from transportation, according to the US transportation department. Read more >




2/24/2015



State air board just pushes on
By Betty Plowman

In last week’s column I identified critical mistakes California and its air resources board have made through the years.

My first personal concern arose in 1992. California unilaterally reduced allowable sulfur from 1,500 to 500 parts per million in diesel fuel. That reduction and other untested changes to the fuel formula resulted in fuel seals and hoses leaking and failure of injection pumps and o-rings. This had serious impacts for my construction business and everyone who used diesel-powered vehicles and equipment.

Next, despite warnings from many concerned scientists, the California Air Resources Board gave us the now-infamous gasoline additive MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), which led to the poisoning of our groundwater. California was alone in ignoring the science warnings and was forced by substantial water poisoning to rescind the decision after major expense by the oil industry and all drivers. Read more >




2/23/2015



Truck Fleet Faces $523,675 Fine for Non-Compliance with CARB Rules

When They Find You, They Will Fine You...
By Matt Schrap

This month, CARB fined a Taft, CA based trucking firm over $500,000 for not complying with several HDD programs. Typically, fines of this size have been reserved for importers of non-compliant small engines or manufacturer and distributors of cleaning chemicals and supplies. This recent fine is a blatant signal that CARB is out there and stepping up enforcement activites on motor carriers operating in California.

Although it may take many weeks or sometimes months to reach a “settlement”, truck operators should understand that all it takes is one violation to bring down the house. Read more >




2/19/2015



Natural gas trucking fleet could benefit economy, but has mixed environmental effects
By Kat Kerlin

Switching from diesel fuel to natural gas may hold advantages for the nation's heavy-duty trucking fleet, but more needs to be done to reach the full environmental benefits, according to a report released today from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, and Rice University.

With the so-called "shale revolution," the recent emergence of natural gas as an abundant, inexpensive fuel in the United States has raised the possibility of a larger shift in the level of natural gas used in transportation. The report examines the economic and environmental viability of such a shift, and whether it could enable a transition to lower carbon transport fuels. Read more >




2/18/2015



How did the port shutdown affect L.A. air quality?
By Tony Barboza

Dozens of ships backed up off the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports in recent days, unable to unload cargo because of a protracted labor dispute. Work resumed at the ports Tuesday, but the slowdown in shipping traffic raised concerns that emissions from waiting vessels would degrade Southern California air quality.

Here's what you need to know about how congestion at the nation's busiest port complex affects air quality. Read more >




2/17/2015



NOx, Ozone and Soot! Oh My!
By Matt Schrap



The industry is headed back down the regulatory road, whether we know it or not

In California, a good portion of the industry is still recovering from the first round of CARB imposed truck turnover requirements. With recent developments it is likely that more is still to come. In fact, portions of the industry are going to be facing down a whole new set of requirements within the next 10-12 years, maybe sooner.

With the imminent lowering of the Federal Ozone standard and most recently the SCAQMD estimating that it will not be able to meet 2015 PM standards, the industry is going to again be brought into the discussion for additional emissions reductions to help meet state, federal and local standards. In all honesty and speaking frankly, they never left the discussion or in other words, no rest for the weary. Read more >




2/12/2015



New mobile air pollution monitor being tested in Los Angeles
By Jed Kim

The ability to identify pollutants in the air is made difficult by changing conditions and the fact that harmful substances are usually invisible to the naked eye. A new vehicle being tested in Los Angeles may change how air monitoring occurs by providing real time data of toxic substances in the air. Read more >




2/10/2015



Southern California expected to miss 2015 deadline to curb soot
By Tony Barboza

la truck

Southern California is likely to miss a 2015 deadline to clean soot from the air, according to the region’s chief smog-fighting agency, which approved a plan Friday blaming the drought for reversing a long-term decline in fine-particle pollution.

The plan approved by the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s governing board on a 10-1 vote was criticized as weak by community activists and environmental groups. At a public hearing, they urged air quality officials to include stronger pollution controls to ensure the region meets the federal standard for fine particulate matter, or soot, on time. Read more >

2/4/2015



Polluting Diesel Big Rigs, Forced from California, Head for Oregon
By Ken Broder

California truckers are being forced to get rid of older, polluting diesel big rigs that don’t meet the state’s new emissions standards. That’s good news for Californians who value breathable air, and bad news, in the short term, for Oregon and other nearby states.

All of California’s pre-2010 trucks—around 350,000, according to The Oregonian—have to leave the state by 2023, but some had to make a January 1 deadline. Although the Oregon Department of Transportation apparently does not have data readily available on ownership changes of polluting big rigs, everyone knows they are already rolling their way. Read more >




2/3/2015



Richard Coyle Takes Helm of California Trucking Association
By Transport Topics

Richard Coyle, president of West Sacramento-based Devine Intermodal, has been appointed president of the California Trucking Association.

Coyle’s rotating appointment recently was announced at the association’s annual meeting in Monterey, California.

Coyle, a 26-year veteran of the trucking industry with extensive experience in international ocean transport, holds an international relations degree from Stanford University. Read more >




1/30/2015



Los Angeles, Long Beach port truckers win major legal victory
By Jordan England-Nelson, Daily Breeze

A Superior Court judge on Thursday ruled that truck drivers in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are employees, not independent contractors, and that seven of them are owed more than $2 million in damages.

The ruling, which comes after two years of legal wrangling and five strikes by drivers and their supporters, is a coup for labor activists and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which in recent months has helped bring several labor disputes to court. Read more >




1/28/2015



Running on empty: California looks at hitting motorists with a mileage fee as gas tax revenue falls
By Evan Bleier for MailOnline

Plummeting gas tax revenues have led California to consider imposing a fee on motorists for each mile they drive.The number of electric, hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles on the state's roadways has increased in recent years, leading motorists to use less and less gas.

The reduction in gas consumption has led to a reduction in gas tax revenues for the state. California collects a 2.25 per cent sales tax on gasoline and a 9.67 per cent tax on diesel. Read more >




1/27/2015



Diesel pollution cut at Port of Oakland
By Mike Hornick

The mean emission rate of black carbon from diesel trucks at the Port of Oakland dropped 76% from 2009 to 2013, a California study finds.The improvements in air quality are linked to a port program to modernize trucks.

In addition, the average emission rate for nitrogen oxides declined 53%. Read more >




1/20/2015



CARB fines four for fuel switch failures
By MarineLog.com

— The California Air Resources Board has fined four shipping companies a combined $146,719 for failing to switch from bunker fuel to cleaner, low-sulfur marine distillate fuel upon entering Regulated California Waters – within 24 nautical miles of the California coast.

Adopted in 2008, the Ocean-Going Vessels Fuel Rule was designed to reduce fine particulate pollution, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions from ocean-going vessels to improve air quality and public health in California. Read more >




1/19/2015



Diesel truck dilemma threatens Sacramento church's food program
By Mike Luery

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —California leads the nation -- and the world -- when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

And this year, the state is targeting diesel trucks -- specifically older models made before 1996, which have the dirtiest engines and contribute to global warming.

Caught in the crosshairs is a Sacramento food ministry program that is helping to feed people in need. Read more >




 

12/30/2014

Truck and Bus Regulation Reporting System Update for 2015 Compliance Year
By bho@arb.ca.gov

The Truck and Bus regulation reporting system and the Online Reporting Guide has been updated to include 2015 compliance
requirements and options. January 1 of every compliance year, fleet owners that use flexibility options in the regulation must
identify which vehicles will use a particular extension and provide any additional information required.  We encourage fleets
to report early, before the January 31, 2015 reporting deadline. The Online User Guide is available at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdiesel/documents/reportingguide.pdf

Who Needs to Report for 2015?
• Vehicle owners that have already reported must update vehicle and owner information as it changes.
• Fleets that want to continue using a flexibility option or wish to newly claim a flexibility option must report by January 31, 2015.
• All owner using mileage-based extensions must report the vehicle’s January 1st odometer reading by January 31, 2015.
Your account information can be accessed online at:https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/ssltrucrstb/trucrs_reporting/reporting.php

Forgot Password?
To recover your lost password, visithttps://ssl.arb.ca.gov/ssltrucrstb/trucrs_reporting/password_recovery.php
You will need your username, email address associated with the account, and the last name of the account contact to recover the
password.  Please note that your TRUCRS ID number IS NOT your username or password.

Change of Contact Information
If you would like to change the name, email address, or phone number used to verify the password for your TRUCRS account,
please completed the form athttp://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdiesel/documents/tbpwchange.pdf and email it to TRUCRS@arb.ca.gov

Still Need Help?
Most of the factsheets have been updated to reflect the 2014 amendments and are available at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdiesel/documents.php. If you need help with reporting after reading the Online User Guide, please
call or email the Diesel Hotline at 866-634-3735 or866diesel@arb.ca.gov or visit http://www.arb.ca.gov/dieseltruck for additional information.

12/23/2014

Extension of 2008 Ozone Compliance Deadline Unlawful, D.C. Circuit Tells EPA
By Andrew Childers

Dec. 23 — The Environmental Protection Agency unlawfully extended the deadline for states to comply with revised air quality standards for ozone issued in 2008, federal appellate judges ruled Dec. 23.

“Even assuming EPA could adequately justify choosing a trigger date other than the designation date, it has failed to do so here,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said in a 2-1 decision.

That decision means states will have six months less to demonstrate compliance with the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone set in 2008. Read more >




Click on photo to view a Zeega slideshow with more photos.12/16/2014

Air Pollution Down Thanks to California’s Regulation of Diesel Trucks
By Julie Chao

Ever wonder what’s in the black cloud that emits from some semi trucks that you pass on the freeway? Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Thomas Kirchstetter knows very precisely what’s in there, having conducted detailed measurements of thousands of heavy-duty trucks over months at a time at two San Francisco Bay Area locations.

With a specially outfitted research van equipped with sophisticated monitors for several pollutant types, he and his team are studying emissions levels from diesel trucks to understand and analyze the impact of new control technologies and California air pollution regulations. Read more >




12/16/2014

CARB gets approval for new truck NOx emissions options
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The California Air Resources Board recently got a thumbs up for several optional emissions standards that truck owners can select when ordering new trucks and engines.

According to a recent email message sent and also posted on the air quality agency’s website, the California Office of Administrative Law approved optional reduced emissions standards dealing with oxides of nitrogen, or NOx.

The new standards include the following: .1 grams per brake horsepower-hour, .05 grams per brake horsepower-hour, and .02 grams per brake horsepower hour. Read more >




12/3/2014

ATA Commits to Hiring 100,000 Veterans
Article

The American Trucking Associations said on Tuesday it is committing on behalf of the trucking industry and its members to hire 100,000 veterans as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.

Hiring Our Heroes launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day. Read more >




12/1/2014

EPA Finally Proposes New Smog Standards After Years Of Hesitation
By Kate Sheppard

WASHINGTON –- The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced new standards for ozone pollution that have riled up public health advocates and industry.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced in an op-ed on CNN that the agency is proposing to lower the standard from where it is currently set, at 75 parts per billion, to a standard within the range of 65 to 70 parts per billion. She said the agency also would accept comments on whether to lower the allowable concentration even further, to 60 parts per billion. Read more >




11/24/2014

CARB unanimously approves final touches on Truck and Bus Rule
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The California Air Resources Board moved Thursday to approve final changes to its most expensive in-use trucking regulation on the books.

During its two-day monthly meeting Thursday, board members unanimously approved amendments to require small trucking fleets to have their second truck meet the Truck and Bus Regulation’s standards by January 2017.

Predicted to cost the industry more than $1 billion, the Truck and Bus rule requires most trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds to be upgraded either with diesel particulate filters or by upgrading to cleaner and newer engines between 2012 and 2023.
Read more >




11/21/2014

EPA to award up to $5M for projects to reduce diesel emissions at ports

EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) will award up to $5M combined for proposals (EPA-OAR-OTAQ-14-07) that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced by diesel engines and diesel emissions exposure, from fleets operating at marine and inland water ports located in areas of poor air quality.

Eligible diesel vehicles, engines and equipment may include drayage trucks; marine engines; locomotives and non-road engines; and equipment or vehicles used in the handling of cargo at a marine or inland water port. Read more >




11/20/2014

Air Resources Board Conducts Surprise Inspections on Big Rigs
Raquel Cervantes

Inspectors with California EPA and the Air Resources Board checked heavy duty trucks for compliance on clean air regulations Tuesday.

The surprise inspection check point was set up off Highway 99 at North and Cedar Avenues.

Inspectors checked 58 big rig trucks and issued 9 citations.

"We go through a lot of training through work. They have a lot of safety programs. And any new laws that go through, we're informed on that," said James Dees, a truck driver whose truck passed the inspection. Read more >




11/18/2014

L.A.-area port truckers expand strike to three new companies
By Andrew Khouri

A port truck driver strike at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach grew Monday, as protest organizers targeted three more companies that they accuse of wage theft.

Drivers from QTS Inc., LACA Express and WinWin Logistics Inc. joined an ongoing strike Monday morning, said Barb Maynard, a spokeswoman for the Teamsters Union, which is backing the drivers.

She said she did not know how many drivers walked off the job. Read more >




11/12/2014

Westport Cuts Staff After Sales Decline
By Seth Clevenger

Westport Innovations Inc. is cutting its global staff by 9% and implementing executive pay cuts in an effort to reduce expenses after third-quarter sales dropped from a year ago.

The supplier of natural gas-vehicle technology trimmed its quarterly net loss to $25.5 million, or 40 cents per share, from a loss of $30.2 million, or 53 cents, in the same period last year, but quarterly revenue excluding joint ventures fell to $25.3 million from $46.5 million. Read more >




The Port of Los Angeles.11/12/2014

Newer Trucks Serving Port of L.A. Contribute to Overall Emissions Decline
by Trucking Info

Following the implementation of programs at the Port of Los Angeles to reduce emissions from trucks, ships, trains and other equipment, a new report shows the facility has made big strides is cutting back on air pollution.

The port’s newly released 2013 Inventory of Air Emissions shows the facility has set new records with diesel particulate matter down 80%, nitrogen oxides down 57% and sulfur oxides down 90% over the previous eight years. The findings also reflect significant progress in curbing greenhouse gases, down 23% since a regional plan was adopted in 2006. Read more >




11/12/2014

Pessimism about climate change does not justify inaction
by Gar Alperovitz

“Even if the United States deals with its carbon emission problem, the Chinese won’t. So what’s the point?”“You can’t condemn the entire global South to abandon energy development, and you can’t provide enough with solar and wind. So what’s the point?”“Besides, the whole enterprise of trying to achieve a future sufficiently carbon-free to deal with the most important problems is politically hopeless.” Read more >




11/11/2014

OOIDA lawsuit against Calif. emissions regs dismissed over technicality, OOIDA to appeal
James Jaillet

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s 2013 lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board over its stringent emissions regulations has been dismissed by a federal judge based on jurisdiction and the necessity for the U.S. EPA to be named a defendant, according to court documents.

OOIDA says it will appeal the court’s decision. Read more >




11/10/2014

Senate GOP steeling for battle against EPA
By Timothy Cama

Senate Republicans are gearing up for a war against the Obama administration’s environmental rules, identifying them as a top target when they take control in January.

The GOP sees the midterm elections as a mandate to roll back rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies, with Republicans citing regulatory costs they say cripple the economy and skepticism about the cause of climate change. Read more >




11/6/2014

DOT Must Grapple With Effects of Climate Change on Infrastructure, Report Says
By Jonathan S. Reiskin

Making transportation infrastructure more resilient to the symptoms of climate change is an increasingly significant aspect of planning at the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a new DOT report.

“Transportation is and will continue to be affected by climate change,” the department said Oct. 31 in “Climate Action Plan 2014, Ensuring Transportation Infrastructure and System Resilience.”. Read More >


Specific example of economic injury to the US economy due to West Coast labor dispute

By: AJOT

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition notes as the West Coast ports melt down, terminals closing, ships skipping port calls or re-routing, chassis unavailable, truckers limited by endless lines at gates and unreasonable Hours of Service restrictions, we see this is having very real, very immediate injury to the US economy and US agriculture, our most important export.

Here from a potato farmer in the Pacific Northwest, we hope that West Coast labor and management read this, understand the injury they are imposing on the US economy; we hope that the President pays attention and takes action, for the long term threat to US standing in the world is every bit as great as those forces we are fighting overseas. Read more >




 

Golden State congestion staining the G6 green
Source

The G6 carriers have been hit hardest by the port congestion at the San Pedro Bay ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with delays to vessel berthing compounded by a lack of truck drivers and available container chassis, Alphaliner has reported.

Hapag-Lloyd sent a recent customer advisory stating that congestion has reached “a critical point” while APL blamed the congestion for the increased costs which dragged down its Q3 results. Read more >




 

CARB offers multiple free classes on California emissions compliance
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

With a new year of emissions enforcement approaching, the California Air Resources Board is offering several free courses for anyone in the trucking industry who wants to learn more about complying with its regulations.

At least three of CARB’s classes will be available online by webinar.

For truck owners wanting to address multiple California emissions regulations at the same time CARB is tentatively scheduled to host one-stop events for its Course 530 “Diesel Truck” course. CARB is slated to hold the event on Dec. 10 in San Diego and on Dec. 16 in Los Angeles. Read more >




11/5/2014

California exports grow despite sluggish global economies
Source

One of the big engines of the California economy – exports of goods ranging from computers to almonds – is purring right along, despite increasingly adverse economic circumstances and geopolitical turmoil, according to a new analysis by Beacon Economics of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

California’s exporters posted strong growth numbers in September, according to a Beacon Economics' analysis of foreign trade data released by the U.S. Commerce Department. The state's merchandise export trade in September totaled $14.44 billion, up 4.6 percent from the $13.81 billion in exports recorded in September 2013. Read more >




11/4/2014

Air pollution continues to plunge at Los Angeles port; cleaner trucks, slower ships cited
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES — Harbor officials say efforts to reduce air pollution at the Port of Los Angeles are working.

Authorities on Monday say diesel particulate levels dropped 7 percent last year compared to 2012 — an 80 percent reduction since 2005. Nitrogen oxide levels also dipped 7 percent — a 57-percent reduction from 2005 — and sulfur oxides fell 8 percent — down 90 percent in eight years.

City News Service says harbor officials credit the use of cleaner-burning trucks at the port and speed restrictions on cargo ships to reduce smog from their engines.

11/3/2014

Four groups sue EPA, say clean-air plan for California is flawed
By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Four health and environmental groups asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday to reject a clean air plan submitted by the local anti-smog agency, claiming the plan allows polluters to escape strenuous regulations and leaves Angelenos breathing smoggy air.

The Sierra Club, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) petitioned the court to reject the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of the plan and mandate that local, state and federal environmental agencies start over. ...Read more >




10/31/2014

EPA must look at human health and the environment in updating ozone standards
By Melissa C. Lott

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency might be preparing to unveil a major air pollution rule change shortly after midterm elections. The new standards would reflect the latest science relating to the health and ecosystem impacts of ground-level ozone and could have significant impacts on infrastructure projects across the nation.

Ground-level ozone (a.k.a. tropospheric ozone or (O3) is not emitted directly into the air, but is formed via chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight. Majors sources of these ozone precursors include industrial facilities, power plants, motor vehicles, chemical solvents, and vapors from gasoline. ...Read more >




10/30/2014

Green Fleet Conference Panel Debunks Alt-Fuel Misconceptions
By Deborah Lockridge

Some myths and misconceptions about alternative fuels were debunked in a fun late-night talk show format Wednesday at the Green Fleet Conference in Schaumburg, Ill.

The conference, put on by Bobit Business Media publications including Heavy Duty Trucking and Green Fleet magazine, runs through Thursday and covers alternative fuels and fleet efficiency for fleets of vehicles from passenger cars through heavy-duty Class 8 trucks.

Six Fuel Ambassadors took the stage with host Richard Battersby, manager of Equipment Services for the City of Oakland, Calif., and coordinator of the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition. ...Read more >




10/28/2014

China Won't Breathe Easy Until Port Pollution Solved (Op-Ed)
Barbara Finamore, Natural Resources Defense Council

As President Barack Obama and Asia-Pacific leaders gather in Beijing for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, climate change and air pollution will undoubtedly be on the agenda. This summit provides an important opportunity for these leaders to address one of the most significant, and largely unregulated, sources of toxic air pollutants and black-carbon emissions in Asia: ports and shipping systems. ...Read more >




10/23/2014

Truckers contest requirement; business group filed lawsuit over diesel particulate filter
Susan Meeker/smeeker@tcnpress.com

Glenn Superior Court Judge Peter Twede has a lot of reading to do.

So much so that the Alliance of California Business will likely reschedule a hearing set for Nov. 7 relating to the nonprofit organization's lawsuit against the state over the California Air Resources Control Board's requirement that diesel-powered trucks and buses statewide be equipped with diesel particulate filters.

Dozens of truck owners and operators who haul goods throughout the state appeared in court Friday, after the alliance filed a motion for preliminary injunction in hopes to enjoin CARB's enforcement of this requirement under its Truck and Bus Regulation ...Read more >




10/22/2014

U.S. EPA Grants Waiver Allowing Enforcement of California's Tractor-Trailer GHG Regulation
CARB EMAILER: clchang@arb.ca.gov

The California Air Resources Board has issued Regulatory Advisory Mail-Out MSC# 14-17 to notify interested stakeholders that on
July 30, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) granted ARB a waiver pursuant to section 209(b) of the
federal Clean Air Act for California’s Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Regulation. This waiver authorizes ARB to enforce
specific provisions of the Tractor-Trailer GHG Regulation applicable to 2011 through 2013 model year Class 8 tractors
equipped with integrated sleeper berths and to 2011 and subsequent model year 53 foot and longer dry-van and
refrigerated-van trailers that are pulled by such tractors on California highways.

When the Tractor-Trailer GHG Regulation became effective on January 1, 2010, the requirements of the regulation were fully
enforceable for 2010 and older model year tractors and trailers; only the 2011 through 2013 model year tractors and 2011 and newer
53-foot box trailers required a waiver pursuant to section 209(b) of the federal Clean Air Act. With the issuance of the waiver
from U.S. EPA, those provisions are now also enforceable.

Background
The Tractor-Trailer GHG Regulation, adopted in December 2008, was developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving the
fuel efficiency of heavy-duty tractors that pull 53-foot or longer box-type trailers. The regulation requires
tractor-trailers operating in California to use tractors and box-type trailers that utilize certain aerodynamic equipment and
low rolling resistance tires, as verified by the U.S. EPA SmartWay program, to meet specified fuel efficiency improvements.

For further information about the regulation, advisories, training, outreach efforts, compliance tools, or the full text of
the Tractor-Trailer GHG Regulation:http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/mailouts/msc1417/msc1417.pdf

Or please visit
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/truckstop/truckstop.htm or
http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/hdghg/hdghg.htm, call 866 6DIESEL (866
634-3735), or email us at 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov.

shipping

10/12/2014

Emissions at Port of Long Beach drop despite increased shipping
OC Register

Despite an increase in shipping activity at the Port of Long Beach, emissions have dropped by 82 percent during the past eight years, according to a study released by port officials.

Since 2005, the Port of Long Beach has increased container cargo slightly by 0.3 percent, but in that same time diesel air pollution from ships, trains, trucks and other large machinery has declined by 82 percent, according to the Port of Long Beach, citing an air quality analysis. ...Read more >




10/9/2014

ARB fines MV Transportation, Inc. subsidiary Vallejo Citizens Transit $388,000
CARB emailer

$100,000 to go towards cleaning up school buses, protecting children's health and ensuring home-to-school transportation in up-to-date fleets

SACRAMENTO- The Air Resources Board has fined the Vallejo Citizens Transit Co., a subsidiary of Dallas, Texas-based MV Transportation, Inc., $387,750 for serious air quality violations that occurred when it was under contract for bus services to the City of Vallejo.

The Air Resources Board (ARB) began its investigation in 2010 when an informant alleged ongoing tampering of diesel particulate filters by the company. After conducting two inspections, ARB staff confirmed that the filters and back pressure sensors were tampered with on multiple diesel-powered buses owned by the City of Vallejo but serviced and operated under contract by Vallejo Citizens Transit Co. (VCTC). Investigators also discovered that VCTC's maintenance personnel were using a power washer to clean the filters. This practice damages the filters by causing the accumulated soot and ash to harden and plug the filters leading to cracking and premature failure.

"This private business served the public and must be held accountable for its violation of the public's trust," said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. "Unfortunately, Vallejo Citizens Transit Co. and its parent company, MV Transportation, Inc., had to learn the hard way that it never pays to circumvent the law.
Their blatant disregard for basic pollution prevention resulted in a significant penalty."

VCTC violations included failing to:

* Properly maintain diesel particulate filters;
* Regularly self-inspect its diesel vehicles as required by state
law;
* Comply with emission control label regulations, and
* Comply with urban bus emission reduction requirements.

During its initial efforts to settle the case, Air Resources Board staff met with VCTC representatives on several occasions but no agreement was reached, and the case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General for litigation in Solano County Superior Court. The case was settled through mediation on April 29, 2014.

Since the case began in 2010, the cities of Vallejo and Benicia merged their transit agencies, which are now doing business under a Joint Powers Authority as Sol-Trans. To bring its transit fleet back into compliance, the City of Vallejo purchased and installed new diesel particulate filters and also replaced some buses. The city ended its contract with VCTC in mid-2013 and the company has since dissolved, although MV Transportation, Inc., continues to operate subsidiaries in 29 states.

As outlined in the settlement agreement, VCTC paid $290,000 to ARB's Air Pollution Control Fund to support air quality research.
The company also paid $97,750 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District School Bus Supplemental Environmental Project. These funds will be used to retrofit older school buses with diesel particulate filters so that they are in compliance with the state's Truck and Bus Regulation.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

California is in a drought emergency.
Visit www.SaveOurh1O.org for water conservation tips.

10/8/2014

EPA announces grants for local groups
Jared Aarons

SAN DIEGO - The head of the Environmental Protection Agency was in San Diego Tuesday to talk about a couple of programs aimed at cleaning up pollution not just in the city, but the entire country.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said issues like fuel efficiency for semi-trucks and water pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border are important not just for today, but "for the future world we leave for our kids." ...Read more >




10/2/2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) — By at least one measure, Southern California's air is getting healthier.
By JUSTIN PRITCHARD, Associated Press

The risk of cancer from airborne pollutants has dropped by more than 50 percent on average since 2005, according to a study released Thursday by the region's air quality regulators.

Concerted efforts to reduce emissions from trucks and other vehicles account for much of the drop.

The findings may not surprise residents of the region long cited for poor air quality. Unlike previous decades, it's now uncommon for smog to brown out the mountains that crisscross the region. ...Read more >




9/29/2014

Another drought casualty: No chance to make key air standard
By Mark Grossi

California's freakishly dry 2013-14 winter dealt the San Joaquin Valley more than a crippling blow to the farm economy.

It set the stage for a lung-scarring siege of soot that squashed any hope of making a key federal air standard.

In December and January, the worst episode of stagnant air in 15 years settled over the region, especially in Bakersfield, says the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The air became a smothering blanket of soot and other microscopic debris. ...Read more >




9/26/2014

"One-Stop Diesel Truck Event" Today in Alameda
Oakland Tribune

ALAMEDA -- The state Air Resources Board will join other agencies for a truck and bus regulation information session and conference Friday at College of Alameda.

There will be regulatory trainings and truck inspection demonstrations at the "One-Stop Diesel Truck Event." Truckers will also get one-on-one assistance from ARB staff to learn about requirements for their specific vehicles and funding programs. There will also be vendors on site.

The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the student center at the college, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway, Alameda.

To sign up, call 916-322-3937.

9/23/2014

Gas prices fueling debate
BY JEFF HORSEMAN / STAFF WRITER

New Year’s Day could bring a hangover at the gas pumps, according to critics of a new phase of California’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Starting Jan. 1, emissions from gasoline-fueled vehicles will be subject to the state’s cap-and-trade program. That means fuel producers will have to account for greenhouse gases generated by gas-burning auto engines.

Oil companies warn that motorists could bear the cost of complying with the change. Some have estimated that gas prices could rise anywhere from nine to 76 cents a gallon. ...Read more >




9/16/2014

State fines two engine-parts retailers $1.6M for violating clean-air law
Mark Anderson

The California Air Resources Board has fined two aftermarket auto-parts manufacturers a total of $1.6 million for violating California clean air regulations.

On Wednesday, the board said it negotiated a $1 million settlement with H&S Performance LLC of St. George, Utah. On Thursday, the board announced a settlement of $599,000 with Autosales Inc. The agency did not say where the company is based. ...Read more >




9/11/2014

CARB offers free compliance classes in September, October
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

Truck owners have an opportunity to learn how to comply with several emissions regulations written and enforced by the California Air Resources Board this fall.

CARB recently announced the air quality agency is holding several free classes, including plans for one webinar.

To help educate the public on available emissions technology, CARB offers Course 511: “Controlling Diesel Emissions: Devices & Filters.” The course is offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7, in Imperial, CA. ...Read more >




9/8/2014

LA County Public Works fined $256K over air pollution violations
Molly Peterson

State air regulators fined L.A. County’s Department of Public Works $256,000 for violating air pollution rules.

The California Air Resources Board audited records for the county’s heavy-duty diesel fleet four years ago, and the fine levied now is the result of a settlement under which county public works paid over $192,000 to the state’s air pollution control fund. ...Read more >




9/5/2014

West Sacramento beer distributor fined for Air Resources Board violations
Mark Anderson, Sacramento Business Journal

Beverage distributor DBI Beverage Inc. was fined $116,400 for failing to monitor the emissions of its diesel truck fleet, the California Air Resources Board announced Wednesday.

DBI Beverage has locations in West Sacramento, Chico, Truckee, South San Francisco, Fairfield, Ukiah, San Jose and Stockton. ...Read more >




8/29/2014

tru -- Reminder - ARBs TRU Advisory 13-18 explains the use of replacement engines to comply with in-use performance standards
ARB Emailer >

If you are wondering how many years of compliance a replacement engine gives you, the California Air Resources Board (ARB)
reminds Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) owners that Advisory 13-18 explains the TRU Regulation’s requirements related to
repowering with new or rebuilt replacement engines to comply with the regulation’s in-use performance standards.

TRU Advisory 13-18 applies to TRU owners, who are responsible for compliance with the TRU Regulation’s in-use performance
standards. TRU original equipment manufacturers and engine rebuilders have requirements for providing supplemental labels
and registration information documents for the replacement engines they supply. TRU dealers and repair shops have
requirements related to registration information documents if they sell and/or install new or rebuilt replacement engines. TRU
Advisory 13-18 is available at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/documents/advisory_13_18.pdf

8/26/2014

Can our ports remain on produce's fast track?
BY DAVID HOOD / WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON – No one likes a mushy blueberry.

That’s why, when the tiny treats make the trip to America from Chile, they need to get to market as quickly as possible, and so far, the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach have been a good entry point.

But experts believe those blueberries – and a lot of other imports – could take a much longer trip if Southern California ports fail to keep their edge in the increasingly competitive world of trade and logistics. Accordingly, Rep. Janice Hahn of San Pedro recently introduced a bill aimed at funding significant upgrades that she says will help. ...Read more >




8/25/2014

California push to avert higher gas prices stalls
By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers from both parties are pushing to halt an increase in the price of gasoline and other fuels expected to hit consumers in January, but their efforts appear to be dead with just a week to go in the legislative session.

A pair of bills — one sponsored by Democrats, the other by Republicans — seek to delay or exempt gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas and other consumer fuels from California's 2006 greenhouse gas emissions law. ...Read more >




8/20/2014

Cargo moves to East Coast, crimping LA-Long Beach volumes
Journal of Commerce

Container volumes in Los Angeles-Long Beach were flat in July as uncertainty about the International Longshore and Warehouse Union contract negotiations resulted in cargo diversion to East Coast ports ...Read more >




8/19/2014

California Gets Nod to Require Aerodynamic Gear on Some Trailers
By Michele Fuetsch

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a waiver of the Clean Air Act preemption to enforce provisions of EPA’s heavy-duty tractor-trailer greenhouse gas regulations.

What this means to fleets is that some Class 8 tractors that pull 53-foot-long box-type trailers will now be required outfit those trailers with aerodynamic fairings and low-resistance tires in order to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions ...Read more >




8/13/2014

Senate Bill Contains Weight Exemption for Nat Gas Trucks
By Michele Fuetsch

A proposal has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to give a weight exemption to trucks powered by natural-gas engines, which have heavier fuel tanks than those that run on diesel.

The Natural Gas Long Haul Truck Competitiveness Act of 2014 was introduced in late July by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

Under a 1991 federal law, truck weight on interstates was limited to 80,000 pounds, although some states such as Nevada, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming that already had higher limits were allowed to keep them. ...Read more >




8/12/2014

California cleared to require use of aero devices on trailers
By James Jaillet

The California Air Resources Board has been granted permission by the federal government to enforce its requirement that trailers in the state be equipped with SmartWay-verified tires and other SmartyWay-verified equipment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week.

CARB asked the EPA in June 2013 for a waiver of preemption to the EPA’s Clean Air Act, which the EPA granted last week, effectively allowing CARB to enforce its rules — more four years after their effective date — requiring the use of certain tires and other devices that improve trailer aerodynamics and reduce fuel consumption ...Read more >




8/11/2014

tru -- Act soon! Order compliance technology for your 2007 transport refrigeration units, by August 31st
Reply-To: <rhill@arb.ca.gov>

Avoid penalties due to manufacturer delay: order new replacement engines, transport refrigeration units (TRU), and TRU generator
sets by August 31, 2014, to meet December 31, 2014, deadline for model year 2007 engines/units.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) recommends that transport refrigeration unit (TRU or reefer) and TRU generator
set owners take action to plan and order compliance options to ensure TRU model year 2007 engines (or units manufactured in
2007) comply with in-use performance standards by the end of 2014.

The TRU Regulation allows compliance extensions if delivery or installation is delayed; but, to qualify for these extensions,
the unit must be registered in ARB’s Equipment Registration (ARBER) system and purchase orders must be placed early enough to
take into account delivery, installation, holiday, and year-end lead times. The TRU Regulation has the following purchase order
deadlines:

• For engine repowers and unit replacements: By the end of August -- four months ahead of the compliance deadline; and

• For verified diesel particulate filter retrofits: By the end of October -- two months ahead of the compliance deadline.

For model year 2007 engines/units, owners must make a good-faith effort to comply by the end of 2014. If in-use compliance cannot
be achieved by December 31, 2014, due to delays in delivery or installation, owners may apply for a compliance extension. The
compliance extension application, with attached supporting documentation, must be received at ARB by December 31, 2014.

