LOS ANGELES — The Environmental Protection Agency released information about recent settlements with three major trucking companies totaling $201,000 in penalties for violating California’s Truck and Bus Regulation.
The companies either failed to install particulate filters on their own heavy-duty diesel trucks or failed to verify that trucks they hired for use in California complied with the state rule, EPA said in a news release.
"Diesel trucks are heavily used in the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles Basin, which suffer from some of the worst air quality in the nation,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s acting regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA is committed to helping California achieve cleaner, healthier air by ensuring compliance with the state’s pollution rules.”
“These cases are examples of how California and the EPA can work together to protect Californians’ health by strongly enforcing the regulation to clean up our trucks and buses,” said chief of CARB enforcement, Todd Sax. “When trucking companies operate in California, compliance with state laws is essential.”
Diesel emissions from trucks are one of the state’s largest sources of fine particle pollution, or soot, which has been linked to a variety of health issues, including asthma, impaired lung development in children, and cardiovascular effects in adults, Sax said.
About 625,000 trucks are registered outside of the state, but operate in California and are subject to the rule. Many of these vehicles are older models and emit high amounts of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. The rule, which requires diesel trucks and buses that operate in California to be upgraded to reduce diesel emissions, is an essential part of the state’s plan to attain cleaner air.
Thursday’s announcement highlights separate administrative settlement agreements with three companies that are all members of EPA’s SmartWay program, a voluntary public-private effort that helps improve freight transportation efficiency through a comprehensive system for tracking and documenting emissions and fuel use.
According to the news release:
The California Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted into federal Clean Air Act plan requirements in 2012 and applies to diesel trucks and buses operating in California. The rule requires trucking companies to upgrade vehicles they own to meet specific NOx and particulate matter performance standards and also requires trucking companies to verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch.
Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions levels or use diesel particulate filters that can reduce the emissions of diesel particulates into the atmosphere by 85 percent or more.