CARB reefer rule includes March 16 registration deadline

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 3/13/2009

The deadline for California-based trucking businesses that operate reefer units to sign up with the California Air Resources Board is fast approaching.

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved California’s new limits on reefers entering and operating inside the Golden State, giving truck owners and drivers less than five months to prepare before enforcement hits on July 17, 2009.

In addition to complying with the rule, trucks with reefers entering or operating in the state are strongly encouraged to be registered with CARB’s reefer registry.

However, Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA Regulatory Affairs Specialist wants to remind non-California-based truckers that federal law prohibits any state from requiring any unique credentialing not approved by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

“The last thing we want to see is every environmental agency thinking it’s OK to require their own form of identification on commercial motor vehicles engaged in interstate commerce,” said Rajkovacz.

All California-based businesses will be required to be registered with CARB’s reefer registry by March 16. For updated information pertaining to that deadline, click here.

The CARB reefer rule in its entirety will be an expensive one for trucking businesses.

To comply with CARB’s reefer rule, reefers operating in California must meet CARB’s “in-use performance standards,” which phase in requirements every year for reefers seven years and older. For instance, if the rule is enforced in late 2009, transport refrigeration units – dubbed TRUs by the agency – and gensets for those units built in 2002 and earlier must meet the new standards. In 2010, 2003 and older models must meet the new standards.

CARB needed EPA approval to enforce the regulation on trucks entering the state. CARB decided in December 2008 to wait to enforce the new regulation until six months after its approval from the EPA.

“This decision affects not only persons in California, but also persons outside the state who would need to comply with California’s TRU (air toxic control measure) regulations to enter California with TRU engines,” CARB stated in an e-mail. “Therefore, this action has national applicability.”

For more information on the TRU rule, click here.

California is the only state allowed to create emissions standards stricter than federal ones, though it must obtain a waiver from the EPA. After such a waiver is granted, other states can adopt California regulations.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer


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