CARB posts advisory and language for Truck and Bus timetables

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 7/2/2014

Truck owners who need to know when their trucks must be upgraded to meet California’s rapidly changing Truck and Bus Regulation have new documents and a hotline to call and receive help.

The California Air Resources Board is using email, social media and virtually every outlet at its disposal to publicize enforcement dates for the Truck and Bus Regulation – its most expensive truck rule. The air quality agency is urging truck owners to fill out a diesel hotline assistance form, or to call the hotline directly at 866-6DIESEL (866-634-3735).

To download CARB’s recently published regulatory advisory for the rule, click here.

Predicted to cost the industry more than $1 billion, the Truck and Bus rule requires most trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds to be upgraded either with diesel particulate filters or by upgrading to cleaner and newer engines between 2012 and 2023.

In CARB’s recently published advisory, CARB says fleet owners who reported by Jan. 31, 2014, to use existing compliance options may “continue to sue them without taking any additional action this year. Truck owners who reported “good faith efforts” to meet the rule’s Jan. 1, 2014, compliance date must complete those upgrade actions by July 1, 2014, unless they are able to use newly approved options including:

  • Low-Mileage Work Truck Phase-In, which allows construction trucks “and other work trucks” that travel less than 20,000 miles per year as long as the fleet has a specified number of particulate matter filters;
  • Low-use Exemption, which allows trucks that operate 5,000 miles or less annually to be exempt from the rule;
  • Oxides of Nitrogen Exempt Area extension, which allows trucks that operate exclusively in specified regions with low levels of NOx to be exempt;
  • Small Fleet Option, which allows fleets of three or fewer to defer compliance dates of second trucks to January 2017 and for a third truck to January 2018;
  • Cattle Livestock Trucks, which allows a specialty agricultural truck extension that is still being crafted by CARB staff; and
  • Economic Hardship Extension, which allows truck owners to defer compliance for the PM filter requirement until Jan. 1, 2017, if they’re unable to afford to comply and can’t get financing;

At CARB’s April 25 monthly board meeting, the air quality agency formally approved multiple exemptions from the Truck and Bus Rule that will last until the year 2020. More than 100 members of the public commented on the rule – most sharing their approval or disagreement over CARB’s eventual decision to allow fleets of three trucks or smaller to delay emissions upgrades until the end of 2016.

Truck owners who remain noncompliant after July 1, 2014, may be subject to penalties and California Department of Motor Vehicle registration holds, CARB said. Vehicles that operate without current DMV registration may have their vehicles impounded.

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