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OOIDA sues CARB over emissions regulation

CARB’s Truck and Bus Regulation prohibits older trucks that have not been replaced or retrofitted with new emissions controls from operating on public roads in California. The rule was effective Jan. 1, 2012.

The Trucker News Services

12/9/2013

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, against the California Air Resources Board in connection with the Truck and Bus Regulation. The association has asked for an injunction saying the regulation is unconstitutional and discriminates against out-of-state truckers.

“CARB has overstepped its bounds by requiring trucks from other states to be upgraded in order to operate in California,” said Jim Johnston, president and CEO of OOIDA.

The Truck and Bus Regulation, otherwise known as the CARB regulation, requires 1996-2006 model year trucks more than 14,000 pounds to be replaced or retrofitted with particulate matter filters and prohibits older trucks that have not been replaced or retrofitted from operating on public roads in California. The rule was effective Jan. 1, 2012.

OOIDA asks that the court permanently enjoin CARB from implementing or enforcing the Truck and Bus Regulation against the plaintiffs and other truck owners or operators who reside and/or conduct business primarily outside California.

OOIDA contends that the CARB regulation violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Commerce Clause prohibits state laws and regulations that discriminate against interstate commerce or unduly burden interstate commerce.

The brief filed by OOIDA states that CARB regulations have caused, and will continue to cause, irreparable harm to truckers who have been shut out of the California market because of the costs of compliance.

“It puts out-of-state truckers at a disadvantage because the cost to upgrade is disproportionate to the number of miles traveled in the state of California,” Johnston said.

OOIDA points out in the suit that trucking equipment purchased by its members when such equipment met all California regulatory requirements has now become obsolete for use in California because of the new restrictions imposed by the regulation.

The cost to comply with the regulation, for doing even a small amount of business in California, runs into thousands of dollars. Failure to buy and retrofit trucking equipment as required by the CARB regulation will effectively exclude out-of-state truckers from the California trucking market unless they are willing to face fines and penalties for noncompliance.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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