If your TRUs go noncompliant after December 31st, you won’t be listed on ARB’s 100 Percent-Compliant Carrier List. Brokers,
forwarders, shippers and receivers cannot hire noncompliant refrigerated carriers to haul perishable goods in California.
You must be able to show the hiring business entity that you have compliant TRUs. So, place your orders now to ensure you can show
compliance after December 31st or that you have at least ordered compliance equipment by the August 31st purchase order deadline
and qualify for an extension.

All model year 2006 and older engines (or units manufactured in 2006 or earlier) should be in compliance now. Please note that
trailer manufacture year and in-service dates are not used to determine compliance dates. Noncompliant model year 2006 and
older TRU/TRU genset engines/units must not be operated in California unless they are brought into compliance immediately.

Where can I get more information? Right here >

8/8/2014

Clearing the path for enforcement: EPA grants waiver for CARB's 'Smartway Rule'
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The California Air Resources Board won a regulatory victory this past week when the Environmental Protection Agency ruled in its favor – clearing the path for enforcement of an expensive trucking regulation.

In a decision the EPA posted to its website, EPA approved a waiver to allow enforcement of CARB’s Smartway Rule and its requirements for aerodynamic equipment for trucks and trailers driving in California.

In June 2013, California asked EPA for a waiver of the Clean Air Act to enforce specific parts of its Heavy-Duty Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas Regulation. California wanted to be able to require specific technology for trucks and trailers designed to increase fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions. ...Read more >




8/7/2014

Siemens to Bring eHighway Demonstration to California
Annie Seiple

Siemens has been selected by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to install an eHighway system in the proximity of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two largest ports in the U.S. Siemens eHighway is the electrification of select highway lanes via a catenary system which supplies trucks with electric power, similar to how modern day trolleys or streetcars are powered on many city streets, while still offering the same flexibility as diesel trucks. A two-way, one-mile mile catenary system will be installed by Siemens and the system will be demonstrated with different battery-electric and hybrid trucks. The expected result is lower fossil fuel consumption, substantially reduced smog-forming, toxic and CO2 emissions, and lower operating costs. Siemens and the Volvo Group, via its subsidiary Mack Trucks brand, are developing a demonstration vehicle for the project. Siemens also is supplying current collectors, the technology that allows trucks to connect and disconnect from the catenary system at any speed, to local California truck integrators whose vehicles will also be part of the demonstration. ...Read more >




8/7/2014

As labor talks resume, will longshoremen join drivers in port strike?
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

A port driver strike at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – the nation’s largest combined port on the Left Coast – would be bolstered if longshoremen joined the fight.

Drayage drivers, supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, have had picket lines at specific companies multiple times in the last two years, including headline-making protests last month.

About 120 truck drivers walked off the job July 7 to protest the classification of drivers as independent contractors. The drivers work for Green Fleet, Total Transportation Services Inc., and Pacific 9 Transportation – three motor carriers who move major freight quantities for Walmart, Target and other retail giants. The strike was the fourth such work stoppage in the past year, and reflected building tension between the drivers and the trucking companies. ...Read more >




8/7/2014

Big oil launches Twitter attack on ARB regarding Cap and Trade program
Frank Maccioli

Big oil has taken to social media to challenge California authorities to explain recent statements related to climate change regulations. In a series of several "tweets" on social media site Twitter yesterday and today, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) accused staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) of misleading the public about how transportation fuels, consumers, and businesses will be affected by the state's Cap and Trade program. ...Read more >




8/5/2014

California lawmakers sound alarm on increased fuel costs
By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

California state lawmakers returned to the state Capitol on Monday to continue discussion on issues that include a delay to putting fuels under the state’s cap-and-trade program.

The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.

Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. It is estimated the program could result in at least a 15-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase. ...Read more >




8/1/2014

Steyer takes on oil interests in 'donnybrook' over motor fuels in cap and trade
Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer is challenging oil industry-led efforts to keep motor fuels out of California's program to cut carbon emissions, ratcheting up an already heated battle.

Steyer accused oil companies yesterday of trying "to avoid paying their fair share" as they push to stop expansion of the cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas pollution. Come January, it's slated to wrap in the transportation sector, forcing 14 refineries to start buying permits for emissions tied to in-state gasoline and diesel sales. ...Read more >




7/31/2014

California Supreme Court Ruling Means Truck Drivers Are Entitled to Meal Breaks
Digital Journal

On July 28, 2014, a ruling from the California Supreme Court opened the door for truck drivers working in California to make a claim for missed meal breaks under California law. The class action lawsuit alleged that the employer misclassified their truck drivers as independent contractors and among other things did not provide proper meal periods to the truck drivers.. ...Read more >




7/28/2014

Cap-and-trade delay bill a tough sell to governor
Allen Young: Staff Writer- Sacramento Business Journal

A late-in-the-game bill pushed moderate Democrats to delay placing vehicle fuels into the state's controversial cap-and-trade requirements may be a populist measure to mitigate rising gas prices, but likely will be a tough sell to the governor.

Beginning Jan. 1, California’s emission control law known as cap-and-trade will include transportation fuel, a policy that may raise gas prices by 12 cents or more. Assembly Bill 69 would postpone bringing vehicle fuels under cap-and-trade until 2018. ...Read more >




7/28/2014

CARB expands Moyer program to make more trucks grant-eligible
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The California Air Resources Board has expanded grant funding opportunities for small trucking businesses.

Eligible trucking companies, however, are still required to spend a majority of their operating time in California’s borders.

During CARB’s monthly board meeting Thursday, board members unanimously approved amendments to the agency’s Carl Moyer Program, which distributes tens of millions of dollars in grants annually.

The program now funds $69 million, with local state air quality management districts matching an additional $12 million ...Read more >




7/25/2014

High-speed rail Pacheco Pass route upheld by appeals court
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a proposed route for California's high-speed rail line connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley.

The decision is a short-term win for Gov. Jerry Brown, who has prioritized the $68-billion project that has become bogged down by legal and regulatory challenges.

The Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento heard an appeal from San Francisco Bay Area cities arguing that a planned path through Pacheco Pass hurts the environment.

The state argued the project was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act because it is overseen by the federal Surface Transportation Board....Read more >




7/23/2014

Truckers urge cap-and-trade delay
Bud Wallace, Planada

California truckers have been doing our part by spending nearly a billion dollars a year on cleaner equipment and cutting pollutants by over 90 percent. While we are continuing to pay to stay in compliance with many expensive California regulations, the California Air Resources Board is planning on enacting another rule starting in January. The policy also referred to as fuels under the cap-and-trade program will increase gas prices by at least 12 to 15 cents a gallon and more in future years. With gasoline being one of the top expenses in the trucking industry, the regulation will inflict unpredictable damage on the goods and services that we provide for our communities.

Last month, Assemblyman Adam Gray chose to stand with 15 Assembly Democrats in writing and submitting a letter to the California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols urging the delay of fuels under the cap program. The letter discussed negative impacts the regulation will have on Californians – specifically in the Central Valley. As a concerned trucker who operates my own business, I applaud Gray and encourage all Californians to join Assembly Democrats in urging for the delay of fuels under the cap....Read more >




7/23/2014

Why Trucking Signals Promise For U.S. Production
Steve Blitz

In sum, data suggests the economy is settling into its glide path of 2%-2.5% real growth with the production side of the economy contributing more to growth than consumers. This is a better mix than not. If the US economy is going to finally break out to a higher growth path it will come from better corporate spending to produce more here to supply domestic demand. Current levels of production versus capacity utilization are suggestive of expanding facilities – or producing more elsewhere in the world. Policies have worked to shift the terms of trade to help engender a domestic response. Looking to Treasury market real long-term yields as a cue, the expected real return on capital investment isn’t priced near high enough, or even trending in the right direction, to signal an impending boom in capex ...Read more >




7/17/2014

Report warns of diesel fumes' risks
ALAN BAVLEY

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Leticia DeCaigny straps a portable air-sampling device to the side of a neighbor's deck. For two days, the small gray box with what looks like a chimney on top will gather evidence of pollution from diesel engines.

"It's like a human lung," sucking in air as a person would breathe, DeCaigny says as she pushes some buttons that set the device whirring ...Read more >




7/17/2014

CA Air Resources Board – No Legislative Oversight, No Rules, and Nothing to Stop It
By Katy Grimes

The California Air Resources Board is a state agency completely out of control. With no oversight by the Legislature, as the California Constitution calls for, Mary Nichols, ARB Chairman, is setting policy on behalf of this regulatory body, for the entire state ...Read more >




7/17/2014

Editorial: A clunker of a program
By ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Only 21 people went for state’s cash-for-vehicle deal in first year.
California is well-known for imposing environmental regulations and programs that have questionable benefits, environmental or otherwise. The cap-and-trade program and high-speed rail project come to mind. We can add to this list the state’s “cash-for-clunkers” program ...Read more >




7/16/2014

L.A. Port Traffic Rising
By Andrew Edwards

Traffic at the Port of Los Angeles increased by nearly 14 percent on a year-over-year basis in June as shippers moved up their cargo due to the possibility of a work stoppage at the nation’s busiest seaport.

The port handled about 736,000 containers in June, the greatest amount since September 2012. The volume of June’s imports rose nearly 17 percent above the same month last year, while exports increased by about 9 percent. ...Read more >




7/11/2014

Port truck drivers at meeting defend companies
By Karen Robes Meeks, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

On the fourth day of picketing by union-supported port truck drivers at marine terminals and truck yards, a group of drivers who work as independent contractors Thursday defended two of the three trucking companies under attack.

Truck drivers from Green Fleet Systems and Pacific 9 Transportation Inc. gathered at The Grand Long Beach to speak out against what they say is intimidation by the Teamsters, their desire to stay independent and their frustration over the harassment of their customers.

“We will lose our jobs,” said one driver. “We depend on our customers. ...Read more >




7/10/2014

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach halted as longshore workers temporarily strike
By Karen Robes Meeks, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

WILMINGTON >> The flow of goods through the nation’s two busiest seaports was halted for up to two hours Tuesday when dozens of longshore workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach temporarily walked off the job to honor a strike brought on by port truck drivers.

Three of the ports’ 14 terminals were shut down, creating a backup in the unloading of cargo and of trucks waiting to get into the ports. ...Read more >




7/3/2014

CARB Approves Additional $116 Million For Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
By http://insideevs.com/carb-approves-additional-116-million-clean-vehicle-rebate-project/

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has just approved an action that will see the states’ Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
receive an additional $116 million in funding:
details
...Read More >


Climate Summit7/1/2014

California low-carbon rule survives big legal challenge
By Dale Kasler

California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, one of the centerpieces of the state’s fight against global warming, survived a significant legal challenge Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit brought by oil-industry and out-of-state farm groups.

The court let stand a 2013 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the state’s low-carbon fuel standard. But opponents of the law said there will be more litigation against the standard under different legal theories. “I don’t think this closes the door,” said Anthony Francois of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative Sacramento group that filed court briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Read more >





carb

6/30/2014

CARB Approves $85 Million for Clean Truck Technology Projects
Transportation Topics

The California Air Resources Board said it has approved $85 million for advanced-technology, heavy-duty truck projects to help improve the state’s air quality.

CARB said it plans on spending $10 million to $15 million to purchase heavy-duty hybrid and electric vehicles, such as delivery trucks, and about $25 million for large-scale pilot projects to demonstrate zero-emission technology in the freight sector. Read more >




6/25/2014

Lawmakers urge change to carbon emissions plan
Marc Lifsher

As California gas prices climb, a group of moderate and pro-business Democratic lawmakers is voicing concerns about the cost to drivers of state regulations to curb carbon emissions set to take effect next year.

As part of a landmark law passed in 2006, motor vehicle fuel will be subject to new price pressures starting in January, and the change could add at least an estimated 15 cents to the average price of regular unleaded gasoline.

Both industry and environmental groups generally agree on the estimated cost. Read more >




6/24/2014

Longshoremen Contract Threatens U.S. West Coast Port Trade
By Mark Niquette

Business groups are urging longshoremen and their employers to avoid a dispute that could cripple ports along the West Coast and affect billions of dollars in commerce.

A six-year pact between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents about 20,000 dock workers at 29 West Coast ports, expires June 30, both sides said in a joint June 4 release. Negotiations began in May. The ports account for about half of all U.S. maritime trade and more than 70 percent of imports from Asia, according to the association.

A failure to agree and a resulting halt to shipments will have “serious economy-wide impacts,” a coalition of organizations representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, and other groups wrote in a May 9 letter to union President Robert McEllrath and association President James McKenna. Read More >

6/19/2014

Port of Los Angeles gets its largest ship ever
By Kevin Sablan, The Orange County Register

The biggest ship to ever come to the Port of Los Angeles arrived Wednesday.

Big ships carrying 10,000 to 11,000 containers have come in the past, but never the size of the 13,000-container ship, the Cosco Development, which is berthed at APM Terminals/Pier 400.

The 13,000 containers held by the 3-year-old ship are 20-foot equivalent units, a standardized maritime industry measurement used when counting cargo containers of varying lengths. Read more >




6/9/2014

Truckers, Business Leaders Rally Against ‘Hidden’ Gas Tax
By CBS News

CARSON (CBSLA.com) — Southland truck drivers and local business leaders Thursday staged a protest over what they say is a hidden gas tax under California’s “cap and trade” program.

Supporters of the “Tank the Tax” effort warn that consumers and small businesses could see an increase of 12 cents or more at the pump beginning in 2015, when the California Air Resources Board is set to move fuels under the cap-and-trade to be traded on the new California-specific carbon market.

KNX 1070′s Ron Kilgore reports opponents under the program, companies must buy emissions “allowances” to continue to sell gasoline at the pump – and push prices higher in the process... Read more >




6/4/2014

California is two steps ahead on climate rules proposed by EPA
By Evan Halper

When California launched its landmark global warming law in the final years of the George W. Bush administration, it was a risky act of defiance from a state frustrated by federal inaction on climate change.

Now, the federal government is trying to catch up — and that could position the state to cash in on its energy policy gamble.

California's laws are stricter than the Environmental Protection Agency rule, formally proposed Monday. The EPA would require the nation's power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30% by 2030 from 2005 levels.

If the rule is finalized in its current form next year, California can easily adhere to it. In addition, other states are likely to clamor for California's help.
Read More.

6/2/2014

Air Resources Board fines JR Custom Harvesting Company et al $141,000
By CARB

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board has fined JR Custom Harvesting Company Inc., and its associates New Venture Trucking LLC, and Zion Harvest Company Inc., a total of $140,925 for a variety of air quality violations relating to the company’s diesel vehicle fleet.

An investigation by the ARB showed that the Salinas-based company failed to:

  • Properly self-inspect its diesel trucks to insure they met state smoke emission standards;
  • Meet the requirements of the Truck and Bus Regulation’s Engine Model Year Compliance schedule, and
  • Register its Transport Refrigeration Units in ARB’s TRU tracking system.

In addition, the company was cited for having non-compliant TRUs and for failing to properly label them as required. Read More.

5/29/2014

Independent Truckers Do Just Fine


By SHAWN YADON and ALEX CHERIN

LAST month, a small group of drivers, organized and backed by a special interest public relations campaign, created a minor work disruption at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. That same day, the overwhelming majority of port drivers reported for work. This was no “crisis,” but rather was the latest in a long line of attacks on the right of independent truckers to operate in California’s ports. Read More.

5/27/2014

CARB to hold free informational meeting for Truck and Bus Reg compliance


By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

Truck drivers around southern California have an opportunity next week to get personalized help in complying with the state’s Truck and Bus Regulation.

The California Air Resources Board will hold two informational sessions on Thursday, May 29 at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. The first session is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The second session is scheduled to run from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

Predicted to cost the industry more than $1 billion, the Truck and Bus Regulation requires most trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds to be upgraded either with diesel particulate filters or by upgrading to cleaner and newer engines between 2012 and 2023.

In an announcement posted to CARB’s website, the air quality agency said the meeting will include discussion about the regulation’s overview, good faith efforts to comply, funding opportunities, enforcement, approved and pending regulatory changes and a question and answer session. Attendees also will have an opportunity to obtain personalized fleet assessments.

The meeting has limited seating and reservations are required. To reserve your spot, contact Michael Donnelly at 916-445-7599 or by email here.

For more information, click here.

The Double Tree Hotel in Ontario is located at 222 N. Vineyard Avenue.

 

5/27/2014

Study Finds Regulations Could Be Improving Sacramento’s Terrible Air Quality Rating


By CBS News

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The American Lung Association ranks Sacramento as having the fifth-worst air quality in the nation, but new testing reveals that ranking may soon begin to fall, meaning possible big savings for the state.

From the outside, the Toyota Rav4 doesn’t look like much, but inside is $300,000 worth of pollution testing equipment.

“All that instrumentation, what it does, it sucks air in from the outside as the car is driving along and it analyzed that air, and tells us what’s in the air,” said Michael Benjamin with the California Air Resources Board. ... Read more >




5/22/2014

California Company Installs Electric Drive in Heavy-Duty Drayage Trucks
Deborah Lockridge


TransPower aims to move electric drives beyond light- and medium-duty

California-based TransPower has installed its ElecTruck battery-electric drive system into the second of eight trucks of this design that it plans to convert this year and place into drayage service near the L.A./Long Beach ports.

The truck uses a next-generation electric drive system designed to meet the demands of drayage trucks. New features of this drive system include a dual-motor propulsion unit designed to provide up to 300 kilowatts (400 horsepower) of peak power, a 5-speed automated manual transmission, a unique power conversion and accessory assembly that replaces the truck engine, and a modular 270 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery subsystem using proprietary TransPower battery management software. ... Read more >




5/20/2014

California at 'epicenter' of climate change
By JULIET WILLIAMS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is at the "epicenter" of global warming and other climate change, with the state experiencing longer fire seasons, rising sea levels and droughts that threaten agriculture, Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday.

The governor made his remarks during a conference about climate change, as California was mopping up from a string of wildfires in San Diego County that caused more than $20 million in damage. ... Read more >




5/15/2014

Ford to pay $2.96 million in CARB fines
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

Ford Motor Co. is the latest large vehicle maker to get slammed with a multimillion-dollar fine by the California Air Resources Board.

In an interesting twist, however, part of Ford’s fine money will go to help fund diesel upgrades for companies needing compliance help to meet California’s Truck and Bus Regulation.

According to a CARB news release, CARB investigators found on-board diagnostic systems on some Ford vehicles sold in California weren’t working properly, which could lead to increased emissions in the sometimes smog-choked state.

Ford has agreed to pay $2.96 million in fines for the violations – including $740,000 that will go to help small-business owners finance retrofits or upgrades necessary to meet CARB’s Truck and Bus Rule. ... Read more >




5/15/2014

san deigoCalifornia greenhouse gas emissions inch up 2 percent
By Rory Carroll, Reuters

(Reuters) - California’s greenhouse gas emissions rose about 2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year as more natural gas was burned to compensate for the closure of a nuclear plant and a drop in hydro-electricity due to a drought, the state’s air regulator said on Wednesday.

Higher utility sector emissions were offset somewhat by a modest decline in output from the transportation sector, which remains the state’s largest single source of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. ... Read more >




5/8/2014

CARB 2013 Heavy-Duty Diesel Fines Totaled Nearly $2.2 Million
http://www.truckinginfo.com

The California Air Resources Board announced it settled 256 cases last year involving air quality violations by heavy-duty diesel truck and bus fleets that failed to comply with its various air quality programs with fines totaling nearly $2.2 million.

Violations included failure to comply with the statewide truck and bus program, verification/certification procedures for diesel particulate filters, properly self-inspect diesel fleets to assure trucks met state smoke emission standards, dispatching noncompliant trucks on California highways along with other infractions. ... Read more >




 

5/8/2014

Funding boost for long haulers? CARB presents expanded Moyer funding
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer


 

 

For 15 years, most long-haul trucking operations haven’t qualified for grant money to pay for diesel emissions upgrades through the California Air Resources Board.

Times may be changing.

According to a proposal by California Air Resources Board staff, CARB is considering lowering the required operating time in California for trucking companies from 75 percent to 51 percent. While trucks based on the other side of the country may not qualify, the move could make California and other West Coast-based trucks eligible.

CARB’s Carl Moyer Program has been in existence since 1998, and provides partial financing to help various diesel owners pay for vehicle upgrades and replacements.

The program now funds $69 million, with local state air quality management districts matching an additional $12 million. ... Read more >




5/7/2014

Diesel truck and bus fleets fined for California air quality violations
http://bit.ly/1hvBwF7


 

Settlement of 256 cases generates $417,167 for community colleges

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board announced that in calendar year 2013, it settled 256 cases involving air quality violations by heavy duty diesel truck and bus fleets that failed to comply with ARB’s various diesel risk reduction programs.

The amount collected will be distributed to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and to the Peralta Colleges Foundation.

The fund will receive $1,703,084 for research projects to improve California’s air quality, with the remaining $417,167 going to the college district to fund diesel emission education classes and diesel technology certificate and degree programs, conducted by participating California community colleges around the state, and $57,562 to fund school bus diesel particulate filter installations.

“ARB’s diesel risk reduction program is designed to limit the amount of harmful pollution from diesel engines,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. “Companies who fail to comply with the regulations are contributing to that pollution, and that is when ARB must take action.”

The fines totaled $2,177,813. Violations included failure to comply with the statewide Truck and Bus program and verification/certification procedures for diesel particulate filters, failure to properly self-inspect diesel fleets to assure trucks met state smoke emission standards, and dispatching
noncompliant trucks on California highways, along with other infractions. The companies paying the highest amounts were:

• Thermo King Corporation - $213,200
• California Gas Transport - $136,125
• GC Harvesting - $120,000
• KS Industries, Inc. - $230,250
• Roly’s Trucking - $58,000
• White Arrow- $50,700
• THX Transport - $50,000

The companies involved in other settlements were:

• Altos Brothers Trucking
• Amador Transit
• A.M. Ortega Construction, Inc.
• Apple Valley Unified School District
• Arctic Glacier Ice, Inc.
• Bear Valley Electric Service
• Berryessa Garbage Service
• California American Water
• Capital Drum, Inc.
• Cardenas Markets, Inc.
• CR&R Waste & Recycling
• Daly Movers, Inc.
• Dash Transport, Inc.
• Dolphin Express/ Dolphin Transport
• ESTES West
• File Keepers, LLC
• F.N.F Rolloff Services
• Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport
• Jerry Melton & Sons Construction Inc.
• JLV Transport LLC, Lakeport Disposal Company, Inc.
• Mike Tamana freight Lines, LLC
• Mountainside Disposal, Inc.
• MVP Trucking, Inc.
• Old Durham Wood Co.
• Oltmans Construction
• Pacific Green Trucking
• Pemer Packing Company
• R &F Disposal
• Redwood Debris Box
• Reeve Trucking
• Rodolfe Nunez DBA Nunez Transport
• Selma Disposal &Recycling, Inc.
• Smartway Express
• Sterling Express Services
• Transloading Express, Inc.
• Victor Nunez DBA Nunez Transport
• Vigold Transport Systems, Inc.
• Water Reclamation Equipment, Inc.
• Williams Tank Lines

The remaining 209 cases were individually settled below $10,000 for a total of $449,838 in penalties.

In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems.

For more information about ARB’s diesel risk reduction programs, visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/dieselrrp.htm

5/6/2014

'Clean Trucks Bill' Approved in Colorado
http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/news/story/2014/05/clean-trucks-bill-approved-in-colorado.aspx


 

A “Clean Trucks Bill” has received final approval from Colorado lawmakers and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The Colorado Motor Carriers Association praised the bill.

“This legislation provides excellent incentives in the way of tax credits and a sales tax exemption for trucks over 10,001 pounds that are compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, electric, hydrogen and hydraulic hybrid trucks,” said Gregory Fulton, CMCA president. “In addition the bill reduces our form of a property tax (known as specific ownership tax) so the tax is more comparable to a conventional diesel vehicle.”
... Read more >




5/5/2014

Costly upgrades still loom for local truckers
SHEA JOHNSON, Daily Press


 

APPLE VALLEY - Even as California air quality officials ease diesel engine regulations intended to meet state emission standards, local trucker Michael Velez says he’s still in the same place as five months ago.

Velez, 51, is a self-employed contract driver with Sully-Miller Contracting Co. Late last year, he was prepared to lose his job while the California Air Resources Board pushed for most heavier trucks to be retrofitted by Jan. 1, 2014 with costly diesel particulate filters.

Under obligation to clean the air by the state, officials hope the required upgrades will curb large amounts of smog-forming oxides of nitrogen (also known as NOx) and toxic soot emitted by diesel trucks and buses ... Read more >




5/1/2014

CARB largely unmoved by fleet concerns over compliance changes
Avery Vise

Some carriers argued that CARB compliance relief puts compliant carriers at a competitive disadvantage

 

Despite a chorus of opposition from fleet owners who had already complied with California emissions rules for trucks and buses, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved with little change a package of proposed changes to give small fleets and certain other fleet operations more time to comply with its Truck and Bus Rule.

CARB’s April 25th approval followed a lengthy hearing on April 24th in which many truck owners complained bitterly that it was unfair for CARB to ease compliance rules when they had spent the money to comply ... Read more >




4/29/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ARB adopts changes to California’s Truck and Bus Regulation
CARB

 

Provides limited additional time for small fleets while still protecting air quality

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board today adopted amendments to its Truck and Bus Regulation that will provide new flexible compliance options to owners of aging diesel fleets and recognize fleet owners that have made investments to comply, while also protecting air quality.

The changes approved at today’s Board hearing provide additional regulatory flexibility to small fleets, lower use vehicles, and fleets in rural areas that have made substantial progress towards cleaner air. Fleets that have invested in cleaner, compliant equipment and trucks will be able to use credits longer and any vehicles retrofit by 2014 do not have to be replaced until 2023.

“We recognize the enormous investments that many businesses have already made to clean up their equipment and abide by the terms of the regulation,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols, “but we are also aware that, particularly for many rural areas of the state, economic recovery has been painfully slow and funding for improvements scarce."

“By providing limited additional time for certain fleets to comply, we believe that we’ll have higher compliance rates overall. It’s a difficult balance but we believe that this is a fair approach that offers flexibility to those who need it, while also rewarding those business owners who have already upgraded their vehicles to meet the requirements of the regulation.”

Nichols also said that the amendments, while potentially delaying compliance for some, will still protect air quality, preserving 93% of the NOx (oxides of nitrogen) and diesel particulate matter (PM) benefits of the original regulation.

The amendments include:

• A longer phase-in period for diesel PM requirements for trucks that operate exclusively in certain rural areas with cleaner air;

• Additional time and incentive funding opportunities for small fleets;

• A new compliance option for owners who cannot currently afford compliance;

• Expansion of the low-use exemption and the construction truck extension;

• Recognition of fleet owners who have already complied by providing additional “useable life” for retrofit trucks and reducing near-term compliance requirements. The amendments will still ensure that, by 2020, nearly every truck in California will have a PM filter, consistent with the goals of the Diesel Risk Reduction Plan.

For more information, please see: • April 2014 Proposed Truck and Bus Amendments ... Read more >




4/18/2014

Our View: Air Resources Board should consider easing up a bit
Source

 

Here's hoping the state's Air Resources Board eases up a little on regulations that phase out older diesel engines.

It's important that we continue to work to improve our air quality; but it's also important that we don't put our economic cornerstone — agriculture — at risk.The board approved regulations in December 2008 to reduce particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen emission from diesel-powered vehicles in use throughout the state.

The goal is to protect people's health. Laudable. ... Read more >




4/15/2014

Southland air regulators seek to hold ports to pollution targets
By Tony Barboza

 

Air quality regulators, embarking on a bold new strategy to reduce smog in Southern California, want to hold the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach responsible for their pledges to cut pollution from thousands of trucks, ships and trains carrying goods to and from the nation's largest port complex.

If a rule proposed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District is adopted, it could open the door to similar regulations on other facilities that are magnets for truck and rail traffic, such as warehouses, distribution centers and rail yards ... Read more >




4/15/2014

onrdiesel -- CARB Truck and Bus Regulation Information Session Bay Area, APRIL 17
By CARB

 

The California Air Resources Board is offering a free information session in the California Bay Area for diesel truck owners, operators, fleet managers, motor carriers, and brokers in the process of complying with the Truck and Bus Regulation.

When:
Thursday April 17,2014 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Where:
College of Alameda
Building F, Student Center
555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway (Atlantic Ave)
Alameda, CA 94501

Discussion topics:
• Good Faith Efforts to Comply
• Potential Regulatory Changes
• Participating in the Regulatory Process
• Funding Opportunities
• Enforcement Q&A and
• Personalized Fleet Assessments

Limited Seating, Reservations Required. Contact: Michael Donnelly (916) 445-7599 mdonnell@arb.ca.gov

For more information:
https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/training/DisplayCourse.php?SectionNumber=7598

4/14/2014

The diesel decision: ARB ponders whether to allow current engines more time before tougher emissions standards set in
By David Bitton

 

Area trucking companies and farmers may soon be given more flexibility with regulations aimed at reducing engine emissions on their diesel trucks and buses.

The Air Resources Board is accepting comment through April 21 ahead of an April 24 board meeting, when it could decide to allow diesel truck and bus owners to be able to drive additional miles each year.

The regulation allows AG-registered diesel trucks and buses to be driven 10,000 miles per year until 2023, at which time they would need to have a 2010 model year engine or newer. ... Read more >




4/10/2014

UN panel shows who's responsible for CO2 emissions
By KARL RITTER

 

BERLIN — The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change is preparing a new report this weekend outlining the cuts in greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, required in coming decades to keep global warming in check.

Since it's a scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won't tell governments how to divide those emissions cuts — a crunch issue in negotiations on a new climate pact that's supposed to be adopted next year. ... Read more >




4/10/2014

LosAngelesPortPhotoTimRueBloombergHow Green Is Your Port?
by Andrea Vittorio

 

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to develop a new program to recognize ports for their sustainability efforts, which could ultimately influence multinational corporations' shipping decisions.

The program could be similar to the agency's SmartWay Transport Partnership, which encourages trucking companies, rail carriers and others to move goods in a clean and efficient way. Companies that commit to reduce transportation-related emissions can use the SmartWay logo.

The EPA wants to provide the same recognition for ports, Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, said. The nonprofit forum serves on a committee formed to help with the EPA's ports initiative.

“Ports are very competitive,” Schaeffer told Bloomberg BNA April 8. For example, if a port on the East Coast is designated as a sustainable port, “that could have value for people making their shipping decisions,” he said.
... Read more >




4/1/2014

IdleAir finding profitability with fleet locations, better truck stop site selection
By Kevin Jones

 

IdleAir, the long-struggling provider of truck stop electrification services, has turned the corner on operational profitability, company executives explained during a press briefing at last week’s Mid-America Trucking Show.IdleAirGATSlo

The key has been partnering with carriers to develop on-site, dedicated fleet facilities, as well as more selective expansion at truck stops and closing unprofitable legacy locations, says CEO Ethan Garber. ... Read more >




3/28/2014

California Climate Policies Continue To Survive Legal Challenges
By Carolyn Whetzel

 

—Lawsuits challenging California's climate policies have yet to delay implementation of the programs, attorneys involved in the various cases said March 26.

“The California Air Resources Board is batting about 1,000,’’ Tom McHenry, a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher in Los Angeles, said during a presentation on the status of legal actions the state still faces eight years after enacting the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32).

McHenry represents the Climate Action Reserve, one of several groups intervening in the litigation on behalf of the state.

CARB has prevailed, so far, on the substantive challenges to A.B. 32, the state's greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program, and the low-carbon fuel standard, largely because the broad language in the statutes and the courts' deference to the agency in implementing the programs, attorneys said at a workshop held in advance of the opening of the Climate Action Reserve's Navigating the American Carbon World conference in San Francisco. ... Read more >




3/24/2014

CARB rulesIndustry Listens as CARB Reacts:
Statewide Truck and Bus Rule Amendments Become Inevitable Reality
By Matt Schrap

 

It is no secret that thousands of operators in the industry are struggling to survive the harsh regulatory environment that exists here in the Golden State. Until recently, many were speeding headlong into a regulatory brick wall; despite lawsuits, threats of more lawsuits and even outright boycotts, there was little relief and even less sympathy for those in this particularly precarious position.

Fleets of all shapes and sizes are finding themselves in this conundrum. They are spread throughout the state and throughout many different vocations and specialties; these are 3rd and 4th generation companies, mom and pop shops, single truck operators, two man fleets, corporations, partnerships and LLC’s. Every configuration under the trucking business umbrella has found themselves behind the 8 ball at one point or another over the last 4 years. Suffice it to say, it has not been easy. ... Read more >




3/24/2014

Trucking of Sacramento River salmon starts Monday
By Matt Weiser

 

More than 12 million juvenile hatchery salmon will get a truck trip downstream starting Monday to help them circumvent the harmful effects of drought on the Sacramento River.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the plan Friday, as a way of bolstering survival rates for the fish. The Sacramento River, compromised by California’s persistent drought, is too low to provide adequate food and protection from predators, potentially jeopardizing a crop of fish that supports the state’s commercial and recreational salmon fishing industries. ... Read more >




3/20/2014

Group Suggests New Rules for Further Cuts in Carbon Pollution
By CORAL DAVENPORT, NYT

 

WASHINGTON — An influential environmental group on Thursday released a new analysis suggesting major climate change regulations that could lead to even steeper cuts in carbon pollution than those being considered by the Obama administration.

The group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has had a strong voice in efforts to shape President Obama’s climate change agenda, sent the Environmental Protection Agency a proposal that it contends will lead to cuts of 470 million to 700 million tons of carbon pollution per year in 2020, the equivalent of emissions from 95 million to 130 million automobiles. The numbers are an update of a model regulation that the group sent to the E.P.A. in 2012, which the group contended would cut carbon pollution by 270 million tons annually. ... Read more >




3/19/2014

Reduce air pollution for region’s health, economy: Guest commentary
By Ricardo Lara and Fran Pavley

 

Clean air is a right, not a privilege. A child’s health should not be determined by where they live or how much their parents make. But one-third of Californians still breathe levels of soot and smog that violate U.S. health standards, and cause asthma, cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

These pollutants are also powerful short-term climate change forcers. This is a problem we cannot tolerate. But this problem is solvable with a clear long-term vision for climate policy that protects families and stimulates business innovation. ... Read more >




3/14/2014

Proposition 1B: Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program - 2013 Truck Solicitations
For 1st Solicitation “Good Faith Effort” Large Fleets that Have Applied for Funding
and Still Need to Pass a Compliance Check
By CARB

 

ARB is providing additional time, until April 2, 2014, forlarge fleets to demonstrate compliance without “Good Faith Efforts”. This additional time is only available to those large fleets that applied for Proposition 1B funding in the first solicitation (August 26 to October 10, 2013) and are claiming “Good Faith Effort” but still need to pass their compliance check.

