“The California Air Resources Board has overstepped its bounds by requiring trucks from other states to be upgraded in order to operate in California,” says Jim Johnston, president and CEO of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
On Friday, Dec. 6, OOIDA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, against CARB in connection with the agency’s controversial Truck and Bus Regulation.
“Our position is that it violates the Commerce Clause and they cannot do it,” says Johnston.
The OOIDA lawsuit 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.
The Truck and Bus Regulation, otherwise known as the CARB regulation, requires 1996-2006 model year trucks weighing 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 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.
OOIDA contends that failure to buy and retrofit trucking equipment as required by 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.
“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,” said Johnston.
The cost to comply with the regulation, for doing even a small amount of business in California, runs into many thousands of dollars.
OOIDA points out 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.
Plaintiffs in the case include OOIDA; Dale L. Curtice Jr. dba Curtice Trucking Inc.; Nelson Greenwade Sr. dba Dream Team Express LLC; Lance Henning dba Lance Henning Trucking; Leo T. Jolin; Barry Vun Cannon dba NACO LLC; Johnny West; Richard M. Hunter and Russell A. Short.
The complaint names as defendants Richard W. Corey in his official and personal capacity as executive officer of CARB; Mary D. Nichols, chairman of CARB; and Matt Rodriguez, secretary of CARB.
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