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May 6, 2014  |  Written by Michael E. Vergara and Richard S. Deitchman

California Air Resources Board Approves Modifications to the Truck and Bus Regulation

On April 25, 2014, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved amendments to the California Truck and Bus Regulation (Regulation) to provide compliance flexibility for small fleets, low mileage vehicles, and vehicles operated in rural areas. CARB adopted the Regulation in December 2008 as a component of its effort to curb emissions from all heavy-duty diesel vehicles operating in California. Among other provisions, the Regulation includes particulate matter filter upgrade requirements with a phase-in schedule based on vehicle model year. In December 2010, CARB amended the Regulation to delay the phase-in requirements by one year in light of the economic recession. Last week’s amendments provide additional compliance time for certain truck fleet owners and operators.

Depending on fleet size and other factors, members of the trucking industry support or oppose the amendments. Large fleet owners generally believe the amendments leave those who diligently sought early compliance to compete longer with non-compliant owners. The California Trucking Association opposes the amendments. Key provisions of the amendments include:

  1. Longer particulate matter filter phase-in for trucks operated in rural areas;
  2. Additional time for small fleet upgrades and for owners that cannot obtain financing to comply;
  3. A phase-in option for “work trucks” that travel less than 20,000 miles per year;
  4. Enhanced flexibility for agricultural vehicle compliance;
  5. Adjustment of the low-use vehicle exemption to up to 5,000 miles per year;
  6. Recognition of vehicle owners who have already initiated steps to comply with additional “useable life” for retrofit trucks and reduction in short-term compliance requirements.

Review The amendments Documents.

For more information on the Regulation and CARB compliance, please contact Michael E. Vergara or Richard S. Deitchman at (916) 446 7979 or by email atmvergara@somachlaw.com or rdeitchman@somachlaw.com.

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