ARB recognizes that large fleets may not have understood how the “Good Faith Effort” could impact their ability to receive Proposition 1B funding, so ARB is extending the time allowed for these fleets to finish taking the action needed to demonstrate compliance with ARB’s Truck & Bus Regulation. ... Read more >





3/14/2014

TRU (reefer) owners: Its time to begin planning model year 2007 reefer engine compliance
By rhill@arb.ca.gov

 

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) recommends that refrigerated carriers that own transport refrigeration units (TRU
or reefer) that must comply with the TRU Regulation’s in-use performance standards by the end of 2014 need to begin planning
compliance strategies and budgets now.

Model year (MY) 2007 TRU engines must comply with the TRU Regulation’s in-use standards by December 31, 2014.  Purchase
orders for compliance equipment (e.g. trailers, units, or engines) or technology (e.g. diesel particulate filters) must be placed before the TRU Regulation’s purchase order deadlines to qualify for a compliance extension if delivery or installation is delayed until after December 31, 2014.  To qualify for this compliance extension, the TRU must be registered in ARB’s Equipment Registration (ARBER) system, purchase orders must be placed before the purchase order deadlines, and compliance extension applications must be submitted by December 31st.

The purchase order deadlines that apply to TRUs are:
•    For reefer trailers, TRU replacements, and TRU engine replacements:  August 31st  (four months ahead of the compliance deadline); and
•    For verified diesel particulate filter retrofits:  October 31st (two months ahead of the compliance deadline).

If purchase orders are placed before the purchase order deadline and in-use compliance cannot be achieved by December 31, 2014,
due to delays in delivery or installation, the TRU/reefer owner may apply for a compliance extension.  A compliance extension
application, with attached supporting documentation, must be submitted to ARB by December 31, 2014.

All MY 2006 and older TRU engines (or units manufactured in 2006 or earlier) should be in compliance now.  Please note that
trailer manufacture year and in-service dates are not used to determine TRU compliance dates.  Noncompliant MY 2006 and older
TRU engines/units must not be operated in California unless they are brought into compliance immediately.

BE AWARE!
The replacement engine compliance option for trailer TRUs no longer results in a full seven years of compliance until ULETRU
is required.  The replacement engine models that will fit and perform in trailer TRUs are Tier 4i engines.  Since Tier 4i is no longer in effect, the effective MY of a Tier 4i replacement engine is 2012, so compliance with the Ultra-Low-Emission TRU (ULETRU) in-use performance standard is still required by December 31, 2019 (seven years after the effective model year). This results in only 5 years of compliance before ULETRU is required.

Retrofitting with a Level 3 Verified Diesel Emissions Strategy
(VDECS) may be something to consider because Level 3 VDECS meets the TRU Regulation’s ULETRU In-Use Performance Standard.  There is no more-stringent in-use standard than ULETRU, but you need to understand that more emissions-related engine maintenance is
needed to ensure reliable operation with a DPF (e.g. periodically check fuel injectors pop pressure and spray pattern, check fuel
pump, check engine intake and exhaust valves).  Diesel particulate filters are NOT “fit-and-forget” systems.

Where can I get more information?

For general information about the TRU Regulation, the TRU Website
is at:  http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/tru.htm

Information about Level 3 VDECS is at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/tru.htm#mozTocId341892

The ARBER registration website is at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/arber.htm

ARBER Registration Help pages are at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/trureg/trureg.htm

TRU Advisories are listed at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/advisories.htm

TRU Compliance extension applications are at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/trureg/truextensions.htm

If you have questions about in-use performance standard compliance, registration in ARBER, or in-use compliance extensions, please call the TRU Help Line at 1-888-878-2826 or call 1-916-327-8737.

Background:  TRUs are refrigeration systems powered by integral diesel internal combustion engines designed to control the environment of temperature-sensitive products that are transported in trucks, trailers, shipping containers, and railcars.  The emissions from these units are a source of unhealthful air pollutants including particulate matter, toxic air contaminants, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons, that all pose a potential threat to both public health and the environment. These units often congregate in large numbers at California distribution centers, grocery stores, and other facilities where they run for extended periods of time to ensure their perishable contents remain cold or frozen. These distribution and loading facilities are often in close proximity to schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods.  In 2004, the TRU Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) was adopted by the Board to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions from TRUs and TRU gen set engines.  Amendments were adopted by the Board in November 2010 and October 2011.

3/10/2014

Nichols: After 'we listened,' CARB unveils Truck and Bus tweaks
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

 

Five months after taking heat from much of the industry and being sued by OOIDA and others, the California Air Resources Board unveiled multiple changes to enforcement and deadlines tied to its Truck and Bus Rule Thursday.

“The trucking community spoke and we listened,” CARB Chairman Mary Nichols said according to a CARB news release. “The good news is that we will not have to sacrifice the state’s air quality goals to assist fleet owners. These amendments, which include more flexible deadlines and increased opportunities to access incentive funding, will further our emissions reduction goals by better ensuring that fleets can meet the requirements of the regulation.”

CARB’s 12 board members are slated to hear amendment proposals for the state’s most expensive regulation in history – the Truck and Bus Rule – at its April 24 board meeting. ... Read more >




3/7/2014

Summary of Proposed Changes to the Truck and Bus Regulation
By CARB

Board Decision Planned for April 2014

This summary describes staff proposed amendments to the Truck and Bus Regulation, which would better protect the emission and health benefits of the regulation by providing new flexible compliance options for small fleets, low mileage fleets, and fleets operated exclusively in certain areas that have
made substantial progress towards cleaner air. None of the proposed changes are currently in effect. The California Air Resources Board will consider the changes at its April 2014 meeting. ... Read more >




3/6/2014

carbAnticipation Grips the Industry
By Matt Schrap

CARB Releases Major Changes to Truck and Bus Rule

There has been a groundswell of industry concern as of late over recent efforts by CARB to provide relief to an already beleaguered industry. In part, the relief is a response to the mounting criticism (and lawsuits) over how this rule is impacting fleets of all sizes, all over the state in all types of vocations. The relief is also a clarification of the "Good Faith Effort" compliance pathways released in November.. ...Read more >




3/5/2014

Bullet train could increase greenhouse gases by 2020
By Dave Roberts

Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to spend the lion’s share of cap-and-trade auction revenue on the high-speed rail project won’t help the state meet its goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020, according to a recent Legislative Analyst’s Office report. It could actually make things worse during construction. ...Read more >




3/4/2014

Diesel-powered vehicles leave New Delhi’s air worse than Beijing’s
By Natalie Obiko Pearson, Rakteem Katakey and Bloomberg News

George Easow’s move to India to start a clinical diagnostics business lasted just three weeks before he was persuaded to return to Britain.

The persuading was done by his 7-month-old daughter, Fiona. Within days of moving to New Delhi, the child was wheezing and gasping for air because of smog. “She could hardly breathe,” her father said.

Fiona was kept indoors and put on medication. Nothing worked. “We had to make a call,” said Easow, a molecular biologist. He added that her symptoms disappeared once the family left, and they haven’t recurred. ...Read more >




3/3/2014

World's largest aircraft unveiled and hailed 'game changer'
By Claire Carter

The world's longest aircraft, consisting of part airship, part helicopter and part plane, has been unveiled and could be the key to greener more efficient planes in future as developers predict one day there could be as many of the hybrids as there are helicopters today. ...Read more >




2/28/2014

Will Natural Gas Fuel America’s Big Trucks? Shell Treads Carefully
By Tom Fowler

Shell is tapping the brakes on plans to push natural gas as a fuel for the trucking industry.

The company confirmed it will not build a previously announced plant 20 miles west of Calgary that would turn natural gas into liquid form, known as LNG, for use in heavy duty trucks.

Shell still plans to build out a network of LNG fueling stations along a 900-mile stretch between Alberta and Canada’s Pacific Coast. But those LNG service stations, which will be operated by Pilot Flying J, will sell natural gas fuel created by a company other than Shell.

“We are definitely still interested, but it’s an emerging market so Shell has to take a balanced approach to these developments,” Shell spokeswoman Destin Singleton said.

So far Shell has not changed plans for two other LNG fuel plants – one in Geismar, La. and one in Sarnia, Ontario, Ms. Singleton said. Once constructed, they could produce up to 250,000 tons per year of natural gas fuel for use in trucks and even ships as some tanker and ferry owners install the equipment needed to burn LNG instead of oil-based fuel.

The company has been pulling back from some North American investments as it tries to fund costly oil and gas projects around the globe, including selling off shale fields in the U.S. In December the company abandoned plans to build a multibillion-dollar plant in Louisiana that would have converted natural gas into diesel, citing skyrocketing costs.

There’s also a chicken-and-egg nature to building liquefaction plants and LNG fueling stations. While natural gas has made inroads as a fuel for heavy truck fleets, including buses and trash collection trucks, those systems largely work because the vehicles return to central locations every day, where they can be refueled from special pumps.

Building out natural gas fueling stations on North American highways is a much bigger gamble. Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has installed special fueling equipment at about 500 locations around the U.S. That may sound like a lot, but it’s a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of service stations around the country.

But more big companies are beginning to embrace LNG for their massive trucks, including Lowe’s, Procter & Gamble and UPS. As many as 20% of P&G’s trucks could run on natural gas within two years. UPS plans to buy 1,000 natural gas trucks by the end of this year, while competitor FedEx Corp. said it will shift up to 30% of its fleet to natural gas in the next decade.


Diesel To Remain Dominant For Decades In Trucking?
BY Antony Ingram

Electrification and hybridization are the buzzwords of passenger transportation right now, but debate in the trucking world focuses on two different alternative fuels.

As the industry seeks to clean up its act and reduce costs for operators, diesel and natural gas are slugging it out as the two main fuels of trucking's future.

But as far as those within the industry are concerned, diesel will remain the dominant option for many years to come--well past 2050, in fact.

That's the view of Allen Schaeffer from the Diesel Technology Forum, writing for GE's Ideas Lab.

He notes that the booming industry for natural gas is undoubtedly a good thing, improving the domestic economy and keeping more money in the country.

But when it comes to fueling the trucking industry, diesel will likely remain the best option for quite some time to come.

That might not have been the case had such big strides in diesel technology not been made over the past few decades.

It's gone from a fuel with dubious environmental credentials to one that challenges gasoline and natural gas for cleanliness, all the while offering better fuel economy and does so at an effective price point.

The advent of low-sulfur fuels in 2006-2007 allowed diesel to significantly clean up its act. It allowed engine-builders to develop ways of cutting diesel exhaust emissions that otherwise wouldn't have been possible, as sulfur can attack the elements used in after-treatment technologies.

As particulate traps and urea injection have cleaned up diesel fumes in passenger cars, so too have similar technologies improved heavy-duty engines in trucks.

The improvement is clear to see: A truck manufactured after 2007 emits just two percent of the pollutants a truck made in 1988 did.

They're more fuel-efficient too, by three to five percent. Schaeffer quotes figures suggesting class 4-8 trucks on the road today save 13.3 million barrels of crude oil per year compared to their counterparts from a few decades ago--and produce 5.7 million fewer tonnes of CO2.

Cost will also play a part in diesel's expected continued success.

Pricing is steadier than that of natural gas, which fluctuates through global demand and as techniques like fracking vary supply of the gas.

Diesel is more expensive right now, but Schaeffer suggests operators are as concerned about predictability as much as they are cost--stability is key when planning for the future. He also says that current long-term gas deals cloud the real cost of natural gas fuels--a cost that could one day hit operators.

The end result is that by 2040, diesel could account for 70 percent of all transportation fuels, while natural gas rises from today's one percent to a still-modest 4 percent of the market.

While not mentioned in the article, it's also worth noting that diesel is still the more widely-available fuel right now--and that situation is unlikely to change for natural gas unless operators demand it. And they're unlikely to demand natural gas trucks without stations to fuel them...

While someone writing from the Diesel Technology Forum on an outlet funded by General Electric might be taken with a pinch of salt when discussing diesel, it's hard not to see diesel being the dominant truck fuel for some time to come.

But as with passenger vehicles, we're likely to see a real mix over the coming years--diesel may be dominant, but it won't be the only fuel, and for a select few, natural gas will remain the less expensive, potentially cleaner way of moving goods from place to place.

2/20/2014

JURUPA VALLEY: Council eyes truck routes
BY SANDRA STOKLEY

In its continuing effort to blunt the impact of hundreds of big rigs on residents and city streets, the Jurupa Valley City Council on Thursday, Feb. 20, will consider establishing seven truck routes to keep the tractor-trailer trucks out of residential areas.

Council members also are expected to authorize a study of possible truck restrictions on Etiwanda Avenue from Highway 60 north to Hopkins Street in the city’s Mira Loma area.

The 7 p.m. meeting is at the old Sam’s Western Wear building, 8930 Limonite Ave., Jurupa Valley.

The study would be paid for by a $30,000 grant that was part of a lawsuit settlement agreement against a warehouse developer.

Hundreds of big rigs pour off Highway 60 every day. Many head north on Etiwanda to the Mira Loma Space Center, a warehouse complex that sits across the street from the Mira Loma Village housing tract.

“The truck traffic has gotten progressively worse,” said Mira Loma Village resident Patricia Mendoza, who has lived there for 40 years.

“I know people need jobs, but they’ve got to find a better way to reroute these trucks away from the residential area,” she said.

During afternoon rush hour, Mendoza said it can take up to a half hour for a resident to exit the tract because trucks are backed up, waiting to get on the freeway.

“Sometimes there are 10 trucks,” she said.

Eric Sauer, spokesman for the California Trucking Association, said in an email that the group has “concerns regarding adequate alternative routes.”

The association looks forward to working with the city to find a resolution, he wrote.

Penny Newman, executive director of the Jurupa Valley-based Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, said there is a practical alternative for drivers headed to the Mira Loma Space Center. Trucks can exit at Milliken Avenue, head north to Philadelphia Avenue and enter the warehouse complex from Philadelphia Avenue, she said.

Or they can continue on Philadelphia, go south on Etiwanda to Hopkins and enter the complex from that street.

“This would reduce the exposure of families at Mira Loma Village tremendously,” Newman said.

Her center filed the lawsuit against the developers of the Mira Loma Commerce Center that resulted in the settlement agreement that funded the study.

City Councilman Brad Hancock said he is fine with the truck routes being proposed but said he would like to see the city draft ordinances against residents who run trucking businesses from homes zoned for residential use. Hancock said he receives emails from residents complaining that a neighbor has five or six big rigs parked on their property.

Enforcement is difficult because the zoning is nebulous, Hancock said.

“We need zoning that is clear and enforceable,” Hancock said.

According to a city report, this would be a preliminary step in establishing truck routes in Jurupa Valley. A California Environmental Quality Act report must still be prepared before formal adoption of the routes.

Contact Sandra Stokley at 951-368-9647 or sstokley@pe.com

TRUCKS A TOPIC

The Jurupa Valley City Council will discuss proposed truck routes and a study of possible truck restrictions on Etiwanda Avenue between Highway 60 and Hopkins Street:

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. A workshop on smoke shops and synthetic drugs will precede the council meeting at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Council chambers, the old Sam’s Western Wear building, 8930 Limonite Ave., Jurupa Valley

INFORMATION: 951-332-6464

2/18/2014

Obama to order tougher fuel standards for heavy trucks
By ALEX GUILLEN

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will order his agencies to tighten the fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, the latest stage in his effort to tackle climate change without waiting for Congress to act.

During a visit Tuesday morning to a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md., Obama will announce he’s directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department to develop fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for future trucks and other heavier vehicles by March 2016. They would cover vehicles for model years after 2018.

Tighter post-2018 standards for heavy-duty vehicles, which account for about a quarter of onroad greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, were part of the list of items Obama laid out in June in his climate action plan. The new requirements follow up on standards the administration imposed three years ago for heavier vehicles from model years 2014-18.

The initial standards were meant to reduce fuel use and emissions by 10 to 20 percent from vehicles like school buses, garbage trucks, large pickups and tractor-trailers, and the White House said they will save a total of 530 million barrels of oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million metric tons over the vehicles’ lifetimes. The White House would not immediately say how steep the cuts would be from the post-2018 standards.

Under Obama’s order, EPA and DOT should issue an initial notice of proposed rule-making by March 31, 2015, according to a White House fact sheet.

The new vehicle standards build upon efficiency requirements the administration approved during Obama’s first term for passenger vehicles, which must get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, as well as sweeping greenhouse gas regulations that EPA is working on for power plants.

As part of Tuesday’s announcement, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must work with manufacturers, states, labor groups and others on developing methods to cut fuel consumption and emissions after the 2018 time frame. The agencies will also work with the California Air Resources Board “with the goal of ensuring that the next phase of standards allow[s] manufacturers to continue to build a single national fleet.”

Obama will also tell the Energy Department to offer assistance to any company that joins the National Clean Fleets Partnership, a public-private partnership that encourages companies to switch to alternative or advanced vehicles. Those companies will get “specialized resources, technical expertise and support in developing a comprehensive strategy to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency and cost savings.”

The program’s members include Coca-Cola, UPS and Waste Management, and together operate about 1 million commercial vehicles in the U.S., according to the White House.

Obama isn’t focusing entirely on executive actions on Tuesday. He will also repeat his call for Congress to set up an Energy Security Trust Fund, an idea the president has called for in his past two State of the Union addresses.
His plan would use drilling revenue to fund a research and development program for advanced vehicle technologies. But it faces serious opposition from congressional Republicans because it does not include expanded oil and gas drilling.

Obama will also call on Congress to revive the expired tax credit for producers of cellulosic biofuel and will propose Congress create a $200 million “tax credit to catalyze investment in the necessary infrastructure to support deployment of advanced vehicles at critical mass,” the White House said. The credit would be fuel neutral.

The White House will release a report Tuesday touting the administration’s work on fuel economy and vehicle emissions issues and detailing these new actions.

The transportation sector is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., after electric generation.

2/13/2014

California responds to OOIDA legal challenge of CARB's Truck and Bus Reg
By Sandi Soendker, Land Line editor-in-chief

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has responded to OOIDA’s lawsuit against CARB. On Jan. 27, Harris filed a partial motion to dismiss the complaint’s claims against the CARB defendants in their individual capacities, but did not seek dismissal of those claims against them in their official capacity.

The complaint names as defendants Richard W. Corey in his official and personal capacity as executive officer of CARB; Mary D. Nichols in her official and personal capacity as chairman of CARB; and Matt Rodriguez, in his official capacity as secretary of CARB.

On Dec. 6, OOIDA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, against CARB in connection with the agency’s controversial Truck and Bus Regulation.

“The California Air Resources Board has overstepped its bounds by requiring trucks from other states to be upgraded in order to operate in California,” says Jim Johnston, president and CEO of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

“Our position is that it violates the Commerce Clause and they cannot do it,” says Johnston.

Harris’s response did not seek dismissal of the Association’s claims based on Commerce Clause violations.

2/11/2014

California should set interim goal for cutting emissions, report says
By Tony Barboza

The state is on course to meet its 2020 target, but reaching the 2050 goal will require huge changes, the California Air Resources Board says.

California is on track to reach its target for reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, but much tougher choices loom if the state is to meet its goal for the year 2050, state air quality officials say in a new report.

The changes needed to slash emissions enough to reach the mid-century target will be so great that the state should set an interim goal for about 2030, the California Air Resources Board said in a report released Monday.

The state's 2020 goal for fighting climate change is to scale back greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. The goal for 2050 is to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels.

Reaching that target will require tough new policies to slash carbon emissions in every sector of the economy, including energy, transportation, agriculture and water delivery, the board said.

"We have to accelerate our efforts to become more efficient," state Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols said. "The overarching test of everything we do is its impact on global climate change."

California will first have to transform its energy sector, which accounts for about half its greenhouse gas emissions, by relying increasingly on wind and solar power, making buildings more efficient and advancing energy storage technology, the report says.

Meeting the goal also will mean changing the transportation system, which contributes about 38% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions. California will have to boost vehicle efficiency; develop lower-carbon fuels; expand access to public transportation; clean up emissions from freight-carrying trucks, locomotives and ships; and expand access to public transportation, the report says.

The report also called for a strategy to cut other pollutants, including smog-forming compounds, methane and black carbon, which are shorter-lived than carbon dioxide but are many times more powerful at trapping heat. Reducing them would have the side benefit of cleaning up air pollution to help meet key federal ozone standards by 2032.

"We need to focus more on these non-carbon pollutants," said Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air. "They've been downplayed too long."

The 159-page report is the second update to a plan the Air Resources Board is required to revise every five years under California's 2006 global warming law.

Erica Morehouse, an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the document was more focused and ambitious than a draft circulated last year. "Setting a 2030 target will strengthen incentives for immediate pollution reductions," she said.

It also would put California in line with the European Union and Germany, which have plans to cut emissions far below 1990 levels by 2030.

The state's 2020 and 2050 greenhouse gas limits were established by a 2005 executive order by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and are based on a concept endorsed by the world's climate scientists: that only by stabilizing carbon emissions and keeping global temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels can society avoid catastrophic levels of climate change.

California already has adopted the nation's most sweeping climate change policies, including greenhouse gas regulations for vehicles, a low-carbon fuel standard, a cap-and-trade program and a requirement to make the state's energy portfolio 33% renewable by 2020.

Reaching its 2050 objectives will not be possible without aggressive new policies and technological innovations, outside experts say.

tony.barboza@latimes.com

2/07/2014

More fuel efficient trucks would be economic boon, help consumers
By James Jaillet @trucknewsJJ on February 6, 2014

Increasing the fuel efficiency of trucks would lead to lower transportation costs — and thereby lower cost of goods — and save consumers hundreds of dollars a year, this according to a report released this week by the Consumer Federation of America.

The report says that a 50 percent increase in the fuel efficiency of trucks would save the average American household $250 a year, a number that could rise to $400 by 2035 as fuel prices increase, the report says.

That savings would act as an overall stimulant to the U.S. economy, freeing up $29.8 billion in disposable income for consumers, the report notes. The average U.S. household today spends about $1,100 a year due to truck fuel costs, according to CFA, and that number is projected to rise with fuel costs.

The report, dubbed “Paying the Freight: The Consumer Benefits of Increasing Fuel Economy of Medium and Heavy-Duty Trucks”, states the obvious in many ways about the price of goods and the cost of transportation, noting the correlation between increased fuel costs and increased cost of goods for consumers.

Lowering transportation costs is a win-win for everyone, CFA says. “One of the reasons we believe a strong fuel efficiency standard for heavy-duty trucks will be implemented is because key components of the trucking industry are also seeking ways to reduce the enormous impact of fuel expenditures on their costs,” said Jack Gillis, director of public affairs for the Consumer Federation.

The report also notes other oft-cited benefits of reducing fuel consumption of trucks: Environmental benefits in reducing emissions and the social and security benefits of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

The report says tightening fuel economy standards on large trucks could follow the U.S.’ policies on tightening fuel efficiency for light vehicles. President Barack Obama has also noted he would like to see increased fuel economy standards implemented for heavy trucks.

Click here to see the entire report.

2/06/2014

E.P.A. Staff Struggling to Create Pollution Rule
By CORAL DAVENPORT, NYT

WASHINGTON — In marathon meetings and tense all-day drafting sessions, dozens of lawyers, economists and engineers at the Environmental Protection Agency are struggling to create what is certain to be a divisive but potentially historic centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change legacy.

If the authors succeed in writing a lawsuit-proof regulation that is effective in cutting carbon emissions from America’s 1,500 power plants — the largest source of the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution — the result could be the most significant action taken by the United States to curb climate change.

But if the language in the regulation is too loose, there could be little environmental impact. And if it is too stringent, it could lead to the shutdown of coal plants before there is enough alternative power to replace them and, ultimately, to soaring electric bills, power blackouts and years of legal battles.
Related Coverage

Government Said to Undervalue Coal LeasesFEB. 4, 2014

“Failure is not an option,” said S. William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, whose members are state and local officials.
Graphic: An Aggressive Climate Initiative

In his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama declared his intent to use his authority under the Clean Air Act and a 2007 Supreme Court decision to issue new regulations to curb carbon pollution. He is pressing forward as quickly as possible.

Mr. Obama has ordered the E.P.A. to issue by June 1 the draft of a regulation that will set a national standard for carbon pollution. Early indications are that the regulation will direct states to create and carry out their own plans for meeting the standard.

In addition, the agency is looking closely at a proposal by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit group, that could well be the heart of the regulation: states could comply with the rule not just by cleaning or shutting down coal plants, but also by making far broader changes across the electricity system — reducing demand, investing in “smart grid” technology or supporting more renewable sources of energy.

Depending on how the rule is written, states could also comply by enacting “cap and trade” programs, which would cap carbon pollution and create a market for buying and selling pollution permits.

The regulation would primarily affect the 600 power plants in the United States that are fired by coal, and could ultimately shutter hundreds of them, depending on how it is written.

In anticipation, coal-heavy states are extensively lobbying the environmental agency. John Lyons, Kentucky’s assistant secretary for climate change, said the Natural Resources Defense Council proposal “would shut down our coal-fired generation at a certain point, and that’s just unacceptable.”

Overall, coal supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s electricity, but states like Kentucky, Ohio and Missouri rely on coal for 80 percent to 90 percent of their power.

Mr. Lyons’s reaction underscores a central risk of the regulation: Handing so much choice to the states sets up the likelihood that Republican governors opposing climate policy will fight the federal requirement, either by suing the E.P.A. or by refusing to create plans to carry it out.

E.P.A. officials have also been warily watching the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the 36 governors who balked at setting up state health care exchanges. People close to the climate regulation process say they view the health care rollout as an object lesson in how they need to ease the public reception of what they hope will be a legally bulletproof regulation. The task of writing that language falls chiefly on the shoulders of Joseph Goffman, the agency’s senior counsel in the office of clean air and a 30-year veteran of Clean Air Act legal battles.

The E.P.A. administrator, Gina McCarthy, is in the meantime traveling across the country to meet with governors, coal industry leaders, energy companies and environmentalists to try to smooth the way politically for the rule. Ms. McCarthy, who once worked for Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts, is known for her ability to get along with Republican governors as well as for her environmental policy expertise.

Top agency officials, including Ms. McCarthy, have also held public listening sessions in 11 cities, and the agency is bolstering the efforts with an online campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Vine, the video-sharing website.

In Washington, Mr. Goffman and his team have held more than 200 meetings with state officials, environmentalists and utilities like the Ohio-based American Electric Power, which owns the nation’s largest fleet of coal-fired plants. John McManus, the power company’s vice president for environmental services, said of the climate regulation, “This could change the whole system of electricity — generation, transmission, distribution.”

However, Mr. McManus said, the E.P.A. is soliciting comments from all sides. “It’s a larger outreach than I’ve seen before, and it’s appropriate,” he said.

The public relations campaign is also aimed at building support for a draft regulation released last September that would limit carbon pollution from future power plants. The rule on existing plants to be released in June will be far more consequential.

Administration officials argue that the urgency of global warming requires rapid and ambitious action and point to a large number of scientific reports concluding that as carbon emissions increase, the coming decades will bring rising sea levels, melting land ice, an increase in the most damaging types of hurricanes, drought in some places and deluges in others — and perhaps even difficulty in producing enough food.

In a 2009 United Nations accord, Mr. Obama pledged that the United States would cut its emissions from 2005 levels 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. Climate policy experts say the new rules will be essential to meeting the 2020 goal, although further action will be required to reach the 2050 goal.

People working on the regulation say that White House officials regularly remind them of its urgency. One person even described White House “nagging” — a notable reversal for an administration that slowed down controversial environmental regulations during the 2012 presidential campaign.

Writing the new rule is legally complicated. Although the environmental agency has the authority to issue the regulation, Mr. Goffman and his lawyers will have to employ a rarely used portion of the Clean Air Act that was not specifically written to address climate change.

They could devise a legally cautious rule that has little environmental impact, or they could write an aggressive regulation that would slash emissions but be legally vulnerable.

“The legal interpretation is challenging,” said an E.P.A. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “This effectively hasn’t been done.”

The agency’s task is further complicated by Mr. Obama’s tight timeline, intended to complete as much of the regulatory process as possible by the end of his term in early 2017. After the release of the draft in June, the president wants a final version by June 2015. By June 2016, states must submit plans for carrying it out — a challenge for state environmental agencies, which typically have two to three years to write major new regulations.

“It will be a heavy lift,” said Scott Nally, who last month stepped down as Ohio’s top environmental official. In December, Mr. Nally met with environmental agency officials in Washington for a five-and-a-half-hour session aimed at hashing out details of the rule — particularly how states could meet the schedule.

“We rolled up our sleeves,” Mr. Nally said. “We started with coffee and finished with coffee.”

The timeline is also delicate politically. The draft regulation will come out just months before the 2014 midterm elections, when Republican campaigns plan to reignite charges that Democrats are waging a “war on coal.”

Already, the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who faces his own-re-election battle this fall, has said he intends to force a vote on the E.P.A’s draft climate rule for new coal plants, making vulnerable Democrats cast a difficult election-year vote.

A coalition of industry lobbies and political advocacy groups are also planning to fight the rules. The American Energy Alliance, which receives funding from Koch Industries, the oil refining conglomerate owned by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, plans to attack the proposal in television and radio ads.

“That’s going to be a big fight, when they roll out the rule for existing plants,” said Tom Pyle, president of the group and a former lobbyist for Koch Industries. “We’ll be ready for them.”

2/06/2014

LNG Providers Make Cutbacks, Slowing Development of Fueling Stations
http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/news/story/2014/02/lng-providers-make-cutbacks-slowing-development-of-fueling-stations.aspx

Two major players who are developing their own networks of natural gas fueling stations have cut back on expansion efforts.

Blu LNG has laid off 20% of its staff, ousted several senior executives and slowed down development of fueling stations as it waits for more truckers to embrace the switch to the cheap and cleaner-burning fuel, according to Reuters.

The company has a network of about 25 locations, with plans to grow to 40 to 50 by the end of the year, far less that it originally planned.It has cut its number of employees by 40 to 170, according to Fleets and Fuels.

Competitor Clean Energy Fuels is also slowing development of its network. It reportedly has 80 fueling stations, but only just over a quarter are operational, while plans call for opening one about every week and half to two-week.

The reason for all of this, as Blu LNG CEO Merritt Norton said in an interview with Reuters, “is to let trucks catch up on us.”

In other words, development of the LNG networks has been outpacing sales of LNG-powered big rigs.

2/05/2014

CARB to hold several free classes including webinars
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The California Air Resources Board will present several classes to help truck owners and others in the industry navigate the state’s multiple truck emission regulations. Two of the courses will be broadcast online.

Course 520 – “How to Comply with CARB Diesel Regulations” – will review the inspection process and consequences of non-compliance. The course also explains how to comply with CARB diesel regulations. Course 520 will be offered in Spanish from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 in a Mesa, Calif., and is already available in English in webinar format. For more information or to register, click here.

Course 521 is called “How to Comply with the Truck and Bus Regulation.” It will detail compliance with CARB’s Truck and Bus Rule, including reporting; proposed changes to the regulation. The class also will summarize other diesel rules, resources and CARB contact information. Course 521 will be offered as a webinar from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11. The class also will be offered online from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26. The class will be presented from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 in Stockton, Calif.

1/31/2014

Air district offers grant funds
Published by The Reporter

The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District on Thursday opened the application period for its 2014 Clean Air Funds program. The District will award more than $500,000 to projects in Yolo and Solano counties that will reduce air pollution from mobile sources.

The deadline for applications is March 21. The application packet is available at ysaqmd.org/caf.

There are four categories for eligible projects: clean technologies and low-emission vehicles; alternative transportation programs; transit services; and public education and information. Approximately $63,000 will be awarded to qualifying Yolo County projects and $442,000 will be awarded to qualifying projects in the District's portion of Solano County, which includes Vacaville, Dixon and Rio Vista.

The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis by the Yolo-Solano AQMD Board of Directors in June 2014.

Projects funded by the program in previous cycles include bicycle paths, low-emission heavy-duty trucks and equipment, environmental after-school programs, transit improvements and electric vehicles for municipal fleets. A full list of projects awarded funding for the 2013 program cycle is available at ysaqmd.org/caf.

The Clean Air Funds program is funded through a $4 surcharge on vehicle registrations within Yolo-Solano AQMD boundaries as allowed under Assembly Bill 2766. Clean Air Funds projects in Solano County also receive additional funding from a portion of property taxes as set by previous legislation.

Yolo-Solano AQMD is a public health agency committed to protecting human health and property from the harmful effects of air pollution. For more information, please visit our website at ysaqmd.org.

1/30/2014

Deadline to report for CARB compliance delays coming Friday
By CCJ Staff
Counties shaded green or counties cross-hatched are 'NOx-exempt' counties, in which trucks may be able to run in 2014 without having to retrofit their trucks with DPFs.

Fleets have until Jan. 31 to report any ”good faith” efforts toward compliance of the California Air Resources Board’s Truck and Bus Rule that would earn them a delay until July 1 to comply with the emissions regulations.

As it stands, fleets with more than three trucks registered with CARB must retrofit 2005-2006 model engines with particulate matter filters, but truck owners can receive the 5-month extension if they have:

An agreement with an authorized installer for a particulate matter filter retrofit.
Signed a purchase contract and ordered a replacement truck equipped with a particulate matter filter (engines must be 2007 model or newer)
Approved or denied financing for a retrofit particulate matter filter or for a replacement truck equipped with a particulate matter filter

Truck owners who have taken these steps can use the CARB TRUCRS system to report. Click here to learn more.

CARB announced in December possible exemptions for trucks running solely into and out of NOx-exempt areas in the state, which are areas where the amount of NOx in the air is below federal requirements.

The proposal however will not be finalized until April, so owners still must either be compliant or file for a good faith extension by Friday.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit against CARB in December, saying the retrofit is unconstitutional, violating the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, along with unnecessarily costly for truck owners.

1/29/2014

Jan. 31 is deadline to meet CARB Truck and Bus Rule extension

Truck owners wanting to use one of several time extensions to comply with California’s Truck and Bus Regulation have until Friday to file their paperwork.

The California Air Resources Board is giving truck owners until Jan. 31 to opt into compliance extensions announced last fall to meet the Truck and Bus Rule – once described as CARB’s most expensive truck emissions rule.

After outcry from multiple representatives throughout the trucking industry, CARB expanded some exemptions for the rule. Exemptions now include existing low-mileage agriculture vehicles, existing low-mileage construction trucks, existing particulate matter phase-in requirements, a low-use exemption, and trucks that drive in areas classified as “NOx-exempt.”

