By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer
Trucking companies are used to warning drivers about getting approached at border towns by individuals with cash and offers to haul special freight.
But a new effort by the California Air Resources Board is warning them about a new form of illegal activity centered on trucks at border towns and ports: illegal dray offs.
In a news release, CARB said it is warning business owners that trucks with freight originating from or heading to a California port or rail facility must meet requirements of the state’s Port Drayage Rule including registration with CARB as drayage trucks.
CARB enforcement staff will be looking for trucks hauling port freight that don’t meet the Drayage Rule, as well as trucks participating in a dray-off.
“A dray-off occurs when a compliant truck exchanges cargo with a non-compliant truck on or off port property,” CARB said in the release. “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.”
Since fall 2012, CARB staff have made regular visits to border towns including Otay Mesa and Calexico to explain the state’s truck emission rules to business owners in both English and Spanish, CARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden said in the news release.
“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,” Ryden said, according to the release.
In 2012, CARB conducted 3,650 inspections on 1,938 trucks in California-Mexico border cities Otay Mesa, Calexico and Tecate, to ensure compliance for several emissions rules. CARB enforcement officers looked at excessive idling, corrective engine labeling, smoke emissions and tampering and use of CARB-verified DPF devices. CARB said it issued 261 citations stemming from violations found during the border town inspections.
For more information on CARB truck rules, click here.