CARB: How do you know your PM filter is legal?

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 10/22/2012

That diesel particulate filter a shop or parts dealer talked you into may fit onto your after-exhaust system – but it won’t keep you from getting a citation issued by the California Air Resources Board.
As part of CARB’s diesel truck inspection blitz in September, the air quality agency found many trucks that had particulate filters installed, though some weren’t CARB approved and left truck owners vulnerable to expensive fines.
In a news release, CARB says “some companies are advertising and attempting to sell devices that cannot be used to comply with Air Resources Board diesel engine regulations.”
Several truckers have reported to Land Line that they had heard rumors that CARB was retroactively fining truck owners for past months in which their trucks didn’t meet the On-Road Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles Regulation, also known as the Truck and Bus rule.
CARB Spokeswoman Karen Caesar said enforcement officers haven’t been actively fining truck owners for past months of non-compliance, but said “the potential is there” for that kind of fine.
Truck owners who have signed up and registered with CARB’s phase-in retrofit plan can be asked to show they have ordered and installed DPFs required to meet their specific phase-in schedule, Caesar said.
Trucking companies that haven’t reported or complied could be caught during an audit, Caesar said.
“While we have not been stating that fleets would be fined for this type of infraction, the potential for doing so is there,” Caesar said.
CARB says they often find out about illegal DPF units through vendors who sell CARB-approved models.
“We typically find unapproved DPFs during audits of fleets or via tips from competitors (i.e., tips that their competitors are selling DPFs that are not ARB-verified),” a CARB enforcement staff member told Land Line through a spokesperson. “We don’t find many during individual truck field inspections.”
For a full list of diesel particulate matter filters that are CARB-approved, click here.

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