In its original form, CARB’s On-Road Truck and Bus Regulation was predicted to cost the trucking industry billions of dollars in truck replacement or retrofit work. The rule requires most trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds to be upgraded either with diesel particulate filters or by upgrading to cleaner and newer engines between 2012 and 2023.

Most trucks and buses were required by the rule to have a diesel particulate filter installed by Jan. 1, 2014.

CARB is enforcing the rule on trucking company owners, operators, motor carriers, brokers and dispatchers. In an announcement sent Tuesday, Jan. 28, CARB said the truck owners and operators that need to demonstrate their compliance with the regulation to brokers and dispatchers can obtain a verification certificate quickest by reporting online. Reporting by mail, CARB said, can take weeks to process.

“The responsible hiring party must perform due diligence by confirming that compliance statements are factual in the contract,” CARB’s email read. “If you become aware that one or more vehicles in the fleet do not comply, then you cannot continue to use the services of the fleet.”

For more information, go to CARB’s Truck and Bus website by clicking here. CARB also has a toll free diesel regulation information line at 866-6DIESEL (866-634-3735) and email at 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov.

1/24/2014

One-third in state still live where air does not meet U.S. standards

Air pollution in California has dropped significantly over the last decade, yet about one-third of the population lives in communities where the air does not meet federal health standards, state officials reported Thursday.

The evaluation of smog and soot levels was presented at a meeting in Sacramento of the California Air Resources Board, which oversees the state's progress in cleaning air that remains among the dirtiest in the nation.

Despite falling 15% to 20% in urban areas since 2003, smog remains above federal health standards in parts of Greater Los Angeles, the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento and San Diego, the board's report said.

Of the state's five biggest urban areas, only the San Francisco Bay Area meets all federal standards for ozone — the worst component of smog — and fine particulate matter, or soot, according to the board, which took no action after hearing the staff report.

The assessment came as exceptionally dry and stagnant weather this winter has worsened air pollution across California and the Southwest, with some of highest levels in the Central Valley. Air board officials said continuing spells of bad air could set the state back.

"I don't think we should be too congratulatory because this year has been a bad year," said board member John Balmes, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco.

In the South Coast region, which includes Los Angeles and Orange counties, the number of high-ozone days has dropped 21% since 2003 and state officials now estimate about 60% of people — including all coastal residents — live where smog meets federal health standards. But 6 million people in inland areas still live with unacceptably smoggy air.

In the San Joaquin Valley, only one-quarter of the population enjoys air quality that meets federal health standards for ozone. Though the number of high-ozone days in the valley has fallen 35% since 2003, some 3 million people live in areas where smog levels are too high, according to the air board's estimates.

Fine-particle pollution, a bigger problem in winter, also has declined in California since 2003, though less steadily, air board officials reported. Levels in the San Joaquin Valley, for instance, rose to a peak in 2009 before dropping again. In the South Coast district, annual readings have dropped nearly in half since 2002 but remain above federal standards.

The report did little to assuage residents of the San Joaquin Valley, which has been cloaked in a thick haze of fine-particle pollution for many weeks since December. Air quality activists there responded with calls for new emissions reduction measures to bring immediate relief.

"It's visible and it's affecting our daily lives," said Dolores Weller, interim director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition. "Children are being kept indoors for days on end, and sporting activities are being canceled. If there's been an improvement in the last 10 years, we're not seeing it here."

Health studies link ozone and fine-particle pollution to respiratory illness and other health problems, including asthma, heart disease and cancer.

Curbing smog over the next decade will require big cuts in nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, according to the board's report. Those gases — emitted by vehicles, factories and power plants — react in the air to form ozone and fine particles.

tony.barboza@latimes.com

1/23/2014

Poor air quality in Western U.S. linked to China

BAKERSFIELD, CA- The lack of rain is causing air pollution concerns across the state. It's no surprise, the worst air quality is reportedly right here, in the San Joaquin Valley. A new study attributes bad air in the western united states, to Chinese exports.

The National Academy of Science reports 12% to 24% of daily sulfate concentration in the western U.S., is directly related to products manufactured in China, and exported here.

For the full article, please visit http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/local/story/poor-air-quality-in-western-us-linked-to-china/d/news/local/story/D2ZgqHFg8EqmxJBA252Aeg >

1/21/2014

Owner-operators show business optimism for 2014

As January got rolling in earnest, owner-operators back from holiday breaks or just continuing on their way through record-low temps and reports of yearend rate increases in the spot freight market reflected a majority view that their businesses would fare better in 2014 than the prior year. “Outlook is profitable,” wrote reader Richard Young on Overdrive’s Facebook page.

Owner-operator Tilden Curl concurred. He was handed lemons with the California Air Resources Board’s Statewide Truck and Bus Rule, which this year is banning unmodified 1996-2006 model year diesel engines on its roadways. But Curl says he’ll use his proactive investment to make lemonade in 2014.

“My CARB-certified truck will be paid off this year and half of my miles are in California,” he noted. “I made the investment to update my equipment and charge what it costs to do business. Those that choose not to come to California only make it easier for me and the large companies to make better money…. It will probably be my best year ever.”

All well good for Curl, said operator Jason Smith, also commenting on Facebook: “2014 will be my last year in business. Thank you, CARB!”

http://www.etrucker.com/ovd/owner-operators-show-business-optimism-for-2014

1/21/2014

Cummins ‘Pauses’ Development of 15L Nat-Gas Engine

Engine maker Cummins Inc. confirmed that it has “paused” the development of its planned 15-liter natural-gas engine due to “market timing uncertainty.”

The company said it will re-evaluate the demand and the market’s readiness for the ISX15 G later this year.

“While we believe natural gas power will continue to grow in the North American truck market, the timing of the adoption of natural gas in longhaul fleets preferring 15-liter engines is uncertain,” spokeswoman Christy Nycz House said in a statement. “We believe the adoption of natural gas in long haul fleets will be paced by a variety of factors beyond the engine and include fuel tank technology and public fueling infrastructure.”

The ISX15 G, first announced in March 2012, would be a spark-ignited engine that could run on either compressed or liquefied natural gas.

Cummins currently offers two natural-gas engines for heavy-duty trucks through its joint venture with Westport Innovations — the 12-liter Cummins Westport ISX12 G, launched last year, and the 9-liter ISL G.

Cummins was developing the ISX15 G outside of that joint venture.

By Seth Clevenger
Staff Reporter

 

1/21/2014

New Report Sets a Course for Cleaner Freight Transportation in California


Electrification is a key strategy for reducing air pollution that harms health and contributes to climate change.SAN FRANCISCO (January 21, 2013) – A report released today outlines solutions for overhauling the state’s freight system to protect public health, meet air quality standards and slow the pace of climate change. Freight transportation in California creates air pollution that harms the health of communities exposed to its dangerous emissions and contributes to global warming.

The new study commissioned by the California Cleaner Freight Coalition, Moving California Forward, Zero and Low-Emissions Freight Pathways, evaluates strategies for modernizing how goods are moved through California. By evaluating alternatives to conventional diesel vehicles, the analysis aims to inform a statewide plan for cleaning up freight transportation.

The key report findings include:

Deploying electric transportation technologies that are currently in development or demonstration for local and short-haul trips would provide the greatest overall reduction in pollutants, and could eliminate tailpipe emissions in communities impacted by freight movement.
Moving goods by train and ship for regional trips could reduce emissions well beyond today’s cleanest diesel trucks.
Transporting containers double-stacked on railcars powered by the cleanest locomotives can reduce particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 75 percent.
Compared to the newest trucks, transporting truck trailers on flatbed railcars through the San Joaquin Valley would significantly reduce emissions in a region that suffers from high levels of pollution.

The Coalition cautions that any shift in freight movement to rail or ship, while providing regional pollution benefits, would need to ensure reduction in emissions, exposure, and health risks to those communities close to rail yards, rail lines, ports and shipping lanes.

“Low income, working class and communities of color disproportionately suffer health problems from air pollution from freight transport, and we have a right to clean air and healthy communities,” said Maricela Mares Alatorre, a resident of Kettleman City in the San Joaquin Valley where residents have suffered from high rates of birth defects and childhood cancer and many pollution sources including from freight transport along Interstate 5 and Highway 41.

“The cost of cleaning up the trucking and freight industry in California is nothing compared to the lost lives, elevated cancer risk, chronic respiratory conditions and other costs Californians have shouldered for years,” said Margaret Gordon, co-director of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project. “Low-income communities, in particular, are paying with their health to allow the freight industry to do business in California.”

“It is critical that California has a clear plan to clean up our freight industry in 2014,” said Jesse Marquez, executive director of Californians for a Safe Environment. “As our report shows, our air pollution problem is so bad that communities from around the state are uniting to take on the issue. Moving to electrification and zero emission transportation technologies can literally save lives.”

Transforming the freight system is a large undertaking that will not happen overnight, which is why it is crucial that California’s Air Resources Board identify and implement long-term strategies to move our freight system into the 21st century.

“Moving our freight system off of polluting fossil fuels with clean electric power will result in faster cargo delivery without the pervasive pollution affecting some of the most vulnerable communities living along these polluted corridors,” said Diane Bailey, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We should build electric power into our existing freight systems however we can.”

“We don’t have to sacrifice economic success to achieve air quality, health and climate benefits,” said Don Anair, research and deputy director for the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Emerging technologies are presenting an opportunity to transform conventional freight vehicles into a low-carbon transportation system that cleans our air and reduces our oil consumption.”

Many of the report’s proposals can be achieved with technologies that are either available today or can be commercialized over the next several years—with appropriate investments and support from policymakers. The California Cleaner Freight Coalition urges the California Air Resources Board to adopt a sustainable freight plan in 2014.

Regional contacts are also available:

(Central Valley) Maricela Mares Alatorre, El Pueblo/People for Clean Air & Water of Kettleman City, 559-816-9298, alatmig@netzero.com
(Central Valley) Thomas Helme, Valley Improvement Projects, 209-324-6414, valleyimprovementprojects@gmail.com
(Los Angeles) Jesse Marquez, Coalition for a Safe Environment, 310-704-1265, jnm4ej@yahoo.com
(Bay Area) Margaret Gordon, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, 510-257-5640, margaret.woeip@gmail.com
(San Diego) Joy Williams, Environmental Health Coalition, 619-474-0220 x110, Joy@environmentalhealth.org

1/15/2014

Mexico or bustDiesel Starts With Die…


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has brought the health effects of goods movement to a national stage. -Although any facility or equipment operator doing business in California will see these discussions as old hat, those outside of the Golden State may be in for a rude awakening. Policy makers have begun to align the goals of health and community activists with national policy goals for the future of the goods movement system in the United States especially in around maritime port complexes in the US. This has led to the emergence of a renewed discussion around the consequences of our global marketplace on the future health of our country. Environmental, health and community activists see this as a national issue and have turned to California to inspire and encourage the control of Diesel emissions associated with the movement of goods in the United States.

One question that permeated the discussion over the adoption of in-use diesel regulations in California is when other states are going to follow suit. One reason that other states have not jumped on the diesel control bandwagon is the lack of regulatory authority. California is unique because several air districts in the state are in non-attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The Clean Air Act (CAA) directs the EPA to set NAAQS for the entire country which all states are required to meet.

This is a unique form of cooperative federalism where the feds set the standards and the states act on their own to achieve the standards. The feds have the final say in the approval or denial of these State Implementation Plans (SIPs), the basic roadmaps prepared by states to demonstrate how the NAAQS are going to be met for the target years. If a state fails to provide an enforceable SIP or cannot enforce the standards within an approved SIP, the federal government will step in and enforce or write the standards to achieve the NAAQS.

Granted, that was a pretty sparse explanation of a very complicated process, but more or less, that is the gist. Other states do not have the regulatory muscle to pass rules similar to the on-road truck and bus rule in California, which is why for now, outside of some limited port restrictions in other states, California has gone it alone, and has so far been relatively successful in implementing the in-use standards on heavy duty truck operators. The rule has also been successful in sending non-compliant trucks out of state or out of country, effectively exporting emissions to other jurisdictions.
Nevertheless, the only real hope for a consistent, nationally enforceable in-use diesel engine standard ports or otherwise, is to have the feds write their own national truck rule with state implementation required under any proposed SIP. Every Heavy duty diesel truck in the US would need to adhere to the standards unless an exemption is requested. Compliance would be achieved through a mix of financial incentives such as guaranteed loans, grants and buy downs with enforcement of the standards through a mix of state agency reporting and inspections with possible DMV registration bans of particular model year engines.

Anational truck regulation would be the only concept that would be nationally enforceable; effectively removing the states from the regulatory development process and limiting the possibility of multiple rules for multiple jurisdictions or individual challenges to localized emission reduction efforts. The national rule would also cease the exporting of the old diesel engines to other parts of the country; trucks would either need to be scrapped or moved outside the country.

Time will tell how this all pans out, it is worth it to note however that environmental, community and health groups are rallying around the need to control emissions from the national goods movement system and federal regulators are listening. The low hanging fruit of emissions reductions has and will continue to be the Heavy Duty Trucking fleet. Regardless of how one feels about the health effects of Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) exposure, all on-road, and even non-road diesel equipment operators need to understand that they will continue to be in the crosshairs for emissions reductions until the diesel pollutants associated with negative health effects from uncontrolled engines go the way of the Dodo bird.

1/15/2014

Black carbon a powerful climate pollutant: international study


(Reuters) - Black carbon, the soot produced by burning fossil fuels and biomass, is a more potent atmospheric pollutant than previously thought, according to a four-year international study released on Tuesday.

Emitted by diesel engines, brick kilns and wood-fired cookstoves, black carbon is second only to carbon dioxide as the most powerful climate pollutant, according to the study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.

But because black carbon only lasts in the atmosphere a matter of days, compared to carbon dioxide's atmospheric endurance of centuries, addressing it could be prime target for curbing global warming, the report said.

"This new research provides further compelling evidence to act on short-lived climate pollutants, including black carbon," Achim Steiner, chief of the United Nations Environment Program, said in a statement.

Steiner pointed to efforts under way to cut black carbon emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles, brick production and municipal waste disposal as part of the international Climate and Clean Air Coalition. The United States was one of the coalition's founders last year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in mid-December also tightened limits on soot pollution from power plants, diesel engines and burning wood from levels set in 1997.

The report found black carbon's effect on climate is nearly twice what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated in its landmark 2007 assessment.

At that time, climate scientists ranked black carbon third behind carbon dioxide and methane. The new research, conducted by a multinational team of 31 experts, moves black carbon up in the ranking.

The new assessment found black carbon emissions caused significantly higher warming over the Arctic and other regions, could affect rainfall patterns, including those of the Asian monsoon system, and have led to rapid warming in the northern United States, Canada, northern Europe and northern Asia.

The sooty particles that make up black carbon can be a major component of urban air pollution like that now blanketing Beijing, said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Washington-based non-profit Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development and a reviewer of the study before its publication.

"Black carbon is not only more important for climate than we thought, it also kills over a million people every year who contract deadly respiratory diseases by breathing air polluted by black carbon," Zaelke said in a statement.

The study was published four days after the United States released a draft assessment of the climate, finding that the consequences of climate change are now evident in U.S. health, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture and especially more frequent severe weather.

That report followed a U.S. announcement that found 2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous United States, with thousands of individual weather records shattered.

(Reporting By Deborah Zabarenko; Editing by Paul Simao)

1/15/2014

U.S. EPA Issues Guidance Letter on Diesel Exhaust Fluid


EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a guidance letter late last year to heavy-duty on-highway engine manufacturers outlining how it intends to determine the physical range of adjustment of diesel exhaust fluid quality for certification testing, according to DiscoverDEF.com.

Because operator intervention is needed to refill DEF, the letter says there is potential to add liquid other than DEF, either accidentally or intentionally. The agency says a financial motive could also exist to refill the DEF tank with other liquids, as well as diluted DEF.

At the time of EPA certification of the manufacturer's engine, the agency says it examine what means the engine maker has implemented inhibit DEF quality adjustment. It notes that sensors in current and previous model years have been able to detect poor DEF quality for many engines, but not all, DEF dilution scenarios.

“EPA expects that operators that would tamper with DEF quality would most commonly attempt to do so by diluting DEF with water. Dilution of DEF with water can be accomplished cheaply and easily…” the letter says. “This type of dilution would cause little to no immediate damage to the [engine’s] selective catalytic reduction system and would not affect performance characteristics apparent to the operator, such as developed power or fuel economy, though it would likely lead to a substantial increase in nitrogen oxide emissions."

EPA says using the cost range for DEF of $3 to $5 per gallon and assuming 25% dilution with water, an operator that drives 100,000 miles a year, achieves a fuel economy of 6 miles per gallon, and whose engine doses DEF at 3% of its fuel consumption rate, could save from $375 to $625 per year in DEF costs.

The incorporation of DEF quality sensors could be a suitable option and the EPA believes that urea quality sensors can be installed on new vehicles by 2016.

A copy of the letter is on the EPA website.

1/14/2014

TRU Advisory: 13-25
Enforcement of the Broker-Forwarder-Shipper-Receiver Requirements Under the Transport Refrigeration Unit Regulation


What is the purpose of this advisory?
This advisory explains the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) enforcement plan for the freight broker, forwarder, shipper, and receiver requirements under the Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM or Regulation).1 These new requirements are needed to protect public health and ensure that TRU owners that have invested in cleaner equipment are not at a competitive disadvantage relative to noncompliant carriers.

When will these new requirements go into effect?
The new requirements for brokers, shippers, receivers went into effect January 1, 2013.

Who is subject to the new requirements?
The new requirements apply to the business entity that hires carriers for the transport of refrigerated goods on California highways and railways. This can be a broker, forwarder, shipper, or receiver. Carriers and their drivers also have new requirements.

What are the basic requirements?
Any business entity that hires carriers to transport perishable goods on California highways and railways must require the carriers they hire or contract with for transport of perishable goods, to only dispatch TRUs or TRU gen sets that comply with the TRU Regulation’s in-use performance standards. The hiring business entity must also provide their contact information to the carrier, which must then be carried with the driver.

Shippers and receivers must dispatch TRUs or TRU gen sets that comply with the TRU Regulation’s in-use performance standards if they travel on California highways or railways. Shippers and receivers must also provide information to the carrier about the shipper and receiver names and addresses.
Carriers must only dispatch compliant TRUs and TRU gen sets on California highways and railways. Carriers must also provide the driver with contact information for the shipper, receiver, and business entity that hired the carrier.

Drivers must, upon request by authorized personnel, provide their driver’s license, vehicle registration, bill of lading (or freight bill) with the origin and destination of the freight being transported.

1 TRUs and TRU generator sets are subject to the TRU Regulation under title 13 California Code of Regulations (13 CCR) sections 2477.1 through 2477.21. The requirements explained in this regulatory advisory for freight brokers, forwarders, shippers, receivers, carriers, and drivers are found in sections 2477.7 through 2477.11.

Drivers must also, upon request by authorized personnel, provide contact information for the carrier, shipper, receiver, and business entity that hired the carrier.

How and where will ARB enforce these requirements?
ARB inspectors will be inspecting TRUs at distribution centers, intermodal facilities, packing houses, cold storage warehouses, terminals, ports, railyards, border crossings, scales, roadside inspection centers, and truck stops. Citations will be issued when authorized enforcement personnel find violations of the requirements. State Law establishes penalties for violations of ATCM requirements of up to $10,000 per violation. ARB’s enforcement penalty policies are described in detail at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/enf/sb1402/policy.pdf. The proposed penalty amount may be adjusted based on the relevant circumstances, such as the extent of harm to public health, safety, and welfare; nature and persistence of the violation; compliance history of the defendant; preventive efforts and actions taken to ensure compliance prior to the violation; magnitude of effort required to comply; cooperation of the defendant; and financial position of the defendant.

Drivers that fail to provide the required driver information may be cited.

Carriers that dispatch noncompliant TRUs will be cited. Carriers may also be cited if their drivers indicate the carrier failed to forward to them the information from the hiring business entity.

Shippers and receivers that dispatch noncompliant TRUs will be cited. Penalties will likely start at $1,000 per violation. Shippers and receivers may also be cited if they fail to provide the shipper and receiver contact information to the carriers they hire.

Audits may be initiated against a hiring business entity if investigators find a pattern of multiple citations identifying the same business hiring noncompliant TRUs. As a first step, ARB investigators will audit the business entity that hired the carrier to determine if they used due diligence in their hiring processes. The hiring business entity will need to show the investigator documentation that shows their hiring procedures included adequate steps to ensure the carrier has the ability to dispatch compliant TRUs and required the carrier to dispatch compliant equipment. If that process is found to be inadequate, the hiring business entity will be cited and penalized.

What are some strategies that a hiring business entity might use to make sure they only hire carriers with compliant TRUs?
ARB’s Guidance for Brokers, Shippers, Receivers, Carriers, and Drivers on Hiring and Contracting for TRU-Carrier Transport of Refrigerated Goods on California Highways and Railways includes a number of strategies that hiring business entities can use. They include, but are not limited to:

  1. Send the carriers you normally do business with an annual notice that you will not hire a carrier that can’t show you that they are compliant with ARB’s in-use performance standards. Tell the carriers you do business with to bring their TRUs into compliance and register in ARBER.
  2. Require the carriers you do business with to show they can supply TRUs that are compliant with the TRU Regulation’s in-use standards. Require them to provide you with a current ARBER Certification Page for each of their TRUs. Build a file for each carrier you do business with that includes their current ARBER Certification Pages for the TRUs they will dispatch on California highways or railways. Require updated Certification Pages to maintain current compliance status.
  3. Encourage the carriers you do business with to only operate 100 percent compliant TRUs and to make sure they are listed on ARB’s 100 Percent Compliant Carrier List, if they plan to do business with you. Check ARB’s 100 Percent Compliant Carrier List to ensure the carriers you hire are currently listed as 100 percent compliant with ARB’s TRU Regulation in-use standards.
  4. When you advertise for an available load, make sure you require ARB-compliant TRUs. For example, the equipment specification on a load board should require an ARB-compliant TRU if the load could travel on California highways or railways.
  5. Contracts with refrigerated carriers need to include language that requires an ARB-compliant TRU if the load could travel on California highways or railways.
  6. Shippers should use bills of lading (or equivalent freight documents) for refrigerated loads that include bold language that the carrier or their agent signs next to, certifying that the equipment used to transport these goods is compliant with ARB’s TRU Regulation in-use standards.


What resources and links are available?


Background
TRUs are refrigeration systems powered by integral diesel internal combustion engines designed to control the environment of temperature-sensitive products that are transported in trucks, trailers, shipping containers, and railcars. The emissions from these units are a source of unhealthful air pollutants including particulate matter, toxic air contaminants, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons, and pose a potential threat to both public health and the environment. These units often congregate in large numbers at California distribution centers, grocery stores, and other facilities where they run for extended periods of time to ensure their perishable contents remain cold or frozen. These distribution and loading facilities are often in close proximity to schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods. In 2004, the TRU Regulation was adopted by the Board to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions from TRUs and TRU generator set engines. The TRU Regulation is designed to accelerate the cleanup of existing (in-use) TRUs and TRU generator sets through retrofit with verified diesel emission control strategies (VDECS), engine repowers, use of Alternative Technologies, or unit replacements. The TRU Regulation’s in-use standards are phased in and will reduce diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions from in-use TRU and TRU generator set engines that operate in California. The Board adopted amendments to the TRU Regulation on November 18, 2010,2 and October 21, 2011.3

2 ARB’s Regulatory Activity webpage for the 2010 rulemaking is at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2010/tru2010/tru2010.htm
3 ARB’s Regulatory Activity webpage for the 2011 rulemaking is at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2011/tru2011/tru2011.htm


For more information
Additional questions may be addressed by calling the toll-free TRU Help Line at 888-878-2826 (888-TRU-ATCM). To obtain a copy of the regulation or other related compliance assistance documents, visit the TRU website at http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/tru.htm. If you need this document in an alternative format or another language, please call 888-878-2826 or email arber@arb.ca.gov. TTY/TDD/Speech users may dial 711 for a California Relay Service.
Si necesita este documento en un formato alternativo u otro idioma por favor llame al 1-888-878-2826 o contáctenos por correo electrónico a arber@arb.ca.gov. Para Servicios de Relevo de California (CRS) o para el uso de teléfonos TTY, marquen al 711.

1/13/2014

Out of Touch or Out of Reach?


CARB On-Road Truck Rule Reporting Deadline Looms - Thousands of truck operators in California are on the verge of extinction. The reporting deadline for compliance with the 2014 requirements of the California Air Resources Board CARB) infamous on-road truck and bus rule in on January 31, 2014. It is no secret that may fleet operators waited until the very last minute to address the CARB compliance needs for 2014 (See Tuesday, July 16, 2013 “Expiring Exemptions Inching Ever Closer...Are You Ready?”). These fleet operators are now scrambling to get something done before CARB comes a knockin.

Although procrastination has helped many succeed and overcome insurmountable odds, for many others it has truly become the assassin of opportunity. If fleet operators took a series of steps prior to January 1, 2014, they could have received a “good faith” extension to July 1, 2014 before 2014 compliance must be demonstrated. If an operator did not take the steps outlined in the “good faith” extension, they must meet the rule deadlines as of January 1, 2014. It would seem that as of late, evidenced by those currently coming out of the wood work, many missed this deadline and are now facing immediate upgrade requirements.

truck carbOperators across the state are slowly finding out that CARB means business; massive fines are still being issued for non-compliance with annual smoke testing requirements, a rule that has been on the books since the late 1990’s. Recently, as far as the on-road truck and bus rule is concerned, the CARB Enforcement Settlement website has become awash with settlements for truck and bus rule non-compliance going back to January 1, 2012. What adds insult to injuries inflicted from non-compliance is the fact that not only does a fleet operator need to pay the fines once they are issued, but they are given a short time-frame to upgrade their fleet to achieve full compliance. It becomes ad double whammy, all of which could have been avoided by being proactive and getting the fleet into compliance before the scheduled deadlines.

Most of the time, that is easier said than done. With razor thin profit margins considered a good year for most in the trucking industry, little opportunity is afforded to fleets for purchasing new or minimally complaint equipment. Grant funding has all but dried up and even the statewide loan program is limiting reserve amounts for larger lenders, effectively removing a leg of the stool out from under those fleets that could have benefitted from a state sponsored loan. Leave it to CARB to complicate the only viable program for fleets operating in California just for the sake of saving face.

Regardless of diminishing opportunities for assistance, Fleet Operators are still being faced with the stark decision, upgrade into compliance or face the regulatory gauntlet. There are resources that can help, but for the most part, fleets are left on their own to figure out what needs to be done to avoid fines. There are some limited educational opportunities available to fleets; anyone who is non-complaint and even those who think they are complaint should take all the help they can get. With complicated exemptions and expiring filing deadlines approaching fleets should welcome any and all outside direction. One of these opportunities is right around the corner, on January 23, 2014 at 10am California Fleet Solutions will be hosting a FREE 2014 compliance webinar. Click Here to Register. This is a free event that will cover 2014 compliance requirements. It will be a live interactive meeting that will afford participants the opportunity to ask questions in real time. Don’t miss this opportunity; sign up now, space is limited. Get Compliant!

1/10/2014

New Diesel Truck and Bus Engines Emissions Dramatically Cleaner Than Expected


Frederick, MD (December 4, 2013) - A new study released today by the Coordinating Research Council[1] in cooperation with the Health Effects Institute[2] highlights the robust low-emissions performance of the new generation of clean diesel technology manufactured starting in 2010. The study found a more than 60 percent reduction in emissions of nitrogen dioxide as compared to previous 2007 models, and 99 percent reduction compared to 2004 models. The study noted that the reductions "exceeded substantially even those levels required by law."

"These findings underscore just how clean this new generation of fuels, engines and emissions control technology really is, coming in substantially cleaner than required under the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards" said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a Frederick, MD-based organization representing the diesel industry.

The study, the Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES), is a multi-party five year study to test the emissions and health effects of the new technology diesel engines to document the improvements that have been made and to ensure that there are no unintended emissions from this new technology. This portion of the ACES study (Phase 2) builds on the findings from Phase 1 completed in 2009 that found substantially lower levels of emissions of particulate matter than anticipated; in that case 2007 engines were 99 percent lower compared to 2004 models.

CARB Chart reduction

"Not only are the 2010 and later model year technology near zero emissions for fine particles, this study confirms that they are also substantially below the EPA/CARB standard for one of the key precursors to ozone formation (nitrogen dioxide)," said Schaeffer.

"These findings ultimately translate into clean diesel technology delivering significant clean air benefits for local communities. There is also great confidence in this new generation of clean diesel technology from those that use it every day. According to our research, today more than 11 percent of the commercial trucks and buses on the road are using the 2010 or newer generation of clean diesel technology; and more than one-third are using 2007 and newer technology[3]. Not only are these heavy-duty trucks and buses lower in emissions for particulates and smog forming compounds like nitrogen dioxide as reported today, but they must continue to meet these near-zero clean air performance standards for 435,000 miles; almost four times longer than required for passenger cars," noted Schaeffer.

"Getting to these near-zero levels of emissions is a result of the highly integrated clean diesel system; cleaner ultra low sulfur diesel fuel, advanced engine technologies and emissions control systems," explained Schaeffer. "Meeting the 2010 standards for highway vehicles was a major milestone, but we're not done yet. Starting January 1, 2014, heavy-duty engine and truck makers will offer new models that comply with the additional new standards for lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and minimum fuel economy levels, as required by EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"This clean diesel, clean air success story is due to the billions of dollars in investments made by engine manufacturers, fuel suppliers and emissions control technology companies. While this study is limited to highway diesel engines used in commercial trucks and buses, over the last five years virtually the same requirements (cleaner diesel fuel and progressively lower emissions standards) have been phased in for a large portion of new non-road engines. This coming year - 2014 - marks one of the key emissions milestones from some of the larger diesel engines used in off-road machines and equipment and marine vessels and locomotives," noted Schaeffer.

The study released today by HEI and CRC can be found via link at www.dieselforum.org.

ABOUT THE DIESEL TECHNOLOGY FORUM

1/10/2014

Bad air quality not going away


Unhealthy air threatens sporting events

For the past two weeks, the air quality in the Valley has been unfavorable — either for sensitive groups or for everyone.

“From January 1 to January 7, this has been an unhealthy area,” said Anton Simanov, outreach community representative for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, talking about the Porterville area.

It is all due to a ridge of high pressure that has refused to leave, resulting in stagnated air conditions, he said. The pollutants will continue to settle in the Valley, until the right combination of wind or pressure and rain clear the haze.

“We are not seeing any rain or wind. Our situation is pretty stagnate. It’s across the whole Valley. And the conditions are not helping,” Simanov said. “Looking at the current trend and looking at the weather forecast, it is not looking very good.”

Without wind or rain in the near forecast, the pollution is expected to continue, he said.

In the meantime, local schools are doing what they can to keep students safe.

Several local schools had the red “Poor Air Quality” flag provided by San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District flying next to the American and California flags.

At Burton School District’s William R. Buckley Elementary School, the red flag was flying for the second consecutive day.

Burton District school nurse, Amy Martinez, checks the air quality and let’s the P.E. teachers and custodians of each school site know the results, said Buckley Elementary principal Chastity Lollis.

“This is the first time ever we have been on an inside schedule when it is cold outside,” Lollis said. “Usually we see this kind of thing when it is hot. Not in January.”

But the school is prepared for unhealthy air quality days, she said.

“We have four flags — green, yellow, orange and red,” Lollis said. “The red is flying now. It’s a very unhealthy air quality day and when that happens, we keep our students inside for recess and P.E. We treat it as a rainy day schedule. Our concern is for the health and well being of all our students.”

When the area’s Air Quality Index, AQI for ozone and particulate matter — sooty air created by diesel engines, cars, and people burning fireplaces or other material, reaches “Unhealthy” or “Very unhealthy” status, a red flag is flown over the school.

The colorful flags indicate the following categories:

° Green — AQI of 0 to 50; Healthy air quality, outdoor activities permitted.

° Yellow — AQI 51 to 100; Moderate air quality. The air is unhealthy only for extremely sensitive children and adults. Outdoor activities permitted but school staff watch the children carefully for signs of distress, ensuring immediate access to medications for students with asthma.

° Orange — AQI 101 to 150; Unhealthy for sensitive groups, especially those with respiratory and cardiac conditions, those under the age of 18 and over the age of 55. From October to February, outdoor activities are only recommended between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

° Red — AQI 151 to 200; Unhealthy air for everyone. All students participate in indoor activities.

° Purple — 201 to 400; Very unhealthy and hazardous for everyone. All students participate in indoor activities.

Lollis said she has two giant bounce houses in the cafeteria. The students jump and play in the bounce house during recess.

“I really like this,” said Karson Amos, fourth grader at Buckley Elementary. “Everybody has a chance to jump. There’s a schedule and we all take turns. Every class gets 10 minutes at a time and we go in groups of five. But only during recess. Not at P.E.”

Physical education normally runs for half an hour, five days a week, he said.

“On regular days, we exercise, then we run one lap and then play a game,” Amos said. “But on these days, we just come in here and we watch a movie.”

On Wednesday, BEST, Burton’s after school program under the direction of Karen Spork, students also utilized the jump houses. The children screamed and chanted songs and rhymes as they jumped to their hearts’ content.

Other indoor activities include playing ‘silent ball’ or playing with Lego blocks or board games, Stork said.

District Athletic Director Rich Rankin for the Porterville Unified School district said the air quality is the worst he has ever seen.

“The last two days, we have sent warnings to the athletic directors at each school regarding the bad air quality,” Rankin said. “We’ve advised them about the poor air quality and have asked they take the necessary precautions.”

Reducing the amount of conditioning and increasing the number of breaks are among the precautions being taken, Rankin said.

“This is the first time we are dealing with this at this time of the year,” Rankin said. “We’ve had a few bad days of 110 degrees where we had to cancel an event but never in January. This is not the time of the year for that. I have never seen this before. We’re in uncharted territory.”

Rankin said they are monitoring the air quality and looking at Wednesday afternoon’s game. If necessary, they will make a phone call and cancel the game, he said at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.

“It’s not the ideal situation and hope we can still play,” Rankin said.

The game was not canceled but with the poor air quality expected to continue, Rankin said he will be keeping a close look at the daily numbers.

Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.

1/9/2014

ARB UPDATE


Who Should Report in 2014?
Reporting and clean-up requirements differ by Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) as outlined below.

Lighter vehicles (GVWR 14,001 to 26,000 lbs.)

