Study reveals CA-based trucks are older, typically run on non-CA diesel

| 10/2/2007

A study commissioned by the California Air Resources Board reveals that California-registered trucks are older than out-of-state trucks, and burn nearly as much non-CARB diesel as out-of-state trucks.

The California Air Resources Board is in the midst of issuing a wave of rules tightening its diesel-based and greenhouse gas emissions, including January’s new rule limiting truck idling to five minutes. As the agency waits for technology to replace the dirtiest trucks driving in the Golden State, CARB is focusing on enforcement and incentives to cut emissions.

On Monday, Oct. 1, CARB presented results from a study titled “Assessment of Out-of-State Truck Activity in California,” by Nicholas Lutsey and Christie-Joy Brodrick of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Davis.

The study revealed that nearly half of all out-of-state trucks operating in California were five years old or less, with 31 percent being two years old or newer. Comparatively, 12 percent of California-based trucks were two years old or newer, and 34 percent were five years old or newer.

Also, 19.5 percent of California-based trucks were 15 years old or older, compared to 9.4 percent of out-of state trucks.

The study found that between 30 and 40 percent of out-of-state trucks were traveling in the South Coast Air Basin, 26-29 percent were in the Mojave Desert, 15-17 percent were in the San Joaquin Valley, and between 8-15 percent were in the Sacramento Valley.

CARB found that 73 percent of trucks from out-of state use fuel that doesn’t originate in California, and may not meet CARB’s standard for ultra-low sulfur diesel.

The study will be published in a technical journal and presented in January 2008 before the Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer