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CARB extends emissions control deadlines for small business truckers

Many said they were struggling to obtain grants and loans to comply. However, those carriers and truckers who had already shelled out the money to comply said their competitors who hadn’t met the deadlines were “getting the golden ticket.”

The Trucker News Services

4/28/2014

Small business truckers got a bit of a reprieve from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on some of their pollution regulations last week, or at least a deadline extension, but some carriers who have already complied say it’s unfair.

CARB voted last Thursday to give small fleets, lightly used trucks and those operating in rural areas more time to upgrade from older, more polluting models to newer, cleaner trucks and engines or install filters to remove the soot, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The delays to the CARB deadlines, stemming from regulations adopted in 2008, were approved 10-1, and came after about five hours of sometimes heated and emotional pleas from small business truckers and owner-operators who said they were willing to comply but couldn’t afford it.

Many said they were struggling to obtain grants and loans to comply. However, those carriers and truckers who had already shelled out the money to comply said their competitors who hadn’t met the deadlines were “getting the golden ticket.”

“I’m getting slapped in the face because I complied and made the investment,” said Shellie Archer of Ukiah in Mendocino County. Archer said she is $3 million in debt after retrofitting most of her fleet of dump trucks.

Truckers already in compliance also complained that the for-hire industry in California needs a level playing field and that they will be at a disadvantage in competing with their smaller rivals who get a compliance extension.

CARB said the action will slow pollution cuts for several years but still allow California to reach its goal of cutting diesel emissions by 85 percent by 2020.

CARB had already announced it was considering the extensions.

The amendments provide extending the Jan. 1, 2014, deadline for particulate matter filter retrofits to Jan. 1 of next year, extending the phase-in deadline for those with three trucks or less up to as late as Jan. 1, 2018, and extend from 2020 to 2023 the deadline for replacing a 2010 or older model truck.

CARB officials said the extensions won’t compromise the health benefits although a college student with asthma said “ … somebody has to pay … We’re paying with our health.”

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

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