  • No reporting is required. Clean-up requirements begin January 1, 2015.
Heavier vehicles (GVWR more than 26,000 lbs.)
  • No reporting is required for diesel truck owners that comply with the engine model year schedules, and are not using credits or extensions. 
  • Small fleets with three or fewer diesel vehicles that comply with the small fleet option.
  • Owners must opt-in by January 31, 2014 to qualify for the following flexibility options or extensions (except where noted):
    • Good Faith Effort
    • Agricultural Vehicle Extension
    • Log truck Phase-In
    • Low-Use Exemption (January 31 any year)
    • Low Mileage Construction Truck
    • Manufacturer delay (January 31 any year)
    • NOx Exempt/Added Area Extension (January 31 any year)
    • PM Filter Phase-In Option
Updating Fleet Information
Fleets that already reported will need to update their owner and vehicle information. 
  • If you have added, or removed vehicles from your fleet, installed filters, or upgraded engines on any of your vehicles you must report that information within 30 days.
  • If you reported for a mileage based extension such as Low Mileage Construction Truck, Agricultural vehicle, or Low-Use, you must report your vehicle's January 1 odometer reading by January 31, 2014, or when the vehicle is removed from the fleet.




1/8/2014

Plug Gains on U.S. Funding to Boost Range of Electric Trucks

Plug Power Inc. (PLUG), a maker of fuel-cells for warehouse forklifts, rose to a 32-month high after winning U.S. Energy Department funding to adapt its systems to extend the range of electric trucks.

Plug rose 39 percent to $3.85 at the close in New York, the highest since May 2011.

The Energy Department will provide $3 million for Plug to develop hydrogen fuel cells for 20 FedEx Corp. (FDX) delivery trucks built by Smith Electric Vehicles Corp., Latham, New York-based Plug said today in a statement.

The hybrid trucks will use 10-kilowatt fuel cell systems that double the 80-mile (129-kilometer) range of their lithium-ion batteries. Boosting the range will make the trucks viable for additional applications and may spur wider demand for vehicles that don’t require fossil fuels.

Plug has quadrupled since it said Dec. 4 that cost reductions and increasing orders may generate a profit this year after 14 years of losses.

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-07/plug-power-rises-on-u-s-funding-to-double-electric-truck-range.html

1/7/2014

Funding for bullet train draws controversy

SACRAMENTO — There are still a few days to go until Gov. Jerry Brown unveils his new budget proposal, but one of his ideas is already stirring controversy.

The governor wants to use cap-and-trade revenue to bolster the state's high-speed rail project, which has run into legal and financial trouble. The money could help keep construction going while bond funding is held up by a lawsuit.

The plan was described by sources who were not authorized to speak publicly before the governor releases his budget proposal Friday.

Cap-and-trade money is generated by forcing polluters to buy credits in order to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Brown previously raised the possibility of using the revenue for the bullet train last January, describing it as "a fiscal backstop" for the $68-billion rail project.

Although environmentalists support the bullet train, they don't want to see cap-and-trade money used to support it. Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California, said there are other projects that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions more quickly.

"High-speed rail will not get us reductions for many years," she said. "It doesn’t make sense to invest those funds now into something that will not get us reductions now.”

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, in a 2012 report, raised legal concerns over whether the money could be used for the bullet train. The report also said other environmental programs, such as improving energy efficiency, could also be a more cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Brown's use of cap-and-trade money generated controversy last year as well, when he borrowed $500 million from the sale of pollution credits to cover general fund expenses. The governor has promised to return the money, although a repayment schedule has not been released.

- More at http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-jerry-brown-new-budget-20140106,0,5134884.story#ixzz2pkQJOE2r

1/3/2014

Bay Area Experiencing Worst Air Quality Since 2006

 

Bay Area Experiencing Worst Air Quality Since 2006The Bay Area is experiencing a winter with some of the worst air quality in years as a fourth consecutive “Winter Spare the Air” day was announced for Friday.

Friday will be the 26th day this season that an alert has been issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which is banning wood burning in the region because of poor air quality.

A dry, stagnant weather pattern with little wind continues to linger in the Bay Area and does not appear to be leaving any time soon, air district officials said.

“Unfortunately, weather conditions that allow smoke to build up and cause public health impacts have not changed,” Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district, said in a statement today.

During a Spare the Air day, residents and businesses cannot use fireplaces, woodstoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices indoors or outdoors.

Homes that only have stoves or fireplaces as a source of heat are exempt from the ban.

Violators are subject to a $100 fine or the option to take a wood smoke awareness class. Violators face a $500 fine or higher for subsequent offenses.

Wood smoke has fine particles and other pollutants that make the air harmful to breathe and cause air pollution, according to the district.

Children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions are most susceptible to the effects of poor air quality, district officials said.

This winter has seen the worst air quality since 2006, primarily due to the dry weather, air district spokesman Aaron Richardson said.

There were 30 “Winter Spare the Air” days for the entire winter season in 2006-2007.

“We are threatening our record for (alerts). And we’re only halfway through the season,” Richardson said.

The winter season started Nov. 1 and runs until Feb. 28.

More information about the daily burn status is available at www.sparetheair.org or by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

12/23/2013

San Joaquin Valley officials fight with EPA over air quality

 

Local officials say that ozone has been reduced and hope to end fees they began three years ago to help pay for cleaning up the air. But the U.S. is skeptical and asks for more data.

After spending decades and hundreds of millions of dollars cleaning up stubbornly high levels of pollution, air quality officials in the San Joaquin Valley are telling federal regulators that enough is enough.

San Joaquin Valley officials say that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is unfairly blaming locals for air fouled by outside sources and is failing to take into account the pollution-trapping topography of the mountain-ringed basin.

"Once we've done everything we can, we should not be penalized," Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, said in reference to fees his agency has imposed on local drivers and businesses in recent years after failing to meet federal deadlines to curb smog.

Sadredin and others want the federal government to ease off and not hold local officials responsible for pollution blowing in from the Bay Area and Asia and exhaust from traffic passing through the San Joaquin Valley on California's two major north-south highways. Those pollutants, they say, mix with emissions from the region's sprawl of farms, cities and oil fields. It all gets boxed in by mountains and an inversion layer, bakes in the sunlight and becomes more concentrated, giving the San Joaquin Valley's 3.9-million inhabitants some of the nation's dirtiest air.

The dispute boiled over last month, when Sadredin and other local leaders declared that smog no longer exceeds a federal health standard for ozone. They urged the EPA to approve the finding so they can end fees they began charging drivers three years ago.

But federal regulators are pushing back.

The EPA says that readings at two of the most polluted air quality monitoring sites are flawed and do not prove that the region's air has been cleaned up enough to reach the agency's 1979 standard for ozone. The EPA says that it will hold the San Joaquin Valley to the same standards as the rest of the nation and has asked the district for more data to back up its contention.

Community activists call the San Joaquin Valley's ozone declaration premature — a publicity stunt — and insist that the region needs more restrictions on emissions from farms, dairies and industrial sites. They accuse air quality officials of protecting business interests over residents' health.

"We hear that we need to get off industry's back and stop complaining because the air is so much better now," said Dolores Weller, interim director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition. "They only want to talk about the positive, even though our air is still very dirty."

The region's clean-air rules are already among the most stringent in the nation and enacting stricter ones would bring economic hardship to a poor region with double-digit unemployment, air quality officials say.

Since the early 1990s, local regulators have adopted more than 500 air quality regulations, and pollution from industrial sources has dropped more than 80%. Days when hourly ozone concentrations exceeded limits have plummeted from 37 a year in 2003 to three in 2011 — and zero this year.

Breathing ozone, the worst component of smog, can harm children's lungs, trigger respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis and worsen heart and lung disease. In Fresno, children are diagnosed with asthma at twice the rate of California as a whole. On high ozone days, hospital visits for asthma rise nearly 50%, health studies show.

Businesses across the San Joaquin Valley's eight counties have spent an estimated $40 billion over the last 25 years to comply with clean air rules, and industry groups say the return on investment is diminishing.

Air regulators could find ways to cut industrial and agricultural emissions even further, said Anthony Wexler, director of the Air Quality Research Center at UC Davis, "but they have to walk a line between the economy and air quality, and there's always push and pull."

The air district has instead focused campaigns on individual behavior, broadcasting "air alerts" that ask residents to carpool and avoid drive-through service when hot, stagnant weather puts the San Joaquin Valley at risk for high ozone levels. One initiative targets parents idling their vehicles as they wait to pick up their children from school.

Yet the San Joaquin Valley remains the most polluted region in the nation outside of Southern California. Like Los Angeles, the San Joaquin Valley still falls short of newer, tougher health standards for ozone and fine particles, or soot. San Joaquin Valley air exceeds those limits dozens of days a year.

When severely polluted basins fail to meet the EPA's deadlines, the Clean Air Act requires local regulators to cut smog-forming emissions 20% or impose fees on major polluters to pay for emissions reduction projects.

When the San Joaquin Valley missed a deadline for ozone reduction in 2010, the EPA approved an alternative plan by the district to assess most of the penalty through a $12 increase on vehicle registration fees. The district has collected about $64 million from drivers and an additional $5 million from industrial facilities through the fees. It is using the money to replace school buses, diesel trucks and farm irrigation pumps with cleaner models.

At the same time, the district is paying to lobby federal lawmakers to repeal that provision of the Clean Air Act, calling it an "unfair federal mandate."

Sadredin, the air pollution district executive, has offered testimony to Congress that the government's air quality standards are impossible to meet. On a Fresno radio talk show over the summer, he described his agency's governing board as pro-business and conservative and said the ultimate solution would be for the EPA to "back off."

He and others note that about 80% of the San Joaquin Valley's air pollution comes from mobile sources, including cars, trucks and tractors that are regulated by the state and beyond the air district's reach. They also cite studies measuring polluted air drifting into the valley from Asia and argue that they should not be liable because it is from outside the United States.

The air district's latest disagreement with the EPA centers on air monitors in two of the San Joaquin Valley's smoggiest places. One in the Kern County community of Arvin was moved to a location with better readings after its lease expired in 2010 and another in Fresno was turned off nearly one-fifth of the time in 2011, according to the EPA.

San Joaquin Valley air regulators are now drafting a report to submit to state and federal regulators in support of their smog declaration. The document, they say, will explain that the Fresno air monitor was shut down for maintenance during the morning and in winter, when ozone is not a concern. It will also cite a study last summer that showed the new monitor in Arvin registers higher pollution levels than the old site.

"We may get bogged down on a technicality" Sadredin said, "but we believe we have solid scientific support."

Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times

12/23/2013

California trucking association continues pressing suit against CARB

 

Continuing a nearly two-year-long effort, the California Construction Trucking Association appealed a December 2012 court ruling in its case against the California Air Resources Board.

CCTA alleged that CARB’s slow rollout of increasingly strict emissions regulations that require truck wonders to upgrade to newer-model equipment or install soot filters.

“The CARB diesel engine regulation will ultimately force the replacement of most diesel powered commercial vehicles that do not meet 2010 EPA emissions standards in order to operate in the state of California,” said CCTA in a news release. “Despite claims used to justify this regulation by regulators and environmental groups that public grant funding is readily available to assist truckers in complying — this is not true.”

Click here to read the original story.

12/13/2013

Pilot program may reduce truck idling at ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach

 

Trade industry leaders on Wednesday launched a pilot program that could change the way trucks and terminals operate at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

If successful, the program would help reduce the number of truck trips, save on fuel consumption and improve air quality, officials said.

Officials went live with the Freight Advanced Traveler Information Program, a $750,000 demonstration funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration that would allow drivers and schedulers to plan for container pickups based on real-time information.

The six-month project involves Yusen, a marine terminal at the Port of Los Angeles that handles about 1,400 containers a week, and a fleet of 50 trucks from Rancho Dominguez-based Port Logistics Group, which would be outfitted with systems to let drivers and schedulers know when drivers can arrive to pick up containers.

The Transportation Department is expected to publish the results of the project, which has a goal of reducing fuel consumption and truck trips by 15 percent.

Mike Johnson, president of the Harbor Trucking Association and director of intermodal operations at Port Logistics Group, called the demonstration project “groundbreaking.”

“This is the first time where we are going to have the opportunity to really communicate with the marine terminals … (and) where we can do some serious planning on how to create efficiencies where there haven’t been before,” Johnson said.

Currently, when a truck arrives at a terminal, it waits in line to pick up cargo, a process that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to more than two hours. Many trucks idle at the ports because they are waiting for their containers, which are often times at the bottom or in the middle of hundreds of other containers.

“I can’t tell you how much congestion there is at the port,” Johnson said. “It’s unbelievable every single day, and it’s important that we reduce those turn times.”

The system, led by Cambridge Systematics, uses software developed by Productivity Apex that gives drivers and terminal operators a sense of when is the best time to pick up a container based on a math formula that takes in a number of variables, including driver availability, traffic conditions and other factors.

By using Bluetooth proximity readers in and around the marine terminal, the system can communicate congested locations to truckers and dispatchers, and that information can be provided in different languages, Johnson said.

“With the advance information, terminals can pre-plan their moves,” Johnson said. “When you come to a gate, it will direct you to a lane to get you in and out faster.”

The Port of Los Angeles supports the technology and is proud that Yusen Terminals in involved in the demonstration, said Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield.

“As a stakeholder, it’s pretty exciting technology,” Sanfield said. “We’re hoping that the test expands to other container terminals in Los Angeles and Long Beach.”

Contact Karen Robes Meeks at 562-714-2088.

12/11/2013

Air pollution battle pits administration against GOP-led states
The Supreme Court seems receptive to the call for tougher environmental rules to reduce cross-border air pollution from Midwestern and Southern states.

WASHINGTON — In a regional air pollution battle with partisan overtones, the Obama administration appeared to make headway Tuesday in persuading the Supreme Court to allow tougher federal environmental standards to prevent ozone and other emissions from coal-producing Midwestern and Southern states from wafting over Northeastern states.

The politically charged dispute pits the Obama administration and environmentalists against mostly Republican-led states with less stringent industrial pollution controls, as well as the electric power industry.

In something of a surprise, most justices sounded as if they were leaning toward restoring the Environmental Protection Agency's so-called good neighbor rule to reduce cross-border air pollution. Called for under the Clean Air Act to prevent one state's pollution from harming another, the proposed EPA rule seeks to impose federal pollution limits on states.

But the rule has proved difficult to implement. In 2008, an earlier version proposed by the George W. Bush administration was rejected by the courts because it did not go far enough to protect the East Coast states. Last year, two Bush-appointed judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit blocked the latest version, crafted by the Obama administration. The judges said the rule went too far in imposing federal limits on the states.

In urging the high court to reverse that decision, Deputy Solicitor Gen. Malcolm Stewart said the EPA rules were needed "because of widespread noncompliance" by states whose power plants were sending pollution toward the East.

Northeastern states have long complained that despite tough anti-pollution standards imposed on their businesses and drivers, poor air quality continues to be a costly and dangerous problem, largely because of coal-fired power plants in states such as Kentucky and Ohio. Those emissions are carried to the Eastern Seaboard by prevailing winds.

The EPA said its proposed stricter limits on ozone and other air pollutants would save up to 34,000 lives a year, spare hundreds of thousands of people from asthma and other respiratory problems, and save the nation at least $120 billion a year. The upgrades to power plants and other costs could total more than $2 billion a year, the EPA said.

Stewart insisted the smokestack limits would "protect the public health and strike a fair balance between the competing interests of upwind and downwind states."

Opponents of the EPA rules said the agency exceeded its authority and should have given states an opportunity to reduce emissions on their own.

Fourteen states, led by Texas, urged the court to throw out the Obama administration rule. The EPA "has written the states out of the Clean Air Act" by imposing a federal rule, said Jonathan Mitchell, the Texas state attorney. He was supported by lawyers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The EPA had the support of nine states — New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Vermont — as well as the cities of New York, Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia. In a friend-of-the-court brief, their lawyers argued that the stricter limits on smokestack pollution were needed and long overdue.

Only Justice Antonin Scalia sharply challenged the government's position during the 90-minute oral argument.

The court's four liberals appeared to agree with the administration's argument that the EPA was simply trying to enforce the Clean Air Act. The agency is due "substantial deference," Justice Elena Kagan said.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy also said the law appeared to give the EPA flexibility.

Although the state versus state battle is largely rooted in geography, partisan elements are hard to ignore. Most of the complaining East Coast states are led by Democrats, while the Midwestern and Southern states are Republican-dominated.

Illinois, President Obama's home state, split with its Midwest neighbors to support the EPA rule. New Jersey, meanwhile, led by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, declined to sign a separate but related EPA petition this week in which his fellow East Coast states called for even tougher rules to be imposed on their Midwestern counterparts.

Environmental advocates said they were encouraged by what they heard.

"A majority of the justices seemed to think the design of the cross-state air pollution rule was reasonable," said Vickie Patton, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund. "The millions of Americans who are suffering from smog pollution should not have to wait because of more years of delay."

david.savage@latimes.com

12/09/2013

CARB sued over DPF requirement as OOIDA alleges rule is unconstitutional

 



The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has sued the California Air Resources Board over the agency’s requirement that 2006 year-model and older trucks be retrofitted with a particulate matter filter to run in the state, alleging the regulation is unfairly costly, not beneficial and unconstitutional.

OOIDA filed the suit Dec. 6, asking the court to permanently stop CARB from enforcing the retrofit regulation for truck owners and operators who live outside of or primarily conduct business outside of California. OOIDA says the rule violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and discriminates against out-of-state truckers.

CARB’s rule, which begins Jan. 1, requires that year-model trucks 1996-2006 be retrofitted with a diesel particulate filter to operate in the state or potentially face hefty non-compliant fines.

OOIDA’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of California, says the regulations “have caused and will continue to cause irreparable injury to these truckers who have effectively been shut out of the California market because of the costs of compliance.

Moreover, OOIDA alleges in its suit that the CARB regulations will “not result in any measurable global climate change, nor in any measurable reduction of the effects of global warming,” thereby not justifying the costs for truck owners to comply.

With its filing today, OOIDA became the third party to have an active suit against CARB over its Truck and Bus Regulation, as the California Construction Trucking Association filed a suit in March 2011 and has appealed on-decisions in the case since — the most recent of which coming in January of this year — and the Alliance for California Business filed a suit last month claiming CARB failed to note defects and potential fire-causing dangers of the required particulate filters.

Jim Johnston, OOIDA’s president, says out-of-state operators are disproportionately adversely affected by the rules, as they have to spend the same amount of money as in-state operators to comply even though they run much fewer miles in the state. “CARB has overstepped its bounds by requiring trucks from other states to be upgraded in order to operate in California,” Johnston said.

CARB has been contacted for a response to the suit, which will be published when it becomes available.

CARB has announced various proposals in recent weeks to either postpone deadlines or offer exemptions for some out-of-state drivers. Click here to read more on them.

- See more at: http://www.ccjdigital.com/carb-sued-over-dpf-requirement-as-ooida-alleges-rule-is-unconstitutional/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=12-09-2013&utm_campaign=CCJ&ust_id=6943b2f353&#sthash.KGXhIsJ9.dpuf

12/05/2013

Dozens of Solano farmers, business owners object to air rules

 



Air quality regulations handed down from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) are quite the contentious topic in Solano County.

More than 30 people, mostly small-business owners and farmers, attended a town hall meeting Wednesday evening hosted by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Solano, to express their concerns about costly regulations to the state and to Mary Nichols, who chairs the air board.

The meeting was aimed at addressing how ARB regulations intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions affect both local and statewide businesses and how policymakers and regulators can mitigate the adverse impacts to these businesses.

"One shoe doesn't fit all," said Derrick Lum, president of the Solano County Farm Bureau.

Lum and other farmers with small businesses that own tractors were concerned that they would have to buy new equipment, based on information they were given from the state about the new regulations. He explained that while their tractors are old, they have very few hours on them and are still reliable.

John Pierson, who owns 20 acres, owns two tractors.

"Tell me how I'm going to make 20 acres pay for two new tractors," he said.

Representatives from the ARB, however, clarified that they "don't have any plans for regulations in Solano County." They explained that their focus is on the Central Valley, where emissions are greater.

Others were concerned about the impact of the regulations on small businesses.

"We haven't recovered from the recession," said Betty Plowman from Dixon, who owns a small-farm trucking company.

Herman Rowland, owner of the Jelly Belly Candy Co., said he can't focus on running his business because of undue regulations. "We're staying in California," he said. "You have to understand the impact to small business. ... I want you to know there is more to it."

He said the costly regulations makes it hard to hire more people.

Chuck Timm, with the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce, explained that the small businesses he represents can't deal in cap-and-trade credits, in which larger companies that contribute to pollution are credited for reduced emissions.

"What can you do specifically to protect small businesses?" he asked the chair.

Nichols explained that small businesses and even residential customers can see a credit on their utility bills starting next year.

She acknowledged that, as with all regulations, the new rules create winners and losers and that it will be harder for some to comply with the regulations. That's why, according to Nichols, the ARB gives more time, adds flexibility and even includes exemptions in its rules. It's also why the board seeks public input ahead of time.

"Be more active in the organizations that represent you," she said. "We try really hard to make sure you're involved on the front end.

"We're trying to reach a goal to clean up the air," Nichols continued. "In doing so, we're trying to create a level playing field."

She explained that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which set the 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal into law.

It directs the ARB to begin developing actions to reduce greenhouse gases and prepare a scoping plan to identify how best to reach a goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Frazier said he understood the impact of the economy on small businesses because he, too, is a small-business owner in the construction industry.

"I agree that small business has been impacted and that those regulations before the recession continued during the recession," he said. He promised that the dialogue with the state will continue.

Follow Staff Writer Melissa Murphy at Twitter.com/ReporterMMurphy.

 

11/26/2013

CARB delaying retrofit deadline, sued over alleged DPF misleading

 



The California Air Resources Board is delaying the particulate matter filter retrofit enforcement deadline to July 1 for truck owners who report by Jan. 31 they made a efforts toward trying to comply with the retrofit law.

CARB released Nov. 13 an advisory that said it would recognize truck owners’ “good faith” actions toward compliance by Jan. 1, the deadline for retrofitting a particulate matter filter. The state says it will delay enforcement through July 1 for those who’ve mad efforts and then reported the efforts by Jan. 31 to CARB’s Truck Regulations Upload and Compliance Reporting System.

CARB already announced this month it would be increasing its low-use mileage exemption from 1,000 miles a year to somewhere between 5,000 and 7,500 miles.To qualify for the particulate matter filter enforcement delay, owners of any sized fleet must show they took one of the following steps:

*Have an agreement with an authorized installer of a particulate matter filter retrofit

*Signed a purchase contract and ordered a replacement truck equipped with a PM filter (2007 model year engine or newer)

*Were approved or denied financing for a retrofit filter or for a replacement truck equipped with a filter

CARB says it will also recognize “good faith” efforts of truck owners of small fleets — one to three trucks — who meet all requirements of the Proposition 1B Goods Movement Emissions Reduction Program. Click here to see more information in the advisory.

CARB sued over alleged DPF non-disclosure
The newly formed Alliance for California Business has filed a lawsuit against CARB for allegedly not disclosing known defects associated with Diesel Particulate Filters, which are required for all trucks starting in 2014.

The complaint was filed in Glenn County and says that the mandated DPFs can cost up to $20,000 per truck.Moreover, it says DPFs have caused fires and are “not designed for use on short distance travel routes and commonly malfunction as a result,” the suit says.

Truck owners can qualify for help with purchasing them, but no help is provided if damage is caused by the filters or if income is lost while the truck undergoes repair, the lawsuit says.

A case management conference is set for May 9.
- See more at: http://www.ccjdigital.com/carb-delaying-retrofit-deadline-sued-over-alleged-dpf-misleading/#sthash.twlXP6hg.dpuf

11/20/2013

DIESEL CRACKDOWN: State regulators cite offending trucks

 

@ Press Enterprise

Gary Broadwater, 47, didn’t appreciate the $300 citation he received Tuesday, Nov. 19, after the flatbed truck he drove was inspected by state air-pollution regulators just off Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore.

The truck owned by his employer, the Lancaster-based Frazier Corp., didn’t have a special exhaust filter that traps and burns diesel soot to reduce harmful emissions. Nor was the truck registered as part of a small fleet, which would have given the company until Jan. 1 to install such a device or get a new cleaner engine, state regulators said.

“It’s just one thing after another,” said Broadwater, standing in the makeshift truck inspection area on Collier Avenue near the Lake Elsinore Outlet Center. “I like clean air. I Iike clean water. But this is just frivolous,” he said.

Broadwater, a Lancaster resident, climbed back into the cab of the 2006 Peterbilt, holding the thin, yellow-paper ticket as well as educational literature about the California Air Resources Board diesel regulations.

“I got to roll,” he said as he shut the door and drove off with his load of construction equipment.

State air pollution regulators inspected 54 trucks at the location Tuesday between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. They wrote 13 citations.

These inspectors enforce a complex set of rules approved in 2008 that requires California’s truckers to phase-in the use of cleaner, newer engines or retrofit old engines with the special exhaust filters that cost about $15,000 each.

This owners of about 50,000 trucks in the smallest fleets of three or less face a Jan. 1 deadline to bring their trucks into compliance.

A trucking industry group supports the enforcement effort, saying it’s needed to keep cheaters from getting a competitive advantage over truckers and trucking firms that pay to meet the standards.

The rules are working to greatly reduce diesel pollution, which has been linked to cancer, asthma aggravation and various other health problems, said Mark Tavianini, a state air board official who teaches truckers how to comply with the rules.

Once inhaled, microscopic soot particles lodge deep into the lungs, enter the blood stream, and injure and inflame cells of organs, including our brains.

Diesel soot from trucks, trains and ships is responsible for about 93 percent of cancer risk from air pollution in Southern California, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The diesel rules are helping the region make progress toward meeting federal standards on fine-particle pollution, which includes soot.

Tavianini said the citations are issued to the truck owners – not the drivers. So the status of Broadwater’s driver’s license won’t be affected.

On Tuesday, flashing signs ordered all southbound trucks off I-15 at Nichols Road. A California Highway Patrol officer directed the trucks from Nichols to Collier Avenue, where they were subjected to a CHP safety inspection.

Some of the trucks, generally the older ones, were then inspected by the state air-board officials. Older trucks generally pollute more. The newer ones are made to meet tougher emission standards.

Karen Caesar, a spokeswoman for state air board, said the agency has teams of roadside inspectors working throughout California.

Contacted in Sacramento, Michael Shaw, the vice president for external affairs for the California Trucking Association, said the industry group supports the enforcement effort.

The association “is happy to see that CARB is taking enforcement seriously to be sure the rules apply equally across the board,” Shaw said. “With a level playing field, companies can compete on services and rates rather than someone cheating the system.”

He said the trucking industry is spending about $1 billion a year in California to comply with these diesel regulations.

Most trucks pass the pollutions inspections, which have gone on in some form since the early 1990s. In the early day, truckers got busted for emitted exhaust that was too dark. Inspections today are based more on engine year and pollution-control installations

Memo Rocha, of Oceanside, said he was nervous when the inspectors checked out the 2000 Freightliner truck owned by his employer, Forest Wood Fiber Products. But the truck passed an emission test. The company’s fleet had complied with the state rules, and he left without a concern.

Follow David Danelski on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DanelskiReports and Twitter @DavidDanelski

11/20/2013

CARB confusion? Agency says low-use exemption can come two ways

 



 

In late October, the California Air Resources Board considered a plan that sounded as if it would exempt most long-haulers that don’t often run in the state from its most expensive trucking regulation.

Rather than comply with CARB’s Truck and Bus Rule, also known as the On-Road Rule, CARB staff proposed an exemption for trucks that ran less than 5,000 miles annually.

After a week of disagreement about the exemption in industry publications and trucking talk radio, CARB cleared the matter up Monday, Nov. 18.

CARB Spokeswoman Karen Caesar said heavy-duty diesel trucks that operate in California may be exempt from the Truck and Bus Rule by meeting one of two standards.

“The low-use definition as proposed is 5,000 total miles on the truck in one year,” Caesar said. “Or, for interstate trucks that travel more than 5,000 miles per year, they can still use the low-use exemption if they travel less than 1,000 miles within the state’s borders for the year.”

CARB also says trucks can’t use the exemption without notifying the state. Truck owners that either will use the exemption or will upgrade their trucks to meet the rule’s requirements must sign up with the rule’s registry system.

In its original form, CARB’s On-Road Truck and Bus Regulation was predicted to cost the trucking industry billions of dollars in truck replacement or retrofit work. The rule requires most trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds to be upgraded either with diesel particulate filters or by upgrading to cleaner and newer engines between 2012 and 2023.

At CARB’s Oct. 24-25 board meeting, 43 individuals spoke about the Truck and Bus Rule, including many small-business truckers who worried the rule’s 2014 requirements would put them under.

Several CARB board members expressed concern that the rule could be forcing businesses to fail and showed support for the exemption.

“We need small businesses here in California, and the regulation does tend to weigh heavily –almost four times the amount of cost on small businesses as it does large businesses,” Board Member Sandra Berg said in October.

The proposed exemption prompted questions about whether the 5,000-mile limit meant in the state of California only, since CARB’s regulatory authority is there.

OOIDA’s Business Assistance Department took nearly 150 phone calls about CARB in early November.

The exemption is planned to be considered at CARB’s April 2014 board meeting. In the meantime, CARB announced last week that it would waive enforcement of the rule for the first six months of 2014 for truck owners who ordered trucks, diesel particulate filters or could prove they were turned down for a loan to purchase equipment to meet the rule.

For more information, go to the Truck and Bus Rule section on the CARB website here. CARB’s diesel hotline is available at 866-6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or by email at 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov.
Copyright © OOIDA

11/19/2013

Big Rigs Traveling I-15 to Be Checked for Air Quality Compliance


 



 

Inspections will be conducted Tuesday in a designated pullout along I-15 during the morning hours.
Truckers traveling through Riverside County on Tuesday could be stopped and their rigs checked for emissions control compliance, according to state officials.

Representatives from the California Air Resources Board, along with California Highway Patrol officers, will be conducting random checks of big rigs going north and south on Interstate 15, according to CARB officials.

"The effort is part of a stepped-up enforcement campaign to ensure that clean air requirements are understood, and that big rig drivers are in compliance with the laws designed to improve air quality in the Inland Empire and beyond," said Karen Caesar of the CARB.

She said heavy-duty diesel rigs will be the primary targets.

Inspections will be conducted in a designated pullout along I-15 during the morning hours.
—City News Service

11/19/2013

Editorial: Truckers still deserve answers

 



 

Our view: We hope the state uses the one-year delay in emission regulations to address problems with the diesel particulate filter.

Likely no one was surprised that a group of trucking companies and business owners filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board over diesel regulations.

Filed in Glenn County Superior Court last week, the lawsuit was penned by an attorney for the Alliance for California Business, a nonprofit organization whose members include commercial and ag haulers throughout the state.

It's understandable that the state agency has angered so many. Small trucking firms already operate on thin margins, with a long life required for their expensive equipment. Then the state came along and demanded expensive regulations that are supposed to improve air quality, mandating either new trucks or filters that supposedly will clean the air but truckers say don't work as promised.

The required diesel particulate filter that the state has ordered truckers to adopt is expensive, and many say it causes problems in trucks. The alternative — park the truck and buy a new one — is a ridiculous suggestion.

We were encouraged to see an admission by the state that this might not be the best idea with last week's announcement about a delay in the filter's implementation for most of the state.

The state has retreated on when the filters need to be in place, delaying the implementation in the less-polluted north state and other regions of California for at least a year. Truckers were facing a Dec. 31 deadline.

While this won't have an impact on the local lawsuit, it is a good indication CARB's gotten the message. We hope the state will use the one-year delay to address equipment flaws and even the question of whether existing trucks in the north state should be exempt from the laws.

Other parts of the state received money for truckers to swap out their trucks or purchase the filters. We still believe a better approach, at least in this area where the air is cleaner than the San Joaquin Valley or Los Angeles basin, is to require cleaner-burning engines for all new trucks, with the older trucks grandfathered in.

The state didn't seem to take into account the precarious position of small businesses.

Clean air legislation isn't going away. But what truckers want is the required equipment to be efficient and work properly. That's not an unreasonable request, in our minds.

Source: http://www.chicoer.com/editorials/ci_24552443/editorial-truckers-still-deserve-answers

11/18/2013

Port Of LA Truck Drivers Strike Over Unfair Labor Practices

 



 

CARSON (CBSLA.com) — Truck drivers at three companies at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach walked off the job Monday as part of a 36-hour strike protesting unfair labor practices and wages.

Drivers at all three companies alleged harassment, intimidation and other violation of Federal labor laws as the reason behind the strike.

Striking port truck drivers at two of the companies – Green Fleet Systems and AmericanLogistics International say they have endured unlawful retaliations against them in their efforts to organize a Union with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Drivers at Pacific 9 Transportation claim they are classified as “independent contractors” and are demanding recognition as full-time employees.

“We work long lines, low pay. We are classified as independent. We have no rights. We basically have to do whatever we’re told to do,” driver Carol Cauley said.

Pac 9 drivers have also alleged wage theft on behalf of their employer.

Picketers are also expected at company warehouses, rail yards and distribution centers.

Green Fleet Systems drivers last protested in August over unfair labor practices.

11/14/2013

REGULATORY ADVISORY!

 



Truck and Bus Regulation ARB Will Recognize Good Faith Efforts to Comply and Provide Early Access to Expected Regulatory Changes

This advisory describes steps the Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) is taking to assist vehicle owners with the transition to the upcoming January 1, 2014, particulate matter (PM) filter compliance deadline under the Truck and Bus regulation (regulation). The overall goal of these actions is to:
 Provide additional time for owners to complete their good faith compliance efforts
 Provide additional flexibility for many lower use vehicles and vehicles that operate solely in certain areas of the State
To qualify and use the compliance options described in this Advisory, truck owners must report specific information to ARB through the Truck Regulations Upload and Compliance Reporting System (TRUCRS) by January 31, 2014, as described below.
ARB recognizes that many fleets are taking actions to comply with the January 1, 2014, deadline but may not be able to complete them on time. For such fleets, ARB is providing guidance to truck owners that are compliant for 2013 and have made good faith efforts to comply with the January 1, 2014, deadline to give assurance that they will not be subject to enforcement action for non-compliance prior to July 1, 2014.
In addition, at its October 24, 2013, meeting, the Board directed ARB staff to examine several potential changes to the regulation that could provide owners additional compliance flexibility. In developing these changes, staff will evaluate them to ensure that emission levels remain similar to what would be expected under the current regulation, and do not jeopardize a region’s ability to meet health based federal air quality standards. Potential changes include increasing low-use vehicle thresholds, allowing owners to newly opt-in to a number of existing flexibility provisions, providing adjustments to the “NOx exempt” vehicle provisions, and granting additional time for fleets in certain areas to meet the PM filter requirements. Because the Board will not formally consider these changes until April 2014, this advisory allows truck owners to report and take advantage of applicable anticipated regulatory changes.

Click here to learn more >

11/13/2013

North state alliance files lawsuit against CARB regulation

 



WILLOWS — A rural-based group of north state truck owners and operators who transport commercial and agricultural loads have filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board, regarding the legality of truck and bus regulations.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in Glenn County Superior Court, the Alliance for California Business maintains that CARB executives failed to disclose information about the diesel particulate filters the state is requiring California truck owners install by Jan. 1 or park their trucks.

The alliance would like to see the Jan. 1 deadline suspended.

The alliance says the required filter has "caused innumerable problems for ACB members and truck owners throughout the state," as well as having "numerous negative environmental impacts."

A press release about the lawsuit maintains that the filters cause trucks "to break down on highways and require days (sometimes weeks) of repair efforts."

The alliance says the filter has caused fires and destroyed truck engines, and "malfunctions" on short-distance runs.

"The malfunction requires these truck owners to drive empty trucks on the road for longer distances without stops, serving no commercial purpose other than to burn off soot buildup" in the filter.

The alliance maintains this uses fuel and energy, as well as increases air pollution.

Truck owners say the filters are expensive — costing $20,000 each — and then cost more when repair bills and income loss from idled time are considered. The lawsuit maintains that CARB offers no financial assistance for those hurt by the design defects.

The alliance points out the north state air quality is not as bad as other parts of the state, and the regulations mandate a "one size fits all" plan for California trucks.

Reach Laura Urseny at 896-7756, lurseny@chicoer.com or on Twitter @LauraUrseny.

11/12/2013

CARB examines change that could help out-of-state truckers

 



The California Air Resources Board is considering a move that would help out-of-state truck drivers be able to make limited trips through California even if their trucks don’t meet the state’s most expensive emissions regulation.

In its original form, CARB’s On-Road Truck and Bus Regulation was predicted to cost the trucking industry billions of dollars in truck replacement or retrofit work. The rule requires most trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds to be upgraded either with diesel particulate filters or by upgrading to cleaner and newer engines between 2012 and 2023.

At CARB’s Oct. 24-25 board meeting, CARB staff outlined a plan to allow its 1,000-mile annual exemption from the Truck and Bus Rule to be expanded to 5,000 miles.

Violet Martin, air pollution specialist with CARB’s Mobile Source Control Division, estimated that 15,000 trucks still need an emissions upgrade by the end of 2013.

“Staff believes this will provide targeted relief to fleets that most need assistance without appreciably changing the overall benefits of the regulation or the ability of non-attainment regions to meet federal air quality standards,” Martin said.

CARB also could examine furthering its financial incentive programs aimed at helping small business trucking operations. Martin said staff plans to present the 5,000 mile exemption plan by CARB’s April 2014 board meeting.

The proposal to boost the mileage was presented before a passionate discussion about the Truck and Bus Rule.

CARB’s records show 43 individuals lined up to address the board about the On-Road Rule. Several speakers, including Redding Mayor Rick Bosetti, warned about the danger of hurting trucking and other industries that rely on diesel trucks. Others that spoke questioned CARB’s figure of 15,000 for trucks still needing to be upgraded, with many suggesting that number is closer to 500,000.

“You have over a half a million trucks based outside the state of California that still are required to be in compliance,” Karen Pelle told the board. Pelle said she has replaced multiple diesel particulate filters that have had cracks.

Skip Davies, Mayor of Woodland, CA, estimated the rule would shutter 60 to 80 percent of small trucking businesses in his county.

“We still have technology issues with the filters,” Davies said. “They don’t all work. They plug up. Some have to be replaced.”

Several CARB board members indicated support for expanding the mileage requirement to 5,000 miles, and looking at other ways to help small-business truck owners.

Greg Furlong, an owner-operator, said he put 3 million miles on a 1981 Peterbilt before selling it in 2003 to buy a brand-new Peterbilt that year. The rule’s requirement that he add a filter has worried his family and may force him to leave his lifelong career, Furlong said.

“It’s been my life since I bought my first truck in ’68,” Furlong said. “Basically, I’m going to be out of business.”

Skip Thomson, member of the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, said he watched CARB’s television commercial about the Truck and Bus rule and its “Just do it” slogan.

“Just doing it could cost anywhere between $20,000 for a new filter up to $140,000 for a new truck,” Thomson said. “So ‘Just doing it’ is a little problematic for some of my constituents. … This is an extreme burden on our small businesses.”

CARB’s board members reflected concern about the welfare of businesses, though more than one member mentioned the need to continue pursuing regulations that would better air quality and public health.

CARB Chairman Mary Nichols said she had a “particular bias in favor of the proposal to increase the size of the low-mileage exemption.”

“I’m also very interested in pursuing further this question of whether there are trucks who – either by the nature of their business or by where they’re located – should not have the same level of concern for us from a regulatory public health perspective,” Nichols said. “Having said all of that, I also can’t help remind us that at the end of the day, by its very nature, regulation advantages some more than others and disadvantages some other than others.”

Board Member Sandra Berg, who said she owned 17 trucks and supported staff’s recommendation to increase the mileage limit for the exemption, said she has followed the rule closely as it has developed since 2008.

“This is for real,” Berg said. “People are not coming here to talk about these issues in a way to be defiant, or flippant. ... I can’t express strongly enough the need that regulation should not drive small businesses out of business. We need small businesses here in California, and the regulation does tend to weigh heavily – almost four times the amount of cost on small businesses as it does on large businesses.”

For more information, go to the Truck and Bus Rule section on the CARB website here. CARB’s diesel hotline is available at 1-866-6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or by email at 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov.

11/7/2013

Redding Council Votes to Gear Up in Battle With State Over Exhaust Emission Rules

 

By

With a 5-0 vote, the Redding City Council agreed Tuesday to confront the California Air Resources Board over looming diesel engine emission standards that opponents say will deal a crippling blow to the north state’s already fragile economy.

The vote authorized Mayor Rick Bosetti to write CARB and invoke Redding’s “coordination” authority. Coordination is a process that requires federal agencies (and state agencies that receive federal funding) to work with local governments before implementing policies or plans that impact the local community.

The coordination process was proposed at the council’s Oct. 15 meeting but a motion to proceed stalled on a 2-2 vote. Bosetti, who joined Councilwoman Francie Sullivan in voting no, said he wanted to wait and see what transpired at an Oct. 24 CARB meeting before taking a more confrontational tack.

The emission standards, which the state says will remove thousands of tons of diesel soot from California’s air and prevent some 3,900 premature deaths, will force hundreds of truck and bus operators to make costly retrofits to their vehicles or, in many cases, retire them.

Pat Cramer, an Anderson-based insurance agent who deals almost exclusively with trucks, said she has been dealing with CARB for six years and has come to the conclusion that “they want to get us out of business.”

As the emission requirements now stand, trucks made in 2006 and older—or 73 percent of the trucks she insures—will be off the road by Jan. 1, Cramer said.

Of particular concern to Councilman Gary Cadd are the $20,000 particulate matter filters required for all heavy trucks with engines manufactured in 2009 or older. The filters are too temperature sensitive to be of use in slow-moving construction vehicles and prone to overheating in trucks on the highway, Cadd said.

Betty Plowman, a truck driver from Vacaville with 24 years of experience and a north state representative for the California Construction Trucking Association, encouraged the council to pursue the coordination process, even while adding that a recent meeting with some of Gov. Jerry Brown’s staff indicated rural counties may receive an extra year to comply with the new standards.

CARB officials may discuss that possibility at a Dec. 5 hearing in Redding, Bosetti said.

Cadd said he would take the lead in researching and organizing the coordination process with help from a coordination committee that includes Sylvia Milligan and Greg Mann.

Councilwoman Missy McArthur said she would join the rest of the council in supporting the coordination effort but expressed concern over the timing of the vote, noting the Dec. 5 hearing in Redding. “I don’t want to necessarily irritate these people,” she said, a comment that elicited some jeers from the audience.

“This is not a slap in the face or a poke in the eye,” Councilman Patrick Jones said. “It’s giving our citizens a place at the table.”

11/6/2013

Should truckers be able to block Oakland port?

 

By Will Kane @ San Fransisco Chronicle

(11-04) 18:16 PST Oakland -- Oakland's port hopes to stop disgruntled truckers from blocking busy port streets during protests of new regulations and poor working conditions.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Appel sided with the port Oct. 17 and issued a temporary restraining order stopping truckers from blocking roadways in and around the port during demonstrations.

Twice in August and October, truck drivers refused to haul goods from the port, which is the 5th busiest in the nation, and, according port officials, prevented other truck drivers from hauling containers into and out of some parts of the port.

At issue are state regulations that will require trucks to emit less exhaust, low pay and work conditions like long lines and lack of bathrooms.

In a statement on Monday, the Port of Oakland Truckers Association called the injunction a "major escalation" in the ongoing strife at the port. Cesar Parra, a representative of the group, did not return a call seeking comment.

But Marilyn Sandifur, a spokeswoman for the port, said authorities had no choice but to ask a judge to stop the truckers from breaking the law.

She said international shipping companies have noted the slowdowns at the port.

"If you lose cargo, you lose business and if you lose business you lose economic impact, economic impact in terms of jobs," Sandifur said.

The trucker's attorney suggested the port was trying to squash the trucker's right to protest.

"People have a right to protest," said Dan Siegel, an attorney for the truckers. "People have a right to picket. The question is, is there evidence that people were going to exceed the legal restrictions of a picket?"

Truckers, Siegel said, did protest in port sidewalks but would move when traffic needed to pass. But Sandifur said the truckers blocked the roadway.

The two sides will appear in court later this month.

The fundamental issue is a state law requiring truckers or replace or retrofit their rigs to meet new air quality standards.

The laws were approved five years ago to cut down on diesel emissions from trucks carrying goods into and out of ports and rail yards. Truckers have had to add soot filters, upgrade to newer engines or replace old vehicles. By Jan. 1, California will require all trucks serving its ports to have engines whose model year is 2007 or newer.

The port, along with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have given $38 million to help truckers comply with deadlines, Sandifur said.

As a result, the port says, diesel particulate matter from port trucks has plummeted 88 percent since 2005.

11/1/2013

Port of Oakland truckers promise to keep working through negotiations

 

By and

After forcing a one-day closure of the Port of Oakland over regulatory and wait-time complaints last week, independent truckers say they are pursuing negotiations with the California Air Resources Board, and have promised no further work stoppages through at least Monday, Nov. 4.

The drivers say the truce comes after Oakland Mayor Jean Quan agreed to broker talks between them and the state air quality agency. Truckers have been trying for months to negotiate an extension on potentially costly environmental regulations due to be implemented on the first of the year, protest organizers say.

“This is what forced us to go to this work stoppage,” said Frank Adams, a driver at the port and a member of the Port of Oakland Truckers Association, a group of truckers behind the recent demonstrations. He said the truckers met with Mayor Quan on Oct. 24. They are now leaning on the mayor for help with the deadline.

“We gave her ten days,” he said. “We told her there’s not going to be any work stoppages anymore until those ten days are up.”

Mayor Quan’s office did not respond to requests for an interview.

The Port of Oakland is the fifth busiest container port in the United States. Much of its traffic is in agricultural products. It is the export hub for the Northern California wine industry, and for meat, dairy, fruit and nuts from the Central Valley. With the harvest season at hand and the holidays approaching, port officials say this is a critical time of the year – raising the stakes of any labor dispute.

Such battles are complicated by the sheer number of stakeholders involved. The Port of Oakland leases its docks to four terminal companies, who in turn oversee day-to-day operations at the seaport, working with organized labor, steamship companies, trucking companies and non-union, owner-operator truck drivers to move cargo. When a dispute arises, the various parties do not necessarily divide into neat factions.

Last week’s work stoppage began before dawn on Oct. 21, as roughly 100 owner-operator drivers set up demonstrations around the port. The fiercest protest was staged at the Oakland International Container Terminal, where about 20 truckers were joined by roughly 40 other activists, many of whom had met in Occupy Oakland actions.

By 8 a.m., several dozen Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies had pushed the protesters onto the shoulder of the road. They remained there throughout the day, hoisting pickets, chanting, and hurling verbal abuse at the police. By that afternoon, longshoremen were refusing to work and the demonstrations had forced the closure of the port.

The shutdown lifted when longshoremen returned to their posts for the 7:00 p.m. shift that evening. Mike Villeggiante, president of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, said his members started working only after an arbitrator from the Pacific Maritime Association ruled they were violating their contract by failing to do so.

Despite the port’s re-opening, demonstrations continued until Wednesday. Some drivers stayed home on Tuesday, slowing work at the port, but there were no further shutdowns.

Despite port officials’ urgent need to move cargo during the harvest season, frustrated truck drivers say their demands can’t wait. At the end of December, trucks with engines that don’t meet year 2007 emissions standards will be banned from the port under regulations from the California Air Resources Board. The drivers are demanding the port and the city help them negotiate a one-year extension of the impending deadline. They are also asking for state funding to help them purchase new trucks.

Adams said a used truck that complies with the regulations might cost between $40,000 and $50,000, plus up-front maintenance expenses, and many drivers have not yet upgraded their rigs.

“That could be 400 to 700 families in the Bay Area and Oakland out of work in one day,” he said.

Officials at the port say they do not know exactly how many trucks are already in compliance. That tally won’t be completed until after the Jan. 1 deadline. However, statistics from the state Air Resources Board indicate that as of August, more than two thirds of the roughly 5,900 trucks that serve ports and rail yards in Northern California had been upgraded, and the majority of those trucks operate at the Port of Oakland.

Port Spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur said that since the emissions regulations were passed five years ago, the state, the port, and other parties have disbursed a total of $38 million to help truckers meet the requirements.

In 2008, a health assessment by the state Air Resources Board found that diesel pollution in West Oakland, the community closest to the port, was three times more severe than the Bay Area average. The pollution was causing an estimated 290 additional respiratory illnesses and 18 premature deaths each year in the neighborhood, as well as higher cancer rates. The study pinpointed trucks serving the port as a major source of the emissions.

Research conducted since then has indicated the pollution rules are beginning to work. In 2011, researchers from the University of California Berkeley reported that diesel pollution from port trucks had declined 50 percent from 2010 levels.

Truckers still calling for end to congestion

Independent drivers have also called for an end to long lines at the port, which they say force them to idle for as long as seven hours while waiting to pick up containers, burning precious fuel and frittering away time that could be more profitably spent delivering cargo.

“We don’t get paid for the hours and hours of waiting,” said East Oakland resident Herbert Olivares. “We don’t get paid squat. Nothing.”

Olivares and other drivers have also called for bathrooms inside the port’s terminals, where they say they have been forced to relieve themselves in bottles while they wait in line.

They say the congestion is most severe at the Oakland International Container Terminal, (OICT) which is owned by the private firm SSA Marine, a unit of Seattle-based Carrix Inc. But after last week’s protests, SSA Marine has satisfied one of their demands. On Friday, Oct. 25, the company gave some of the truckers a tour of new porta-potties installed at the terminal.

“To that extent, yes, they are trying to meet some of our demands,” said Frank Adams, of the Port of Oakland Truckers Association. “It’s a really cheap fix and it ain’t the one that we really want, but they did put in the bathrooms.”

Bob Watters, senior vice president at SSA Marine said in a telephone interview that the company has also taken steps to ease congestion. This summer, the company acquired two additional terminals at the port. The resulting mergers created a so-called “mega-terminal” that now occupies roughly a third of the terminal acreage at the port. But the merger also led to a logistical logjam, which created congestion and sparked a previous work-stoppage by the truckers in mid-August.

Watters, of SSA, says that congestion is no longer an issue.

“Things are moving quite well,” he said. “Initially it was a little bit slower as we started off the integration [of the terminals]. But now that’s been resolved.”

Adams disagreed.

“Between ten being the worst and one being the best, they’re at nine, and before in August they were ten,” he said. “They got a long way to go. We got very big lines.”

With many stakeholders involved at the port, other perspectives vary.

ILWU 10 President Mike Villeggiante also said that conditions in the terminal had improved since August, partly as a result of a series of meeting between truckers, terminal operators, organized labor, port officials and other parties.

“Does everything run smooth every single day? No. But on the majority it has improved,” he said, noting that SSA had hired additional longshoremen at the terminal. “It is running good.”

In several letters, Port Director Chris Lytle has pushed for SSA Marine and other terminal operators to compensate truckers for congestion.

“Extensive terminal delays, when they occur, can be devastating to the livelihood of these drivers,” he wrote on Oct. 15, a week before the most recent work stoppage. He warned that if the terminal companies failed to take action, the results might include driver shortages, higher bills for people shipping goods through the port, lost cargo and “the significant costs of demonstrations and protests.”

10/30/2013

State fines Bakersfield firm for failure to update diesel trucks

 

- Article source. Copyright By Mark Glover

The California Air Resources Board has fined Bakersfield-based KS Industries, an engineering and construction firm, $230,250 for failing to update its diesel trucks to clean up harmful emissions as required by state anti-pollution laws.

ARB investigators said the company for missed two key compliance deadlines: failing to retrofit 1996-1999 model year heavy duty trucks with diesel particulate filters by Jan. 1, 2012, and failure to retrofit 2000-2004 model year trucks by Jan. 1, 2013.

ARB said $172,688 was paid to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to fund air pollution research, and the remaining $57,562 has been paid to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District to fund the School Bus Retrofit Supplemental Environmental Project.

In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

10/24/2013

TRU (reefer) owners: Only 1 Week left to qualify for compliance extension!

 

- Article source; emailer from CARB. Copyright By R. Hill, ARB.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) reminds model year (MY) 2006 TRU owners: If you want to qualify for compliance extensions, only one week remains before the purchase order deadline for ordering Level 3 verified diesel particulate filters (DPF) for retrofitting your reefer engines.

MY 2006 transport refrigeration unit (TRU) and TRU generator set engines must comply with the TRU Regulation’s in-use performance standards by December 31, 2013. The TRU Regulation does not allow compliance extensions if orders for verified diesel emissions control strategies, such as Level 3 DPFs, are placed after October 31st and installation is not completed by December 31st, 2013.

However, if MY 2006 TRU owners order verified diesel emissions control strategies (VDECS), such as Level 3 DPFs, by the end of October, installation by the end of 2013 is very likely possible. More importantly, if you order a Level 3 DPF before October 31st and delivery or installation is delayed so that you can’t comply by the end of 2013, you may qualify for a compliance extension.

To qualify for compliance extension:
• Purchase orders for Level 3 DPFs must be placed by October 31st,
• The TRU must be registered in ARB’s Equipment Registration (ARBER) system, and
• An application for extension must be submitted to ARB with the required documentation by December 31, 2013.

Again, MY 2006 TRU owners that place orders for Level 3 VDECS after October 31st will NOT qualify for this compliance extension if they discover they cannot comply by December 31st due to delays in delivery or installation.

TRU replacement engines may still be available for delivery and installation by December 31, 2013, if you order soon. However, the purchase order deadline for ordering replacement engines and units has already passed – it was August 31, 2013. Therefore, if you order replacement engines or units after August 31, 2013, and installation is delayed until after December 31, 2013, you will NOT qualify for a compliance extension.

For general information about the TRU Regulation and VDECS information, the TRU Website is at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/tru.htm
Scroll down toward the end of the webpage for Level 3 VDECS information.

The ARBER registration website is at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/arber.htm

ARBER Registration Help pages are at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/trureg/trureg.htm

TRU Advisories are listed at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/advisories.htm

TRU Compliance extension applications are at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/trureg/truextensions.htm

If you have questions about compliance or registration in ARBER, please call the TRU Help Line at 1-888-878-2826 or call 1-916-327-8737.

Background: TRUs are refrigeration systems powered by integral diesel internal combustion engines designed to control the environment of temperature-sensitive products that are transported in trucks, trailers, shipping containers, and railcars. The emissions from these units are a source of
unhealthful air pollutants including particulate matter, toxic air contaminants, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons, that all pose a potential threat to both public health and the environment. These units often congregate in large numbers at California distribution centers, grocery stores, and other facilities where they run for extended periods of time to ensure their perishable contents remain cold or frozen. These distribution and loading facilities are often in close proximity to schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods. In 2004, the TRU Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) was adopted by the Board to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions from TRUs and TRU gen set engines. Amendments were adopted by the Board in November 2010 and October 2011.

 

10/24/2013

TRU (reefer) owners: Only 1 Week left to qualify for compliance extension!

 

- Article source; emailer from CARB. Copyright By R. Hill, ARB.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) reminds model year (MY) 2006 TRU owners: If you want to qualify for compliance extensions, only one week remains before the purchase order deadline for ordering Level 3 verified diesel particulate filters (DPF) for retrofitting your reefer engines.

MY 2006 transport refrigeration unit (TRU) and TRU generator set engines must comply with the TRU Regulation’s in-use performance standards by December 31, 2013. The TRU Regulation does not allow compliance extensions if orders for verified diesel emissions control strategies, such as Level 3 DPFs, are placed after October 31st and installation is not completed by December 31st, 2013.

However, if MY 2006 TRU owners order verified diesel emissions control strategies (VDECS), such as Level 3 DPFs, by the end of October, installation by the end of 2013 is very likely possible. More importantly, if you order a Level 3 DPF before October 31st and delivery or installation is delayed so that you can’t comply by the end of 2013, you may qualify for a compliance extension.

To qualify for compliance extension:
• Purchase orders for Level 3 DPFs must be placed by October 31st,
• The TRU must be registered in ARB’s Equipment Registration (ARBER) system, and
• An application for extension must be submitted to ARB with the required documentation by December 31, 2013.

Again, MY 2006 TRU owners that place orders for Level 3 VDECS after October 31st will NOT qualify for this compliance extension if they discover they cannot comply by December 31st due to delays in delivery or installation.

TRU replacement engines may still be available for delivery and installation by December 31, 2013, if you order soon. However, the purchase order deadline for ordering replacement engines and units has already passed – it was August 31, 2013. Therefore, if you order replacement engines or units after August 31, 2013, and installation is delayed until after December 31, 2013, you will NOT qualify for a compliance extension.

For general information about the TRU Regulation and VDECS information, the TRU Website is at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/tru.htm
Scroll down toward the end of the webpage for Level 3 VDECS information.

The ARBER registration website is at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/arber.htm

ARBER Registration Help pages are at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/trureg/trureg.htm

TRU Advisories are listed at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/advisories.htm

TRU Compliance extension applications are at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/arber/trureg/truextensions.htm

If you have questions about compliance or registration in ARBER, please call the TRU Help Line at 1-888-878-2826 or call 1-916-327-8737.

Background: TRUs are refrigeration systems powered by integral diesel internal combustion engines designed to control the environment of temperature-sensitive products that are transported in trucks, trailers, shipping containers, and railcars. The emissions from these units are a source of
unhealthful air pollutants including particulate matter, toxic air contaminants, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons, that all pose a potential threat to both public health and the environment. These units often congregate in large numbers at California distribution centers, grocery stores, and other facilities where they run for extended periods of time to ensure their perishable contents remain cold or frozen. These distribution and loading facilities are often in close proximity to schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods. In 2004, the TRU Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) was adopted by the Board to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions from TRUs and TRU gen set engines. Amendments were adopted by the Board in November 2010 and October 2011.

10/21/2013

KS Industries fined $230,000 for diesel fleet violations
Company failed to install filters to reduce diesel emissions

 

- Article source
copyright By Karen Caesar, ARB.

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has fined Bakersfield-based KS Industries, an engineering and construction firm, $230,250 for failing to update its diesel trucks to clean up harmful emissions as required by state anti-pollution laws.

ARB investigators cited the company for missing two key compliance deadlines. KS Industries failed to clean up its fleet in accordance with the State Truck and Bus Regulation, retrofitting 1996 – 1999 model year heavy duty trucks with diesel particulate filters by Jan. 1, 2012, and 2000 – 2004 model year trucks by Jan. 1, 2013.

“The Air Resources Board is committed to improving air quality and educating business owners about how to comply with the regulations that were created to help achieve this goal,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “All businesses that depend on their vehicle fleets need to pay attention to the specific deadlines of the State Truck and Bus Regulation, and understand that ignoring or forgetting them can result in a hefty fine.”

Of the $230,250 owed by KS Industries, $172,688 was paid to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to fund air pollution research, while the remaining $57,562 has been paid to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District to fund the School Bus Retrofit Supplemental Environmental Project.

In addition, as part of the settlement, KS Industries will also:

  • Ensure that staff responsible for compliance with the diesel truck emission inspection program attend a diesel education course and provide certificates of completion within six months;
  • Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state’s idling regulations;
  • Ensure that trucks have the most recent engine-operating software installed to limit the amount of NOx (NOx, or oxides of nitrogen, is a primary ingredient of smog);
  • Ensure that all 1974 and newer diesel-powered vehicles are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an engine certification label.
  • Become compliant with the Truck and Bus Regulation by November 15, 2013.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

10/21/2013

Truck drivers to strike at Port of Oakland

 

- Article source
copyright By Terray Sylvester - Oakland North Staff Writer

Port of Oakland truck drivers are planning to stop work and begin picketing Monday morning. The drivers are protesting chronic congestion at the port, which they say has created dangerous working conditions.

“We are desperate for help,” said Frank Adams, with the Port of Oakland Truckers Association. “We are trying just to be treated humanely.”

Long turnaround times at the port have sliced into drivers’ profits, Adams said. Many drivers own their own trucks and are paid by the load, not by the hour. At the same time, their fuel costs have climbed because they spend hours idling while waiting to pick up cargo.

The drivers say they are also protesting regulations imposed by the California Air Resources Control Board, which would require them to upgrade their trucks before the end of the year.

The truckers are demanding a congestion fee that would compensate them for the extra hours they spend waiting in line at the Port. They are also calling for financial assistance, and a longer timeframe, to help them meet the air pollution requirements.

The truckers are planning to begin picketing at 5 a.m. They will focus on the Oakland International Container Terminal, which is operated by SSA Marine. The terminal is one of seven at the port and, according to the truckers, the site of the most severe congestion.

Representatives of the Port of Oakland couldn't be reached for comment on Sunday evening.

The action comes in the wake of a previous work stoppage by the drivers this August. Since then, many of their complaints have remained the same, but they have become better organized.

Adams said that over the past several months, drivers have formed the non-profit Port of Oakland Truckers Association, which helped organize the strike. Adams is on the Association’s board of directors, and he said the group’s membership consists of about a tenth of the roughly 2,000 drivers who operate at the Port.

The Truckers Association has reached out to members of Oakland’s Occupy community in an attempt to spread the work about the work stoppage.

Lauren Smith, who participated in the Occupy protests that shut down the Port of Oakland in 2011, said the collaboration between the two groups was almost accidental. She and several other former Occupy members learned about the strike when they attended one of the truckers’ meetings on Friday, October 17.

After a planning meeting with the truckers in downtown Oakland on Sunday afternoon, she noted that she and other Occupy members already knew a thing or two about disrupting operations at the port.

“It was really convenient,” she said.

9/30/2013

Left-coast gamble: CARB’s enforcement potential, narrow compliance alternatives

 

- Article source
copyright By Todd Dills

carb choicesIn addition to the trucks he owns and his leased owner-operators, Lightning Logistics co-owner Joe Hammerslough dispatches independents with their own authority, some of whom routinely work the 400-mile Phoenix-Los Angeles corridor with a goal of decent miles and weekend home time. “Those are lower-grossing freight lanes,” he says, “because it’s only 400 miles.” If you can get $2 a mile, “$800 a day is not a bad living,” he adds, but not enough to sustain the cost of a new or late-model truck. A lot of those operators tell him that when they see regular enforcement from California Air Resources Board of its Statewide Truck and Bus Rule, coming online for small fleets with three or fewer CARB-registered trucks at the end of the year, they’ll just stop running their trucks.

But Hammerslough could be on the hook, too, for actions taken by CARB inspectors against such operators. It’s not just the equipment owner who’s responsible for compliance, a recent Ironman Parts webinar spelled out. Citations levied by CARB against independent or leased owner-operators also can be levied against the entity that sent them, whether broker, dispatching service or leasing motor carrier.

Comments on Overdrive Online suggest CARB just doesn’t have the manpower or the will to enforce the engine requirements. “They have only 100 enforcement people to take care of this debacle,” an anonymous commenter noted under a June story on the yearend upgrade requirements, urging operators to just keep running in the state. “The chances of getting caught are like playing the lottery. Everyone here is still running their junk.”

CARB Public Information Officer Karen Caesar says the agency has “approximately 150 staff in its enforcement program, all of whom can technically enforce the diesel regulations,” as can other CARB staff. Additionally, “selected [local/regional] air districts and ports with which we have [Memoranda of Understanding] can also enforce our diesel emissions regulations.”

According to the numbers, California began enforcement under a new Statewide Truck and Bus program in 2012, opening a total 400 investigations with just $20,325 collected in various penalties. In the field operations-based portion of that program, however, 2,802 inspections were completed that year, with 298 violation notices issued to the tune of $171,050 collected in noncompliance penalties, or about $600 per noncompliant case.

In 2012, the inspection program’s first year, it was the second-most lucrative program overall measured per inspection, behind only enforcement of reefer unit compliance rules. Keep in mind, too, these statistics come from a year in which only about 30 percent of the total number of trucks on the highway, says Rajkovacz, fell under one or another of the DPF retrofit or upgrade requirements – non-small fleet equipment of model years 1996-2004.

Next year, that will include all the small-fleet trucks plus 2005-06 trucks. Given the large pre-buy of 2006 model-year engines, many of which ended up in 2007 model-year trucks, Rajkovacz estimates somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of the diesel vehicle population will be exposed to the regulation.

Keeping that $600/violation average figure in mind, the possibilities are green indeed when it comes to generating revenue for the state. “Take a scale like Banning,” says Hammerslough. “The number of trucks that cross that scale every day is enormous. One CARB inspector out there could tell CHP (California Highway Patrol) he wanted to see every truck that was 2007 or older – if you don’t have a compliant engine, then, you’d be in some serious trouble.”

Caesar says penalties levied for individual violations can range from $300 to $10,000. CARB also takes into account the history of the violating business. If a company is a repeat offender, having flouted CARB rules in the past, fines can be toward the higher end. 

Conditions the board must take into account in enforcement actions are spelled out in California legislation S.B. 1402, posted on the agency’s website, and they likewise include a provision for consideration of the financial burden the penalty would place upon the defendant. Resolution procedures include an “opportunity to discuss,” so if you are unlucky enough to be nabbed, you might negotiate a lower penalty.

Owner-operator Bill Taylor, who had looked into the retrofit market to upgrade his 2007 Western Star powered by a 2006 engine, ultimately decided not to change his hardware. Though his fleet, FedEx Ground, had backed off of its attempts to get him to upgrade, he ultimately opted for the operational latitude to choose just where he goes. Today, he and his wife, Robyn, also a driving partner, have leased the Western Star to Landstar, where self-dispatch is the norm. “I’ll just take California off my map,” he says.


9/20/2013

California Air Resource Board cracks down on big rigs

 

- Article source
copyright By Tillie Fong  tfong@sacbee.com

For the past few months, Monte Eberhardt had been hearing from other big rig drivers that he may have to retrofit his cattle-hauling truck to meet new emission standards.

“I looked it up about the filter and I have until the end of January,” said Eberhardt, 40, of Wheatland.

But the owner of Eberhardt Livestock found that he was wrong Tuesday, when he was pulled over just north of Sacramento for a state Air Resources Board truck inspection.

He was issued a citation for not having an emission control label on the engine of his 1998 Kenworth rig, and was told that he would be fined $800 if he did not have the engine tested and certified as meeting emission standards within 45 days. That means he either gets a particulate-matter filter installed or switches out the engine for a 2007 or newer model. At that point, the fine drops to $300.

“I became an owner-operator recently, and I’m still learning,” said Eberhardt, who bought the truck a year and half ago. He said he would likely install a particulate-matter filter, which he estimates would cost about $20,000. “The truck is still in pretty good shape,” he said.

Tuesday, two ARB inspectors were checking big rigs southbound on Highway 99, just north of the split with Interstate 5, to see if they were complying with the agency’s requirements. Older trucks were pulled aside for inspection, and refrigerated trucks were also checked to see if the engine for the refrigerator unit was in compliance with idling regulations.

Truck drivers were asked to rev up their engines so that the inspectors could see if black smoke was coming out of the smokestacks. Then they were asked to pop open the hood, so that inspectors could check the engine to see what year it was and whether it had an emission control label. Inspectors can also check via laptop to whether the truck has been registered and whether the company has other trucks. If the truck passes muster, then a yellow sticker is placed on the windshield, which means it doesn’t need to be checked again for three months.

The inspection usually takes less than five minutes, and a number of newer trucks were allowed to bypass the inspection.

“We don’t want to take up any more time than we have to,” said Mark Tavianini, manager of the ARB’s mobile source compliance training section, who was helping with the inspections.“We know they have a job to do. Time is money.”

For the 57 trucks pulled over at the spot Tuesday, eight citations were issued. Eberhardt’s citation was one of three involving emission control labels. Three citations fell under statewide truck and bus regulations, one was for commercial vehicle idling, and one was a transport refrigeration unit-related citation. For the first six months of 2013, the agency has conducted about 3,100 inspections of trucks and buses in the state and has issued about 390 citations.

“There are likely many trucks still out of compliance with California’s strict anti-pollution laws,” said ARB spokeswoman Melanie Turner. “Our overall goal is for all heavy-duty diesel trucks to have 2010 or newer engines by 2023.”

On any given day, about a million trucks and buses are traveling in the state, half of which are based in California, according to Turner. The exhaust from those vehicles contains particulate matter – soot – as well as nitrogen oxides, which can adversely affect health.

“Seventy percent of the cancer risk from air toxics is from diesel particulate matter,” Turner said. “Technology has improved so much over the past 15 years. Now filters are available that reduce diesel emissions by 85 percent or more, compared to having no filter at all.”

For that reason, in 2008, the ARB established rules to reduce those pollutants from diesel-powered vehicles weighing 14,000 pounds or more. A phased schedule was set up for trucks to either install a particulate-matter filter or switch over to a 2010 engine, depending on the year of the engine. For example, Eberhardt’s truck would fall in the schedule for 1996-1999 engines, which are required to have a particulate-matter filter installed by 2012, and switch out to a 2010 engine by the year 2020.

Under the regulations, all trucks with 2005 to 2006 engines have until the end of this year to install a filter, so another 50,000 trucks would have to come into compliance before Jan. 1. In addition, companies that have two or more trucks in their fleet must have at least one truck retrofitted by 2014. After that, the company faces a $1,000-a-month fine for every month out of compliance.

“People will be finding that the flexibility will go away,” said Bruce Tuter, an ARB air resource specialist, about the fleet requirement.

For Daniel Guerrero, 40, of Madera, owner of Daniel’s Trucking, that was bad news. He has three trucks in his fleet, and he was driving one of them – a Freightliner with a 2000 engine – when he was pulled over Tuesday. None of his trucks have particulate filters installed.

“It puts the heat on the small guys, said Guerrero, who learned that he had to retrofit one truck this year, another truck next year and a third after that. “Only the big companies have the resources to comply with the regulations. When I bought this truck, it was legal. Now they’re saying it’s not. They are changing the rules.”

He estimates that it would cost $12,000 to $18,000 to install the particulate-matter filter on one of his trucks. If he had to replace an engine, Guerrero said, that would run $25,000 to 30,00, while getting a new truck – for $140,000 to $160,000 – would be out of the question. He said the regulations would drive him out of business, as he can’t afford to make the necessary upgrades.

“I will have to downsize and let go of the other drivers,” he said. “I am going to run this until the end of this year, and I will have to raise my rates.”

However, complying with the regulations may not be as onerous as Guerrero suggested. A typical particulate filter usually runs about $15,000.

“There are funding opportunities for the upgrades,” said Eloy Florez, an ARB air pollution specialist. “They (truckers) are eligible for funding up to $45,000 toward a truck replacement.”

Eberhardt was interested in seeing if he was eligible for funding to help with the retrofits, and although he was cited, he said he didn’t mind the random inspection.

“We can’t breathe dirty air,” he said. “There are lot of vehicles, cars and trucks. It is what it is.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/18/5745478/california-air-resource-board.html#storylink=cpy

9/16/2013

Air board has allies in diesel pollution crackdown: Truckers

 

- Article source
copyright By Tony Barboza, L.A. Times

As state air pollution officials step up inspections of diesel exhaust from big rigs, some of their best allies are truckers themselves.

They are pushing the Air Resources Board to enforce pollution rules more aggressively for trucks in advance of a Jan. 1 deadline.

Truckers are also the No.1 tipsters, placing anonymous calls and sending emails to finger competitors they say are gaining an unfair advantage by not upgrading their engines or installing expensive filters that capture harmful diesel particulates before they are released into the air.

Diesel exhaust is the worst remaining pollution source on roadways. It contains smog-forming nitrogen oxides and fine particles — soot — that lodge deep in the lungs and are linked to lung and heart disease, asthma and cancer. Diesel soot was classified as a toxic air contaminant by the state in 1998.

Air quality officials say it accounts for 85% of Southern California's cancer risk from air pollution.

The regulations being phased in over the next decade are the nation's toughest and target the nearly 1 million diesel trucks that operate in the state.

By Jan. 1, about 50,000 more heavy diesel trucks — including those of the smallest fleets, owner-operators and independent drivers that make up the bulk of the industry — will have to install diesel particulate filters or upgrade to newer, cleaner engines.

The industry says the rules are not being enforced strongly enough.

"Companies have invested millions of dollars only to be undercut by carriers that are choosing not to comply because they figure they won't get caught," said Michael Shaw, a spokesman for the California Trucking Assn. "Without additional investment in enforcement ... there's little chance the Air Resources Board is going to do more than scratch the surface."

The agency sends about 20 enforcement staffers a day to conduct field inspections of trucks around the state. They target truck fleets and major transportation corridors, including the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, the Central Valley and the U.S.-Mexico border. Fines range from few hundred to thousands of dollars.

"Resources are limited, and for a lot of this we expect the deterrent effect," said Paul Jacobs, chief of diesel enforcement for the Air Resources Board. "We'll have an enforcement presence, but we're not going to get everyone."

Most trucks pass the inspections. In the first six months of 2013, the agency conducted 3,098 inspections for the diesel truck rules and issued 378 citations, for a compliance rate of 88%.

That could dip once new requirements take effect.

"At the end of this year, there are going to be a lot of people clambering to try to get into compliance," said Matt Schrap, president of California Fleet Solutions, a company that helps trucking firms meet air quality regulations. "Some guys are probably just going to turn in the keys or keep operating until the ARB catches them."

California's rules, approved in 2008, faced stiff opposition from truckers and were relaxed two years later to give the industry more time to comply. But the rules put the state on track to slash emissions from diesel trucks 90% over the next decade and avoid 3,500 premature deaths, according to the Air Resources Board.

State officials estimate that trucking companies will pay $2.2 billion to comply with the rules through 2023. The industry says it is spending much more, about $1 billion a year, to replace trucks and install particulate filters, which can cost more than $10,000 per truck.

Environmental groups laud air quality officials for boosting the number of inspectors in recent years and helping truckers access grants and loans to upgrade their rigs. As the rules kick in, they hope to see air quality improve and rates of respiratory illness ease in neighborhoods near heavy truck traffic.

"Millions of people are exposed in these hot-spot areas and need the relief," said Diane Bailey, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Likely to see some of the sharpest drops in exposure to diesel pollution are truckers, she added. "They will gain the most in terms of public health protections."

That's perhaps one reason scrap truck driver Carlos Resendiz was not particularly upset when he was stopped at a roadside inspection at the Port of Los Angeles last month. Inspectors wrote out a ticket for a missing engine label, which carries a $300 minimum fine for the company that owns the vehicle.

"The idea is not to pollute the air," Resendiz said in Spanish, "so I'm OK with it."

tony.barboza@latimes.com

9/12/2013

Trucking industry helps power cleaner air

 

- Article source
copyright BOB MASSMAN

In a recent series of articles, The Press-Enterprise examined a question that all of California faces and to which we must find an answer — how do we balance the need to grow regional economies with the need to protect our environment (“Cost of dirty air,” Sept. 8)? In the Inland Empire, as in other parts of California, the question is more precise: How can we provide the jobs we need and still improve the quality of the air we breathe?

It is a discussion that features trucks at its center. The simple fact is, as an economy expands, so does the need for trucks. The clothes you are wearing, the coffee you are drinking, the paper or electronic device on which you are reading this op-ed — all of it traveled from manufacturer to customer on a truck. In fact, 78 percent of California communities are solely dependent on trucks for their needed goods.

This is why the trucking industry accepts that it has a key role to play in this discussion and in the sometimes-conflicting efforts to grow jobs and clean the air.

Consider the following: In just the past 25 years, heavy-duty diesel trucks have undergone a stunning transformation. In a modern truck, diesel particulate matter has been reduced by as much as 99.9 percent. Over the same period, emissions of nitrogen oxides have been cut by as much as 99.5 percent. Our industry was asked to step up and it did.

But this revolutionary progress did not come cheaply. Each year, the trucking industry invests more than $1 billion to retrofit or replace older trucks in order to meet the stringent state air quality regulations. And because trucking is still home to many small, family-owned businesses, much of that $1 billion is coming out of the bank accounts of working families.

For many families, the mandated investments have proved to be more than they could sustain. A vast number of small firms have shut their doors. More will follow over the next decade as California phases in a requirement that all trucks — new or old — perform at near-zero emission levels.

According to the Air Resources Board, by 2023, emissions from trucks in Riverside County are projected to drop by more than 75 percent, even as economic activity increases in the region. All the while, trucking has brought new jobs to an area with an unemployment rate over 11 percent. Today, the trucking industry employs more than 90,000 of the region’s workers and is poised to bring additional jobs to the area.

Growing an economy and cleaning the air is not an impossible task. It’s happening today in the Inland Empire, and it can continue. But the commitment it requires of the companies that bring you every consumer good you buy is one that should be recognized. The region is uniquely positioned to be at the center of global goods movement.

As proud as we are of the progress we’ve made, our industry is not finished. We continually seek new fuel sources and engine technologies that will deliver greater efficiency and lower emissions. Alternative fuels, such as natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells and others, promise to give the industry options alongside much cleaner diesel engines.

Somehow, despite these realities, discussions of economic growth and environmental concern still summon images of trucks as soot-spouting antiques of a bygone age. It simply no longer is accurate to continue equating truck traffic with diminished air quality as though the past decades of progress did not take place.

My father started our company 63 years ago with a single truck. Today, with my brother and sons, this third-generation company is committed to doing trucking better than before. Much has changed in trucking, but the commitment of the California trucking industry to continue this important work will not.

It is our hope that as the discussion of the economy and the environment continues, it does so with an understanding of the remarkable strides made by the companies and families that are the backbone of the trucking industry.

Bob Massman is the 2013 president of the California Trucking Association. Massman is also vice president of a global logistics, warehousing and trucking company.

- See more at: http://www.pe.com/opinion/local-views-headlines/20130912-opinion-trucking-industry-helps-power-cleaner-air.ece#sthash.RvOpgESb.dpuf

9/12/2013

California's Environmental Regulations On Diesel Trucks Making One Truck Driver Homeless

 

- Article source, copyright - Assemblyman Tim Donnelly

This March 9, 2010 file photo shows a tanker truck driving by the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, Calif.As California's unemployment rate remains uncomfortably high at 8.7%, many of my colleagues in Sacramento, including our ballooning bureaucracy, continue their relentless stranglehold on our state's economy. As a harsh result, Scott Jarrett, owner of Royal Auto Carrier, has confided to me that he will be on the street come January 2014.

Scott has been in the car business for 18 years. In 2006, after having lost his interest in running car dealerships, he started his own car-hauling company that he says capitalized on the insufficient customer service provided by other competitors. Soon thereafter, he invested in his first truck. After about one year, Scott had enough business to purchase a second truck, and then a third one in late 2007.

But that's when the housing bubble began to burst.

As the subprime mortgage crisis swiftly catapulted itself into fruition, the economy took a sudden turn for the worse, forcing Scott to begin downsizing so he wouldn't be stuck with three trucks and no cars. A few months later, dealers began closing their doors left and right, so he decided to liquidate his second truck to mitigate the impending loss in business.

"I barely survived the recession," Scott said, "and now, CARB is trying to change that by putting me out of business; putting the final nail in my coffin."

For those not familiar with the California Air Resources Board, or CARB, it is an agency established in 1967 by then-governor Ronald Reagan after he signed into law the Mulford-Carrell Act. It combined the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board and the Bureau of Air Sanitation, all of which are now under the under the auspices of California's Environmental Protection Agency.

CARB's purpose is merely to protect people from air pollution, concoct ways to comply with existing air quality regulations, and to, of course, improve air quality. While these intentions are respectable, the way in which CARB has gone about fulfilling its obligations is another story.

Though there are many CARB policies we could declaim and pontificate about, the most detrimental and timely policy is the agency's On-Road Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles (In-Use) Regulation - commonly referred to as the "Truck-n-Bus Rule."

Established in December of 2008, the "Truck-n-Bus Rule" is the grandfather of CARB's countless sub-regulations already imposed on vehicles with diesel engines. Come Jan. 1, 2014, the majority of trucks, including Scott's, that exceed 26,000 pounds will no longer be legal to operate on California highways.

Joe Rajkovacz from the California Construction Association told me that if the truck is equipped with a 1996-06 model year engine, it will need to be retrofitted with a diesel particulate filter at a cost of about $20,000 - surpassing the value of smaller trucks. "If you do not want to make the modifications, you have only one option left: purchase a "newer used" truck equipped with an EPA-compliant 2007 engine, which will most likely come along with a price tag between $135,000 and $300,000," he continued.

This, however, will only buy Scott and others in his industry time until January 2023 - the date by which all-heavy duty diesels must be replaced by 2010 engine models or newer. Up to this final date, there is a timeline during which older, non-2010 engines are to be phased out. By 2015, all trucks equipped with an engine made before 1993 must replace the engine with a 2010 model, and by 2016, all trucks operating with a 1994 or 1995 engine must do the same.

In early August, I wrote a column for The Daily Caller in which I noted how this outrageous regulation was inspired by a phony "pollution specialist", Hein Tran, who authored a report in 2008 that asserted that diesel particulate matter (DPM) caused 3,000 Californian deaths in 2007. To add insult to injury, Tran held a fake doctorate from "Thornhill University", a non-existent institution with a P.O. Box registered in New York City. He is still employed by CARB.

Tran's report was supposedly vindicated when Lisa Jackson, administrator of the EPA, permitted an experiment at the University of North Carolina in which participants were paid $12 an hour to breathe concentrated diesel exhaust fumes. "She subsequently testified before Congress stating: "Particulate matter causes premature death. It's directly causal to dying sooner than you should."

Meanwhile, today, diesel engines have virtually zero emissions - a fact that is not widely recognized by environmentalists. According to an article I read in the Diesel Technology Forum, "Emissions from today's diesel trucks and buses are near zero thanks to more efficient engines and the nationwide availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel."

As emissions technology for heavy-duty diesel trucks continues to improve, so does air quality. On Monday, July 15, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced that Sacramento and surrounding areas were in compliance with the 2006 Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 24-hour standard.

All things considered, Scott's business is at a point where it has the possibility to grow again. CARB's "Truck-n-Bus Rule", on the other hand, will force him to close up shop. "If I go out of business, my family and I will be homeless with no income," he said. "There are no jobs out there for me; I've been looking just in case, but it is not looking good."

When we have millions out of work, the last thing we need to be doing is talking about failed government social programs. The most effective social program is a job. Not a government job, but a job in the private sector. A job that is obtained by one's own skill and experience.

Scott's plight highlights what has and is bound to continue happening if we do not begin allowing the private sector to grow again by rescinding job-killing regulations, such as the one I've discussed in this column. This will provide jobs and hope, and create a stronger, more prosperous California.

Tim Donnelly is a Republican member of the California state Assembly, representing the 33rd district. He is a candidate for California governor in 2014.

9/11/2013

CARB fines two waste haulers $77,875 for diesel violations

 

- Article sourced at http://m.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=25691, copyright Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The California Air Resources Board has fined two waste disposal companies $77,875 for violating state air quality regulations.

CARB levied administrative fines of $39,250 to Burlingame, Calif.-based Redwood Debris Box Service and $38,625 to Bakersfield, Calif.-based Mountainside Disposal Inc./Price Disposal Inc., according to a CARB news release.

CARB initiated separate investigations of each company, which found they both didn’t install diesel particulate filters in time to meet specific deadlines as required by California regulations, the air quality agency said in the release.

Both companies also failed to properly self-inspect diesel trucks to ensure they met the state’s smoke emission standards.

Redwood Box Debris Service provides services for recycling dirt, concrete, green waste, demolitions and other materials. 

Mountainside Disposal has contracts for trash collection services in Kern County, Los Angeles County and Ventura County as well as with Bakersfield and Arvin.

CARB said 75 percent of the fines, or $58,405.75, will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to provide funding for projects and research to improve the state’s air quality. The remaining $19,000 will fund emission education classes at the Peralta Colleges Foundation.

9/4/2013

Redding Joins North State Counties in Opposing New Clean-air Standards for Big Rigs

 

- Copyright belongs to Jon Lewis

Redding became the first city to ask the California Air Resources Board to delay pending diesel-truck emission regulations that one council member said would decimate the north state trucking industry and lead to higher prices and empty store shelves.

In a 5-0 vote, the Redding City Council directed Mayor Rick Bosetti to write to the state board and ask for a 10-year delay of the regulations currently set to begin in less than four months.

Without the delay, truck owners—including owner-operators in their big rigs, contractors, farmers and local governments—will be forced to abandon vehicles older than the 1996 model year and retrofit newer models with a $20,000 particulate filter or an engine manufactured in 2010 or later.

Betty Plowman, a truck driver from Vacaville with 24 years of experience and a north state representative for the California Construction Trucking Association, said CARB adopted the regulations in 2008, essentially mandating “that we would all have to buy new trucks” by 2014 despite a statewide economic slump.

A new truck costs $135,000 or more and a new dump truck would be in the $200,000 range, Plowman said. Those purchases would require a down payment of 30 to 35 percent and the used trucks would have no trade-in value. In short, it would be a big expense for a small operator.

“CARB gave money to the large national fleets (to help mitigate the costs), but they replace vehicles every couple of years. The big companies love this rule because it drives the little guy out,” Plowman said.

Delaying the new regulations would not impact Shasta County’s air quality and it would help small business owners find suitable vehicles or modify their existing equipment, according to Ross Bell, manager of the Shasta County Air Quality Management District.

“You don’t have an air pollution problem up here but you’re being penalized like you’re living in Los Angeles,” Plowman said.

“This will decimate our economy,” Councilman Gary Cadd said, adding that the $20,000 particulate matter filter “is a piece of junk” that is too temperature sensitive to be of use in slow-moving construction vehicles and prone to overheating in other uses.

Cadd added that he supports Greg Mann’s suggestion that the city assert its “coordination authority,” a process that requires federal agencies to work with local governments before implementing policies or plans that impact the local community. CARB would fall under that provision through the National Environmental Protection Act, Cadd said.

The city of Redding joins Shasta, Butte, Glenn and Colusa counties in writing to CARB and asking for more time.

Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.

9/3/2013

Valley truckers fret over clean exhaust cost

 

- Copyright belongs to Alex Breitler, Record Staff Writer

Thousands of San Joaquin Valley truck drivers are facing a Jan. 1 deadline to complete expensive upgrades to their rigs, prompting air-quality officials to free up millions of dollars in assistance.

The impending deadline is part of a controversial state rule to reduce diesel pollution from large trucks. The rule was delayed in 2010 because of the crumbling economy, but now it is once more lurching forward.

The concern now, in particular, is for drivers who own just a single truck, or perhaps two or three trucks. They lack the financial backing of a large company but must nevertheless spend $15,000 to $20,000 to install new filters in their trucks.

In some cases, the cost to comply may be more than the value of the truck, officials with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said in August. The $7 million the district is making available would help owners not merely to retrofit but to outright replace their trucks, which the state rule requires anyway by 2023.

In a staff report, district officials said they were concerned that without additional financial assistance for truckers, the rate of compliance after Jan. 1 would be low. This could have a devastating impact on truckers and their customers, they said, while failing to clean up the trucks themselves, which are a primary cause of the Valley's pollution problem.

The district's assistance is welcome, said Michael Shaw, a spokesman for the California Trucking Association. There are about 20,000 small truck fleets in the Valley, perhaps 15,000 of which comprise just one truck.

"This deadline is really coming home to roost," Shaw said. "It will have a significant impact on the trucking industry, and we do anticipate there will be a fair number of owners and operators who are going to be out of business come Jan. 1."

Those that stay in business will surely pass on costs to the businesses they serve, Shaw said. That, in turn, will increase costs to the public for everyday items shipped by truck.

Karen Caesar, a spokeswoman for the California Air Resources Board, said the state is doing everything it can to communicate the upcoming deadline to truck owners. She also cited the need of cleaning the air.

A 2008 study by California State University, Fullerton, found that meeting federal clean-air standards would prevent 110 premature deaths each year in San Joaquin County.

Contact reporter Alex Breitler at (209) 546-8295 or abreitler@recordnet.com. Visit his blog at www.recordnet.com/breitlerblog.

 

8/30/2013

Riverside air pollutionRIVERSIDE: Forum focus is growth and air pollution


 

- Copyright Press-Enterprise

The Press-Enterprise on Sept. 12 will host a community forum to discuss the health effects, economics and policy questions surrounding Inland air quality, which fails to meet federal health standards.

The event is free and open to everyone.

On Sept. 8 and 9, the newspaper and PE.com will publish several articles that examine the health effects of air pollution and the economic pressure to build warehouses and distribution centers, which bring more pollution from diesel trucks.

The in-depth reporting is supported in part by a grant from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health Journalism Fund, a program of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism's California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships.

The forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Central Middle School, 4795 Magnolia Ave., Riverside. It also will be streamed live on PE.com.

Speakers will include:

— Ed Avol, professor of clinical medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. Avol is an expert on respiratory health, air pollution and the public health impacts of traffic.

— Kenneth A. Baerenklau, associate professor of environmental economics and policy at UC Riverside. He will talk about the economic pros and cons of industries that provide jobs but also increase air pollution.

— Susan Nakamura, planning and rules manager for the South Coast Air Quality Management District. She will explain the air district’s strategy to meet federal clean air goals.

Members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.

8/23/2013

Skin in the Game?
The Supply Chain is in the California Emissions Enforcement Crosshairs…


CARB Laws will hold shippers, brokers, motor carriers and drivers liable for emissions compliance

- Matt Schrap, from Command & Control blog

Over the past five years and especially in 2012, the California Air Resources Board realized that practically the entire supply chain must be responsible for the dispatch of emission complaint vehicles if their in-use, On-Road diesel, GHG and Transport Refrigerated Unit regulations were going to be successful
.
Currently, active enforcement of all major trucking rules is underway and motor carriers are feeling the pinch of putting off the required compliance upgrades that have been in effect for the past several years. Fines in the hundreds of thousands have already been issued and several other cases are currently under review by CARB enforcement staff.

Adding insult to procrastination or outright disbelief is the fact that carriers must not only pay the fines, but must also still upgrade all their non-complaint equipment if they are cited. Not to mention the annual reporting and the continuing education classes that is a part of any settlement agreement with CARB.

The Drayage regulation and the On-Road regulation both hold motor carriers and California based brokers responsible for dispatch of emission compliant equipment to ports and intermodal railyards, and for over-the-road dispatch if the trucks are equipped with a particular engine model year category. California based brokers and motor carriers are also held responsible for dispatch of non-complaint Transport Refrigerated Units or “refers” and non-aero-dynamically equipped “non-exempt” trailers under the TRU and GHG regulations respectively.

Within the rest of the supply chain, and coming as an unpleasant surprise to many, California Shippers may also be held responsible for dispatch of non-compliant refers and trailers. Furthermore, any Receiver based in California that has arranged for refrigerated transport may be cited if non-complaint equipment is used to move the goods. That means, if a non-complaint refer unit is found operating in California, the operator and the dispatching motor carrier will be fined, the broker that arranged for the transport will be cited and the shipper, the receiver and subsequently the beneficial cargo owner may be cited if they are based in California.

Any California based entity that arranges for the transport of goods is within the chain of enforcement. Recently, CARB has even proposed to include idling citations as something shippers and brokers may be held accountable for.

Several exemptions exist under the idling regulation, including an engine specific exemption for 2007 and newer model year engines that are controlled specifically for idling. And although several exemptions exist within the Drayage, On-Road engine and GHG trailer rules, all require specific reporting deadlines in order to utilize the options that provide additional flexibility.

So, if a carrier isn’t meeting the standards or has not reported to receive exemptions, they will be cited and after a CARB audit of the violating carrier or operator, other “responsible” parties will be receiving CARB correspondence asking for records in order to build the case for citations and eventually fines.

It is important to understand that CARB has come to these requirements in part, after discussions with motor carriers who are not getting the appropriate rate increases from their customers to pay for the more expensive compliant equipment and in part because shippers, receivers and brokers are still seeking the cheapest alternative for shipping of goods, essentially providing a market for non-compliant carriers who operate outside the law, skirt the fines and fold up shop at the first sign of trouble.

The TRU, Drayage and On-Road rules have major engine upgrade requirements slated for a good chunk of the industry at the end of this year. Millions of dollars will need to be spent in the coming months to meet the requirements. One way or another, someone needs to pay, and as grant opportunities dry up, many truck operators will be hard pressed to find the cash to comply.

In CARB’s mind, if shippers and brokers can be cited along with motor carriers, only compliant carriers will be dispatched and contracted with, thereby encouraging the market for those compliant carriers who have made the necessary investments to help achieve CARB’s mission of cleaner air for California.

For more information on CARB and other Air Quality news in California sign up for the mailing list.

Matt Schrap is President of California Fleet Solutions (CFS) and VP of Government Programs for Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance. Matt also handles all CARB Compliance and Grant Inquiries for the Velocity Vehicle Group Dealership Network. CFS and Crossroads are the trusted source for CARB regulatory information for fleets operating in and out of California.

8/23/2013

Pollution study finds improvement at Port of Los Angeles

Copyright belongs to Brian Sumers, Daily Breeze

Pollution levels near the Port of Los Angeles have improved significantly over the past seven years according to data released Thursday, but officials at one environmental group warned progress could be eradicated if the port proceeds with plans to build a new railyard near the San Pedro Bay.

According to port officials, emissions are the lowest since the Port of Los Angeles regularly began monitoring levels in 2005. Among the successes in the 2012 report card: a 79 percent decrease in diesel particulate matter during the past seven years. Officials said much of the decrease was due to the port’s Clean Trucks Program, which banned the dirtiest tractor trailers from serving the nation’s largest port.

“Anyone can really see it by looking outside,” said Lisa Wunder, air quality supervisor for the Port of Los Angeles. “The air is cleaner outside than it was in 2006. We hear from community members that the air is cleaner and it’s making our communities more livable.”

Still, not all is perfect, said Morgan Wyenn, project attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Santa Monica. She said she commended the port for curbing pollution, including potentially harmful nitrogen oxides (down 56 percent since 2005) and sulfur oxides (down 88 percent).

But Wyenn said she is concerned a proposed new railyard — the Southern California International Gateway — could negate some of the port’s progress. The facility, approved by the Los Angeles City Council in May, would be operated by BNSF Railway Co. Port officials say the facility would help ensure efficient transition of goods from ship to rail.

But the NRDC and other environmental groups say they’re concerned the facility would result in an increase in the number of truck trips near the port. NRDC officials say that, if the project proceeds, the port and BNSF must ensure that zero and low emissions trucks haul those goods.

The NRDC has sued in an effort to block the railyard proposal.

“This is definitely good news,” Wyenn said about Thursday’s port data. “I think any pollution reduction is good news for the local community and the air they are breathing. But it’s good news we can’t celebrate for all that long. There’s so much work that needs to be done.”

To view the report online go to www.portoflosangeles.org/pdf/2012_Air_Emissions_Inventory.pdf.

8/6/2013

Retrofit-DPF sales to satisfy California reglulations lag

Copyright belongs to Todd Dills

Sales of diesel particulate filter retrofits for in-use, on-road, heavy-duty diesel vehicles operating in California remain lower than the state’s projections, according to the results of a survey released today by the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA). The total number of verified DPFs sold by MECA member companies for diesels operating in California in the first half of 2013 was 3,508 and includes both passive and active DPFs. Under the California Air Resources Board’s truck and bus regulation, the agency projected that approximately 59,500 DPFs would need to be installed this year to meet the Jan. 1, 2014 compliance deadline for 2005-06 model-year engines.

These latest numbers follow sales of 6,261 DPFs for in-use, on-road, heavy-duty diesel vehicles in California in 2012, which was less than the 8,400 projected by CARB for last year. Overall, CARB has projected that approximately 76,500 DPFs would need to be installed from 2011 to 2015 to meet the requirements of the truck and bus regulation. Joe Rajkovacz of the independent Western Trucking Alliance and California Construction Trucking Association notes that actual-sales numbers may represent a large amount of recycled federal dollars going to local governments to retrofit their fleets of school buses and other vehicles. “That’s where well over 90 percent of the public funds made available for retrofitting have gone — they were government to government exchanges,” Rajkovacz says, referencing then his long work analyzing the distribution of public dollars, “primarily to school-bus fleets.”

Small fleets (three or fewer total vehicles) are required to demonstrate that at least one of their vehicles of any model year) has a DPF (originally equipped or retrofit) by the January 1, 2014 deadline, and owner-operators with their own authority, if operating 1996-2006 model-year-engines, even those who registered with CARB to receive the compliance extension, also come fully under the requirements.

Rajkovacz estimates that through this year, only 30 percent of the fleet operating in California was functionally under any CARB upgrade requirements under the Truck and Bus Rule. Come January 1, that percentage becomes somewhere closer to 90 percent, he said.

While MECA describes installing DPFs as “one of the most cost-effective ways to comply with California’s regulations to reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions from the existing diesel fleet,” Arizona-based Lightning Logistics small fleet coowner Joe Hammerslough looked at the issue in terms of value and ongoing costs. “For an owner-operator,” he said, speaking from his company’s booth at the Expedite Expo show in Wilmington, Ohio, the DPF option for CARB compliance is functionally “to take a truck worth, say, $35,000 and do an $18,000 upgrade that doesn’t help the truck’s value” and is a maintenance item itself down the line. Hammerslough’s 25-truck fleet includes some leased owner-operators, and in addition, he’s dispatches 10 or so independents with their own authority under exclusive contracts.

As MECA noted, however, DPF retrofits are less costly than the other option available to owner-operators — purchasing a new vehicle or repowering a used vehicle. “To date,” the association said, “more than 300,000 on-road vehicles and 50,000 off-road pieces of equipment have been retrofitted with DPFs around the world. In the U.S., based on previous MECA retrofit sales survey results, approximately 90,000 DPFs have been sold since 2001 for both on-road and off-road vehicles.

MECA cited substantially positive performance records: “In response to California legislative action in early 2012, ARB staff reviewed retrofit field experience since 2002. Of the 25,000 DPFs deployed in the state during that time, CARB found [fewer] than 15 cases where the devices failed to the point of unsafe vehicle operation, and all of these failures were shown to be attributed to either poor engine or device maintenance, misapplication of the device, or the ignoring of warning alarms by the vehicle operator.”

There are currently 43 verified Level 3 DPFs available in California covering a range of on-road and off-road applications.

7/26/2013

CARB: Some reefer owners are eligible for time extension

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

Some reefer owners may be eligible for a time extension in order to comply with the latest emissions requirements enforced under California’s Transportation Refrigeration Unit Regulation.

The California Air Resources Board recently notified reefer owners that owners of reefers or TRU gen sets can apply for a compliance deadline extension in order to meet California’s Ultra-Low-Emission TRU (ULETRU) requirements for model year 2003 and older engines. Eligible reefer owners must have met the Low-Emission TRU (LETRU) in-use standard by the original compliance deadline.

Eligible reefer owners also must meet a number of other conditions, including:

The TRU must be registered in CARB’s Equipment Registration (ARBER) program;
Compliance with the LETRU standard must have been achieved by Dec. 31, 2009, for model year 2001 and older engines; and Dec. 31, 2009 for MY 2002 engines or Dec. 31, 2010, for MY 2003 engines.

CARB says the extension must be applied for at least 90 days before the ULETRU compliance deadline. The only way to obtain an application is to call CARB’s TRU Help Line at 888-878-2826.

For more information, visit CARB’s TRU website by clicking here.

7/22/2013

AIR POLLUTION: CBS correspondent calls Riverside nation’s worst

-

As Ellen Currie watched CBS Evening News last week, up popped a comprehensive report (3 minutes, 4 seconds) on air pollution in China:

Footage of murky smog. Adults and children walking the streets of Beijing in the Chinese equivalent of the burqa: Little masks covering their noses and mouths.

This was the set-up for crack correspondent Seth Doane, standing at the gates of the Forbidden City: “Even what passes for a relatively good day like today is still five times worse than the most polluted city in the US: Riverside, California.”

Hey! Riverside made national TV!

Emailed Ellen Currie: “I can’t believe that. Do they have their facts right?”

No! (And yes.)

Squinting through the haze, I found the American Lung Association’s latest rankings of “Most Polluted Cities.” It reads like a menu.

If our crack network correspondent was thinking of “year round particle pollution,” he choked when he fingered Riverside. Top honors go to Bakersfield-Delano.

If he meant “short-term particle pollution,” he gagged again! No. 1 Polluterville? Bakersfield-Delano.

But if he was sniffing out odorless, colorless, lung-damaging ozone, Seth Doane was correct. The lung association crowned “Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside” the ozone pollution capital of the nation.

But wait! The hyphens! Perhaps Doane didn’t notice them. The lung association evidently regards this hyphenated hodgepodge as a cauldron of the deadliest ooze ozone has to offer. Yet our correspondent mentions only Riverside. Why would he do that, I Googled?

Mr. Doane evidently hails from Massachusetts. Graduated from Harwich High (no doubt named by J.K. Rowling). Odds are he hadn’t even heard of Riverside. Until…until…he went to USC! Ah ha! A snooty little Trojan!

The lad wasn’t about to stand at the gates of the Forbidden City and diss his alma mater, embarrass his adopted city, compromise his very identity. Rather than say “Los Angeles” or “Long Beach” (even that hit too close to home), he chose Door No. 3: Riverside!

Maybe Doane pleaded to say “Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside” but was rebuffed by the bosses told him there was no way this comprehensive report would run 3 minutes, 5 seconds.

If Trojan Boy ever wants to redeem himself, he could visit the city he smeared and, framed by the Hall of Forbidden Clapping, tell the world of Riverside’s giant strides in combating noise pollution.

Copyright - Dan Bernstein at 951-368-9439 or dbernstein@PE.com

7/19/2013

Study Finds Total Cost of Ownership Similar for Electric and Diesel Delivery Trucks

- Copyright Truckinginfo Staff

A research team from Georgia Tech compared medium-duty electric and diesel urban delivery trucks for a range of scenarios and discovered the total costs of ownership were very similar – but the cost-competitiveness of the electric truck drops in drive cycles with higher average speed.

Researchers tested a 2011 Smith Newton model with GVW of 7,490 pounds, curb weight of 4,260 lbs. and payload of 3,230 lbs. The truck was powered by a 120 kW electric motor traveling an average of 31 miles per day at an average speed of 32 mph while making an average of 1.7 stops per kilometer.

That was compared with a 2006 Freightliner package delivery truck with a Cummins engine with a GVW of 7,260 pounds, curb weight of 4,400 pounds and payload of 2,860 pounds. It traveled 41 miles daily at an average speed of 32 mph making 1.9 stops per kilometer.

Overall, researchers found the life-cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of the electric truck are lower than that of the diesel truck, particularly for the frequent stop and low average speed drive cycles such as would be found delivering in New York City. Over an array of possible conditions, the median total cost of ownership of electric trucks is 22% less than that of diesel trucks on the New York City cycle.

On that NYC cycle, electric trucks emit 42% to 61% less GHGs and consume 32% to 54% less energy than diesel trucks, depending on vehicle efficiency.

For a drive cycle with less frequent stops and high average speed, such as the City–Suburban Heavy Vehicle Cycle used in the study, electric trucks emit 19% to 43% less GHGs and consume 5% to 34% less energy, but cost 1% more than diesel counterparts.

Battery replacement along with electrical generation figures will also greatly affect the relative TCO of the electric truck, researchers said.

To maximize the benefits from electric trucks, the durability and reliability of the automotive Li-ion battery are crucial, which might be advanced with technological development, note the study authors. Recycling of the EV Li-ion battery could also improve life-cycle energy consumption and GHG emissions.

The Georgia Tech team consisted of Dong-Yeon Lee, Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student, Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Associate Professor of Natural Systems in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering, and Marilyn Brown, professor in the School of Public Policy. The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.



7/16/2013

Court sidesteps irony, upholds state’s greenhouse gas law

But says CARB made serious mistakes in implementing some regulations
“We will avoid the irony of violations of an environmental protection statute being used to set aside a regulation that restricts the release of pollutants into the environment”

- Copyright ©2013 Central Valley Business Times

California’s greenhouse gas law – AB 32 – has been upheld in principal by the California 5th District Court of Appeal but implementation of aspects of the law needs to be fixed.

To reduce emissions from transportation, the California Air Resources Board adopted a number of regulations, including the Low Carbon Fuel Standards that require the reduction of the carbon content of transportation fuels sold, supplied or offered for sale in California.

Ethanol maker Poet LLC of Sioux Falls, S.D., sued, saying CARB’s standards for ethanol were adopted incorrectly.

The appellate court notes that CARB’s efforts to complete the Low Carbon Fuel Standards on time satisfied a vast majority of the applicable legal requirements, “but ran afoul of several procedural requirements” imposed by California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California’s Administrative Procedures Act.

“While these procedural violations are not trivial, they do not require us to automatically discard the existing LCFS regulations and order ARB to restart the complex rulemaking process anew,” the court says.

It notes that the laws in question allow courts to tailor the remedy to the circumstances of each case and let courts consider the public interests affected by setting aside the LCFS regulations.

It says those public interests include adverse environmental impacts and whether suspending the Low Carbon Fuel Standards would result in more environmental harm than allowing them to remain in effect pending the completion of CARB’s fixes.

It says that because of the potential adverse environmental impacts, as well as other disruptions, the court is keeping Low Carbon Fuel Standards regulations in effect while CARB complies with the procedural requirements it failed to satisfy.

“In other words, we will avoid the irony of violations of an environmental protection statute being used to set aside a regulation that restricts the release of pollutants into the environment,” the decision says.

7/15/2013

CARB explains how to legally use electric, hybrid reefer

But says CARB made serious mistakes in implementing some regulations
“We will avoid the irony of violations of an environmental protection statute being used to set aside a regulation that restricts the release of pollutants into the environment”

  By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

Truck drivers using electric or hybrid reefers in California will want to be sure their refrigeration units meet specific standards set up by the California Air Resources Board.

If they don’t, a series of checks has been set up to nab potential emissions offenders.

CARB Board is warning reefer owners that they will be auditing companies that claim to use electric standby or hybrid electric reefer units to comply with the state’s Transportation Refrigeration Unit regulation.

“TRU owners that are using electric standby or hybrid electric as a compliance option should carefully review this regulatory guidance to ensure they actually qualify for compliance,” CARB said in an email notice. “In the coming months, ARB will be auditing TRU owners that are claiming to comply by using electric standby or hybrid electric. This will include audits to ensure the electric power plugs are being used at nonretail delivery and pick-up locations and the recordkeeping and reporting requirements are being met.”

CARB said to qualify as an electric or hybrid reefer under CARB’s standards, the unit must be registered with the CARB Equipment Registration system, also known as ARBER. The unit also must be plugged into an electric power plug at all non-retail pickup and delivery points in California “when the van is loaded with perishable goods and during initial cooldown,” CARB said in the email.

Also, CARB is requiring manual recordkeeping to show the operation of diesel engine reefers aren’t used at nonretail delivery and pick-up locations. At retail delivery stops – including restaurants, cafeterias, convenience stores and grocery stores – diesel TRU operation is limited to 30 minutes.

Later this fall, TRU owners will be required to update CARB’s ARBER system with electronic tracking to show supplier information. In Jan. 2013, CARB began enforcing its TRU rule to also hold shippers and receivers accountable for uncompliant reefer equipment used in the state.

By Dec. 31, CARB is requiring TRU owners to update the ARBER system with automated recordkeeping.

Reefer owners who are signed up with CARB’s TRU registry should receive more information in the mail, CARB said.

“Letters are now being sent to TRU owners that have indicated they are using electric standby as a compliance option, notifying them of these requirements,” CARB said in the announcement.

CARB’s TRU Help Line is available at 1-888-878-2826 or 1-916-327-8737.

Copyright © OOIDA



7/11/2013

Skin in the Game?
The Supply Chain is in the California Emissions Enforcement Crosshairs…


CARB Laws will hold shippers, brokers, motor carriers and drivers liable for emissions compliance

- Matt Schrap

Over the past five years and especially in 2012, the California Air Resources Board realized that practically the entire supply chain must be responsible for the dispatch of emission complaint vehicles if their in-use, On-Road diesel, GHG and Transport Refrigerated Unit regulations were going to be successful
.
Currently, active enforcement of all major trucking rules is underway and motor carriers are feeling the pinch of putting off the required compliance upgrades that have been in effect for the past several years. Fines in the hundreds of thousands have already been issued and several other cases are currently under review by CARB enforcement staff.

Adding insult to procrastination or outright disbelief is the fact that carriers must not only pay the fines, but must also still upgrade all their non-complaint equipment if they are cited. Not to mention the annual reporting and the continuing education classes that is a part of any settlement agreement with CARB.

The Drayage regulation and the On-Road regulation both hold motor carriers and California based brokers responsible for dispatch of emission compliant equipment to ports and intermodal railyards, and for over-the-road dispatch if the trucks are equipped with a particular engine model year category. California based brokers and motor carriers are also held responsible for dispatch of non-complaint Transport Refrigerated Units or “refers” and non-aero-dynamically equipped “non-exempt” trailers under the TRU and GHG regulations respectively.

Within the rest of the supply chain, and coming as an unpleasant surprise to many, California Shippers may also be held responsible for dispatch of non-compliant refers and trailers. Furthermore, any Receiver based in California that has arranged for refrigerated transport may be cited if non-complaint equipment is used to move the goods. That means, if a non-complaint refer unit is found operating in California, the operator and the dispatching motor carrier will be fined, the broker that arranged for the transport will be cited and the shipper, the receiver and subsequently the beneficial cargo owner may be cited if they are based in California.

Any California based entity that arranges for the transport of goods is within the chain of enforcement. Recently, CARB has even proposed to include idling citations as something shippers and brokers may be held accountable for.

Several exemptions exist under the idling regulation, including an engine specific exemption for 2007 and newer model year engines that are controlled specifically for idling. And although several exemptions exist within the Drayage, On-Road engine and GHG trailer rules, all require specific reporting deadlines in order to utilize the options that provide additional flexibility.

So, if a carrier isn’t meeting the standards or has not reported to receive exemptions, they will be cited and after a CARB audit of the violating carrier or operator, other “responsible” parties will be receiving CARB correspondence asking for records in order to build the case for citations and eventually fines.

It is important to understand that CARB has come to these requirements in part, after discussions with motor carriers who are not getting the appropriate rate increases from their customers to pay for the more expensive compliant equipment and in part because shippers, receivers and brokers are still seeking the cheapest alternative for shipping of goods, essentially providing a market for non-compliant carriers who operate outside the law, skirt the fines and fold up shop at the first sign of trouble.

The TRU, Drayage and On-Road rules have major engine upgrade requirements slated for a good chunk of the industry at the end of this year. Millions of dollars will need to be spent in the coming months to meet the requirements. One way or another, someone needs to pay, and as grant opportunities dry up, many truck operators will be hard pressed to find the cash to comply.

In CARB’s mind, if shippers and brokers can be cited along with motor carriers, only compliant carriers will be dispatched and contracted with, thereby encouraging the market for those compliant carriers who have made the necessary investments to help achieve CARB’s mission of cleaner air for California.

For more information on CARB and other Air Quality news in California sign up for the mailing list.

Matt Schrap is President of California Fleet Solutions (CFS) and VP of Government Programs for Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance. Matt also handles all CARB Compliance and Grant Inquiries for the Velocity Vehicle Group Dealership Network. CFS and Crossroads are the trusted source for CARB regulatory information for fleets operating in and out of California.

7/9/2013

CARB is again crippling the California trucking industry
Author: Bob Ramorino, Oakland Tribune, My Word © 2013 Bay Area News Group


Just when it seems California's economy is turning around, the California Air Resources Board has found another way to cripple our fragile recovery.

This unelected agency is determined to proceed with enforcing a regulation -- the Low Carbon Fuel Standard -- that could make fuel costs skyrocket and cause severe supply shortages.

As a three-generation, family-owned trucking business, we've struggled in recent years to keep our head above water not only due to the bad economy but because of state environmental regulations, many of which are seriously flawed, unfeasible or not remotely cost-effective.

Things are picking up, but we've not yet fully recovered from the recession's effects, including a double-digit percentage drop in sales that forced us to lay off employees, cut wages for those we kept and suspend our retirement plan match.

Now we face a new challenge: the LCFS, which could add up to $1.06 to the cost of a gallon of gas, according to a Boston Consulting Group study, and more if other states adopt similar rules.

And because the LCFS mandates significantly higher use of alternative fuels and dramatically less of conventional fuels, truckers will be in a no-win situation. That's because the technology doesn't yet exist for trucks that can run on the alternative fuels that CARB demands, much less at a manageable cost. So we'll have to compete for increasingly lower supplies of diesel fuel at increasingly higher prices.

Some might say that's not a bad thing; that we should discourage the use of trucks that run on diesel fuel despite that today's diesel is almost 100 percent cleaner than the stereotypical old, smoky variety. But the reality is that when the cost of fuel and truck transportation goes up, prices for just about everything else go up too.

Trucks are the primary means of getting food from the farm to the market to your family's table, and there's no viable alternative in the foreseeable future. Trucks deliver the clothing you wear, the medicine you buy at your local pharmacy, and supplies to construct new homes and businesses. Those costs are passed along to you, for everything from hamburger to heart medication.

Here's another unintended consequence. Our shipping customers have been leaving California for more affordable business climates in alarming numbers. When businesses leave the state, they take with them their jobs and tax base. That's a trend BCG projects will continue, and that experts such as California's independent Legislative Analyst's Office have cautioned about.

We all want to do our part for the environment. That should be abundantly clear from the millions if not billions of dollars trucking companies and other industries have spent over the years to comply with California's strictest-in-the-nation air and water quality laws. But it seems CARB would rather see us leave than adjust its regulatory regime to reflect economic and technological reality.

Folks who travel California's highways may be familiar with runaway truck ramps -- emergency exits that divert out-of-control vehicles off the road before they harm motorists.

What we need is a common sense off-ramp for the out-of-control, impossible-to-meet LCFS regulation that currently threatens our state's businesses, consumers and economy. Let's put the brakes on before the wreckage happens, instead of the much harder task of trying to clean up after the fact.



7/1/2013

California EPA to focus on improving enforcement in target areas
Author: Ian James; MyDesert.com


The state Environmental Protection Agency is forming a new working group focused on improving enforcement of environmental laws in communities that face particularly hazardous pollution problems.

Secretary Matthew Rodriquez said in a statement Friday that creating the working group will “ensure that California communities disproportionately affected by pollution are given particular consideration.”

The effort will bring together enforcement efforts by the agency’s boards and departments, said Alex Barnum, an agency spokesman.

“It allows them to work collaboratively and take action on multiple types of pollution,” Barnum said. “That’s important in these communities that are facing pollution from multiple sources.”

Those sources, depending on the area, can include a combination of air and water pollution, waste sites and pesticides.

The working group will use a new tool called CalEnviroScreen to pinpoint communities disproportionately burdened by pollution and establish priority areas. The tool provides a map showing the top 10 percent of highest scoring zip codes in the state, and among them is Coachella (92236), where officials have determined there are relatively high levels of ozone, pesticides and “groundwater threats.”

Luis Olmedo, executive director of the local environmental health advocacy group Comite Civico Del Valle, praised the creation of the statewide working group as an important step in aiding communities exposed to pollution.

“This is definitely one of Secretary Rodriguez’s finest hours,” Olmedo said. “However, the seriousness of this effort will need to be matched with financial support.”



6/27/2013

EPA, CHP check diesel emissions
Author: Valentín Mendoza; The Californian


Intent on impressing the importance of minimizing gas emissions on heavy-duty truck drivers, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Highway Patrol jointly established a surprise inspection checkpoint Tuesday morning at Abbott Street in Salinas.

“California has the worst air quality in the nation, so by making sure our rigs are in compliance with the state regulation laws, these trucks are helping to clear pollutants from our air,” said Melanie Turner, public information officer for California Air Resources Board. “We are providing help and advice to those truckers who may not know what regulations they are supposed to follow.”

In 1998, when the California Air Resources Board came up with regulations for motor vehicles running on different fuels such as gasoline, diesel, butane gas and oil, diesel combustion emissions was declared toxic.

“We haven’t gotten to the point were we can say a fuel is totally safe and good for the air, but we can advise truckers how to reduce toxic emissions, such as with special filters, newer engines, natural gas engines, to mention some,” said Eloy Florez, an air pollution specialist for California Environmental Protection Agency. “If drivers need information, they can contact the agency offices. The important facts are to know how old is the engine and that has to comply with the specific regulations for that engine.”

Engines made in 1996 to 2006 are involved in a replacement or retrofit process, said Florez, who explained that by 2023, every truck registered in California will have a 2010 or newer engine.

At the Tuesday morning checkpoint in Salinas, inspectors examined each truck’s Emission Control Label, which establishes with which regulations that engine must comply; made visual and instrument inspections of exhaust pipe emissions; checked the cooling system emissions because diesel powers those systems, too; and required verification that the engine was registered in the program.



6/21/2013

California Air Resources Board stepping up border-area enforcement of diesel regulations
Author & Copyright: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/06/arb-20130620.html

Arb
Summary of drayage truck regulations. Source: ARB. Click to enlarge.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has stepped up enforcement of its diesel truck regulations to ensure that only vehicles compliant with California’s stringent anti-pollution laws travel across the U.S. border into the state.

All trucks transporting cargo originating from, or going to, a regulated port or rail yard in California must be compliant drayage trucks. Among other violations ARB staff is looking for at the border are “dray-offs”. A dray-off occurs when a compliant truck exchanges cargo with a noncompliant truck on or off port property.

Under the Drayage Truck Regulation, diesel-fueled trucks that transport marine or rail cargo and containers must be registered with ARB and be upgraded or replaced according to a specific timetable. The Truck and Bus regulation also requires heavy duty diesel trucks to be cleaned up.

By 1 January 2023, all class 7 and 8 diesel-fueled drayage trucks must have 2010 and newer engines. 2010 and newer engines will be fully compliant with both the Truck and Bus and Drayage regulations.

Starting last fall, ARB staff has been regularly visiting the border towns of Otay Mesa and Calexico to educate truckers and business owners in English and Spanish about how to comply with our regulations and what happens when you don’t. We have been working diligently to send a strong, consistent message that the benefits of compliance far outweigh the risks of ignoring or procrastinating when it comes to cleaning up your vehicles or participating in illegal dray-off.

—ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden
Map2
California-Mexico border crossing facilities. Source: DOT. Click to enlarge.

Drayage trucks that engage in dray-offs are circumventing regulatory requirements, adversely impacting the air quality of the surrounding communities. The illegal activity also provides an unfair advantage over those who have spent money to comply, ARB notes.

Truckers may receive stiff penalties for participating in dray-off. In addition, motor carriers and transport companies that dispatch trucks involved in dray-offs can also face fines.

In 2012, ARB conducted 3,650 inspections on 1,938 trucks in Otay Mesa, Calexico, and Tecate to check compliance with a variety of rules including excessive idling, correct engine labeling, smoke emissions and tampering, and use of verified emissions reductions equipment for compliance with ARB regulations. A total of 261 citations were issued.




6/18/2013

Truckers dealing with effects of new regulations
Author: Carlos Nunez
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com

US (CA) — Almost six months after regulations went live requiring refrigerated trucks to have engines that date back no further than seven years, California's truckers are feeling the effects of those rules. Federal rules governing the amount of rest drivers must have is also worrying those who deal in the transportation of goods via trucks throughout the State.

New rules from California's Air Resource Board regarding the Transportation Refrigeration Unit Regulation went into effect this year which require engines in refrigerated trucks to be no older than seven years. Not only will operators of trucks in violation of the new rules be cited and fined, but so will brokers, shippers and receivers of goods transported in vehicles found to be in violation.

Workshop banner“The biggest effect of this has been a lack of truckers,” said Travis Lee of Dawn Transportation, Inc. Lee handles dispatch and sales for Dawn, which is a broker in the State of California that handles many produce shipments, and he thinks the immediate impact of the new rules has been an increase in shipping rates due to fewer trucks that are able to operate in the State of California.

“The biggest thing is that there are a lot fewer trucks in California,” said Lee. “A lot of carriers we had before will no longer come into the state because they can't.” It's also meant brokers like Dawn have to perform more due diligence on who they work with, as anybody involved with a shipment that's transported in a non-compliant vehicle can be cited and fined.

“They're going to fine everyone involved with a non-compliant unit,” said Joe Carlon, owner of Joe Carlon and Associates. “It's going to force everyone to swap out engines every seven years, and that's not a problem for most major shippers because they do that anyway, but the old units will just be sold in another state.” While a fleet of more efficient units in California might help with air pollution in the state, Carlon noted that those older units will likely still be on the road somewhere.

In addition to California's rules regarding refrigerated trucks, regulations on the amount of hours rest drivers must have are slated to go into effect across the nation next month. Drivers who are on the road 60 hours over seven consecutive days will still have to wait 34 consecutive hours before continuing their journey, but now those rest hours will have to include two periods between 1-5 a.m. That new stipulation could pose problems for drivers who begin their rest period in the morning, as their mandatory time off the road could stretch out to over two days.

“Those new regulations are going to cost us a day on arrival,” predicted Carlon. “We've got so many rules now, and we've always complied with them, but it will just cost us more in the long run to deliver our loads on time.” While he's not sure what the extent of the new rules will be, he knows it could very well lead to higher shipping costs and, consequently, higher food prices.

“It's not something you can put a dollar figure on right now,” said Carlon, “but it's just going to tie up the truck another day.”





6/14/2013

Supreme Court strikes down parts of L.A. port's Clean Truck Program - By Ricardo Lopez (L.A. Times)

Los Angeles — The Supreme Court handed the American Trucking Assn. a partial victory on Thursday, ruling that drivers don't have to affix the "How am I driving?" placards on its trucks or have off-site parking plans in order to haul goods in and out of the Port of Los Angeles.

The trucking association sued the city of Los Angeles, which operates the port, to overturn the Clean Truck Program.

The program, enacted in 2008 to curb pollution at the largest port in the country, sought to restrict the types of trucks that carried goods to and from the port.

Quiz: How much do you know about China's economy?

Trucking companies had to abide by rules such as placing placards on trucks that listed a phone number to report environmental or safety concerns. If companies violated these rules, they were subject to criminal penalties.

The court unanimously struck down the placard provision, as well as another rule that required trucking companies to have off-street parking locations when trucks were not in service.

The trucking association heralded the ruling.

“We are gratified that, at the conclusion of many years of litigation, the highest court in the land unanimously agreed with ATA on these rules," said Bill Graves, the association's president. "Our position has always been that the port’s attempt to regulate drayage operators -- in ways that had nothing to do with its efforts to improve air quality at the port -- was inconsistent with Congress’ command that the trucking industry be shaped by market forces, rather than an incompatible patchwork of state and local regulations.”

Justice Elena Kagan wrote the opinion for the court, which rejected the Port of L.A's argument that it acted like a private party in requiring trucking companies to abide by the so-called concession contracts.

"The port here has not acted as a private party, contracting in a way that the owner of an ordinary commercial enterprise could mimic," Kagan wrote. "Rather, it has forced terminal operators -- and through them, trucking companies -- to alter their conduct by implementing a criminal prohibition punishable by time in prison."

The port tried to defend the criminal penalties by arguing that the fines would be levied against terminal operators, not trucking companies.

But the court rejected that argument: "Slice it or dice it any which way, the port thus acted with the force of law," Kagan wrote.

In a brief statement, port and city officials said their attorneys were reviewing the ruling to determine how it would affect operations.

The Supreme Court did not rule on another issue regarding whether the port could use other parts of the agreement to punish violations. On those issues, it sent the case back to a lower court for further consideration.



6/1/2013

CARB CONUNDRUM: JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GO OUTSIDE
It’s Official! The State of California has begun major enforcement efforts aimed at the trucking fleet in California. - Matt Schrap

The diesel user industry in California is no stranger to regulatory efforts directed at emissions reductions. Serious air quality challenges have plagued regions of California for decades and mobile emissions sources have been the largest part of the emissions pie for many years. Because of this, California has led the charge on implementing regulations to control mobile source emissions from gasoline powered cars and trucks as well as more recent efforts aimed at controlling diesel emissions from the heavy duty engines that power the transportation sector. Throughout the years, these recent efforts and legacy programs have helped local air districts in highly populated, geographically challenged regions achieve drastic improvements in Air Quality with limited end-user resistance and little political opposition.

These efforts have propelled CARB into the spotlight as the “preeminent” air quality regulatory agency in the world. More recent than the catalytic converter and CARB diesel #2, California has passed several multi-billion dollar rules aimed directly at diesel users in California. Waste collection vehicles, municipal fleets, drayage trucks and refer engines have already fallen before the regulatory guillotine with emissions cuts from these engines reaching up to 90%.

The two flagship diesel regulations are aimed at heavy duty, off-road equipment and heavy duty, on-road equipment; over one million pieces of heavy metal under regulatory scrutiny. The off-road regulation hasn’t gotten final clearance from the EPA yet, but the on-road regulation has been passed, implemented and is now being enforced. The trucks that bring everything from toothpaste to tube-socks in California all must fall within specific guidelines. In fact, all diesel-powered trucks over 14,000 pds. GVWR are currently under regulation to replace with 2010 emissions technology in the next 10 years. In the interim, and as of January 2012, any truck operator who has a 1996 – 2004 engine in any truck in their fleet must have a Level 3 Particulate Matter control device, unless they have registered for one of the many exemptions to the current requirements.

Most folks who have been around these regulations will know these facts like the back of their hand. CARB has been workshopping and training end users since 2006, and despite strong opposition from certain sectors of the fleet, the On-Road regulation is moving ahead swiftly and in fact it is picking up speed.

In its second year, the On-Road Truck and Bus Rule, the first of its kind in the nation and in its entirety, the most complex, restrictive emissions program for heavy duty trucking in the world, will force thousands of truck owners to upgrade their trucks or face stiff penalties that may total up to $10,000 per day. Several exemptions exist (some more complicated than others) to help offset some of the upgrade costs by offering a way for fleets to comply without meeting the direct schedule. There are considerations for smaller fleets with 3 or fewer trucks over 14,000 GVWR, as well as a phase in schedule for larger fleets, mileage and model year restrictions for vocational fleets and a separate schedule for trucks operating exclusively in specific counties. All exemptions require reporting and all expire within the next few years.
On January 1, 2014, a major exemption for small fleets (3 or less trucks) runs out. This means that the over 100,000 single, two and three truck operators registered in California and coming into California from all over the country are facing an upgrade requirement at the end of 2013. What this also means is that anyone who dispatches one of these heavy duty diesel vehicles in California or into California after January 1, 2014 will be subject to penalties if a non-compliant vehicle is found; no mater whose authority they are operating under.

Although California based brokers are subject to direct penalties under this regulation, any motor carrier based anywhere will be caught up in the regulatory web and fined, potentially for each dispatch going back to the beginning of 2012. CARB has already levied several heavy fines against drayage operators who dispatched non-compliant vehicles to covered Intermodal facilities over the past 3 years and just recently levied a $300,000 fine against a fleet for engaging in dray-off near the Mexican border. Proof in point that no one can escape the regulatory gauntlet; if you are operating in California, you must meet the standards.

To hammer home their authority where they need it, CARB has a couple of different measures at their disposal. One that allows CARB to force denial of registration at time of renewal through California DMV if a fleet has not paid their fines and another, in conjunction with CHP that allows them to impound vehicles that have cancelled registration because of outstanding violations. CARB can even levy an unfair business practices lawsuit against violators if the infraction is serious enough. When they find you, they will fine you, and as many California diesel operators can attest, CARB settlements instruct you on how much you will need to pay in order to clear the citation; it is not really a negotiation, they settle on an amount and you pay it. The fine amount is of course in addition to the additional capital required to upgrade the equipment to meet the standards; a double edged pendulum for anyone who gets caught operating or dispatching non-compliant equipment.

With renewed debate surrounding model year registration bans surfacing now from the legislative scrap heap, the industry will continue to be faced with increasing compliance costs as standards and restrictions keep rolling in. Active engagement in the requirements is necessary to minimize the risk that all transportation businesses face when turning miles in the Golden State. Although the skies in California are getting clearer, the industry can expect more hazy insinuations from regulators regarding zero-emission freight corridors and sustainability plans that seek additional reductions from the on-road diesel sector. The efforts around emissions reductions are far from over, the sky’s the limit, no matter how clean (or dirty) it gets.

Matt Schrap is President of California Fleet Solutions (CFS) and VP of Government Programs for Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance. Matt also handles all CARB Compliance and Grant Inquiries for the Velocity Vehicle Group Dealership Network. CFS and Crossroads are the trusted source for CARB regulatory information for fleets operating in and out of California.
www.cafleetsolutions.com   www.crlease.com


5/16/2013

NEW TRUCKING RULES HAVE WIDE-RANGING EFFECTS


Original Article >

SAN DIEGO — Two new trucking rules — one from California and the other federal — could have wide-ranging effects on the fresh produce industry from the shipper all the way to the retailer.

A panel of industry experts outlined the two regulations and their implications during the Expert Council orkshop Series, May 15, at United Fresh 2013. Of the two, the California Air Resources Board’s Transportation Refrigeration Unit, is the more challenging, said Kenny Lund, vice president, support services, for The Allen Lund Co. Inc., La Canada, and chairman of the United Fresh Supply Chain & Logistics council.

The rule requires all reefer units operating within California or entering the state to have engines manufactured in 2007 or later. To comply, older units can be retrofitted with an Environmental Protection Agency-approved filter designed to remove 85% of the particular matter produced. But the filters cost at least $8,500 and have been plagued by performance issues, so few operators have chosen this route, Lund said. “It’s simple economics,” he said. “Coming out of this recession, they don’t have the financial wherewithal to comply with some of these rules.” In surveying the hundreds of small owner-operators that Alan Lund contracts with to haul produce, only 25%-30% meet the CARB regulation, Lund said. “So if you’re 25% compliant, how do you eliminate 75% of the trucks and move half of the U.S.’s produce? And how can the state (of California) regulate interstate commerce?”

Although CARB doesn’t have the authority to stop truckers, it teams with the California Highway Patrol, said Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs and communications for the Western Trucking Alliance, Upland. In addition, CARB’s two dozen or so inspectors focus on areas where large numbers of truckers congregate, such as the Flying J Truck Stop near Barstow, to perform spot inspections. Rajkovacz said he’s already heard anecdotal stories of out-of-state truckers refusing to haul into California because of the regulations.

Not only can CARB ticket drivers of non-compliant reefer units, but it also can fine shippers, truck brokers and even produce receivers for knowingly using non-compliant truckers, he said. The state already has made headline by fining an Ontario, Calif., egg producer $300,000 for using non-compliant units. New Jersey and Oregon also are exploring similar rules, Rajkovacz said.


4/30/2013

CLASH OF BUSINESS AND HEALTH


Original Article >

Some big-rig and heavy truck drivers got a surprise last week when they were pulled over in Santa Maria.

The operation was the work of the state’s Air Resources Board and California Highway Patrol, and its purpose was to give heavy polluters an ultimatum — clean up tailpipe emissions or park your truck.

Who hasn’t been behind a big-rig or other large, diesel-powered vehicle at a stoplight, and when the light goes green, heavy, black smoke boils out of the exhaust pipe. You probably said to yourself, they shouldn’t be allowed to spew out that stuff.

Actually, they aren’t. California has some of the toughest anti-air pollution laws on the planet, a direct response to the smog-shrouded Los Angeles Basin of the 1960s and 1970s — pollution so thick and deeply layered it seemed as though airplanes would bounce off of it when trying to land at LAX.

Since those dingy days, lawmakers have enacted a veritable tome of anti-pollution laws, one of them ruling that big-rigs and heavy trucks can only deposit so much diesel soot in the air.

Diesel manufacturers have responded with cleaner-burning engines, relying on a device known as a soot filter, which takes much of the worst offenders out of diesel emissions.

The problem — and it’s a big one, considering the trucking industry was just as hard hit as any other sector of commerce by the Great Recession — is that tough anti-pollution laws and their subsequent enforcement is taking a bite out of a segment of the industry inhabited by workers least able to afford the newer, less-polluting equipment. We’re talking about independent truckers, many of whom own their rigs which because of the costs involved, tend to be older and without the latest in diesel soot-scrubbing filters.

It is a vexing dilemma. On the one hand, government shouldn’t create laws that eliminate small businesses. On the other hand, pollution that has as its source diesel engine emissions is a well-known, acknowledged health risk.

The World Health Organization last summer officially condemned diesel fumes as a cause of lung cancer, the first major worldwide health organization to elevate diesel pollution to known-carcinogen status. Scientists at WHO went one step further, labeling diesel fumes more directly responsible than secondhand cigarette smoke as a cause of cancer.

Several federal agencies had already classified diesel exhaust as a “likely” carcinogen, based largely on research at the National Cancer Institute. Those studies also confirmed that diesel fumes can cause an array of other health problems, including asthma and heart disease.

The truth is, that unless you inhale that heavy black smoke coming out of a truck’s exhaust directly into your lungs, what you see is not the worst of the health villains. Most of those heavy, visible particles quickly settle to the ground. But other, much-smaller-sized components of diesel fumes hang around for a while, and that’s the stuff that burrows into your lungs and other soft tissue, causing serious harm.

The soot filters on newer diesel engines remove much of the dangerous particles. The problem, as mentioned earlier, is that not all truckers can afford new equipment. Still, because of the health risks associated with diesel emissions, local and state governments need to keep up their enforcement operations.

When it comes to choosing between protecting independent truckers and avoiding lung cancer, we have to go with the latter. Then, however, lawmakers need to get creative, and find ways to help those independent truckers keep their businesses up and running.

3/18/2013

GROWING YOUR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR FLEET AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE


Unique Strategies can help grow your contractor fleet while maintaining and supporting their independent status
Matt Schrap
VP Government Programs, Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance

For the past several years fleets and single truck operators have enjoyed the luxury of operating relatively inexpensive equipment to move their cargo. Lately, government regulation has resulted in sophisticated emissions controls for truck engines that reduce emissions but result in ever increasing sticker prices. Fleets and independent contractors have been required to confront these and other mounting costs head on in order to survive.

To complicate matters further, the typical model for single truck operators was turned on its head with the passage implementation of the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The CAAP is slowly becoming the model for ports across the country for looking at potential regulatory schemes to decrease emissions associated with the truck fleet.

Beyond the walls of the seaports and intermodal railyards in California, single truck operators and motor carriers alike face additional regulatory burdens not only for cleaner engines, but reduced hours of service as well as increased safety restrictions. These costs combined the high price of diesel fuel and the constantly congested infrastructure continue to exert downward pressure on fleets and drivers. Everything is getting more expensive and many operators have simply left the industry because they can no longer afford to operate, taking years of experience and professionalism with them.

Fleet owners recognize that experienced drivers are hard to come by and those that have their own equipment are next to impossible to find. Because of this, some motor carriers have implemented programs to assist single truck operators in remaining independent while simultaneously helping them get into newer equipment.

These equipment-leasing arrangements have been set up with contractors to help offset some of the tremendous costs associated with new or used equipment upgrades. The model hinges on motor carriers charging rent for the leases through weekly settlement deductions. The fleet would purchase new or used vehicles, set up a leasing entity to administer the transaction and then lease the trucks back to the drivers, usually with conditions.
This arrangement has been an industry norm, but it is coming under increasing pressure from taxing authorities seeking more revenue, labor organizations seeking more membership and government agencies that enforce labor and employment standards making sure no one is being taken advantage of. There are rules that govern these situations and many large carriers are finding themselves in violation; by the time they find out, it is already too late.

On a regular basis, companies across the country are being hit with class action lawsuits that claim misclassification of employees as independent contractors. One of the key issues at hand for the trucking industry is the truck itself, more importantly who owns that truck and who directs its use. In the arrangement described above, no clear delineation may exist between the company dispatching the drivers and the company that holds title if the companies are all under the same corporate umbrella. In this situation it is clear that the driver doesn’t own the truck, the motor carrier company owns the truck.  In other words, just another justification for misclassification, and the potentially massive penalties that could put everybody out of business. Granted, there are fleets out there that have been shown to be clearly taking advantage of drivers, but more often than not, many fleets are just trying to help their contractors be successful businesspeople, and are offering assistance because they truly care about their success.

Without motor carrier assistance, many independent contractors who do not have solid credit profiles are finding themselves at the mercy of predatory sub-prime lenders who will “help” them get into newer trucks to meet state mandates or replace aging broken down equipment. Typically, instead of agreeing to draconian terms, the contractors just flat out leave the industry; if they cannot afford to upgrade, there really is no other choice.
Many contractors have faced this stark decision; leave the market or look for outside help. Motor carriers are under the same pressure; they need qualified drivers and reliable equipment, without either, their fleet will cease to exist.

Complicating this already challenging situation is the increased scrutiny of the independent contractor pool. This has left fleets with even fewer methods to entice or maintain qualified drivers. However, a movement is underway where third party companies and administrators can set up programs specifically for motor carriers to help independent contractors maintain their independent status by using the corporate credit strength of the motor carrier to assist the contactor in the purchase of new or used equipment.

Because this involves true third party structure, fleets can actively and legally assist their drivers in maintaining their own independent businesses while providing freight movements to help both companies grow. The arrangement can lead to increased retention for already trained drivers and as an attractive entry point for new ones. Even drivers who are looking to get new equipment through hauling for a different company can find opportunities in these programs. The more drivers a fleet can access, the more both companies benefit.

Additionally, with the recent push to “go green”, shippers and beneficial cargo owners alike are seeking out transportation companies who operate the cleanest diesel or alternative fuel technology available. The third-party structure described above helps contractors get into this clean technology, which in turn provides a leg up for motor carriers who are seeking business from shippers who adhere to the mantra of green transportation. Finding a company that is willing to step up and help green the contractor fleet is worth its weight in gold. Drivers and fleets will benefit when shared success is the stated goal.

If your fleet is looking for ways to help encourage the success of your most important asset, it is worth speaking to someone who can help set up a custom program that will do just that.  Leasing options exist that will stand up to the misclassification test. Educate yourself on potential strategies and find a company that will take an active role in setting up a program for your drivers. After all, when it comes to the bottom line, the business success of your contractors will only add to your success as a company.

Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance will be hosting a seminar on the topic described above at the Great West Truck Show in Las Vegas May 30, 2013. This will be a one of a kind seminar dedicated to the fleet contractor relationship structure as well as green equipment solutions for your fleet. Crossroads will also be offering one-on-one consultations after the seminar. Go to http://www.greatwesttruckshow.com/  to register and download all conference information. Don’t miss out!

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