California files motion to dismiss part of OOIDA’s lawsuit against emissions regs

| February 13, 2014
Click through the image to use our interactive graphic to determine your upgrade options for getting CARB-compliant under the Truck and Bus rule in 2014.

Click through the image to use our interactive graphic to determine your upgrade options for getting CARB-compliant under the Truck and Bus rule in 2014.

The attorney general for the state of California, Kamala Harris, has filed a motion in a U.S. District Court to dismiss one of three counts the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has brought against the state’s Air Resources Board in a lawsuit challenging its emissions regulations. 

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OOIDA alleges in its lawsuit that CARB’s Truck and Bus Rule is unconstitutional, claiming it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. 

In its motion to dismiss, California says the suit’s counts against two CARB employees, Richard Corey and Mary Nichols, do not have legal backing, as OOIDA has sued them in “personal capacities” the motion says, rather than their “official capacities.”

Corey, a CARB Executive Officer, and Nichols, Chairman of CARB, are protected by qualified immunity and did not themselves violate any constitutional rights of truck drivers, the motion says, and the two are simply enforcing regulations already determined by CARB.

Motion-to-Dismiss

Click the thumbnail to see California’s motion to dismiss filing.

The motion, however, did not seek dismissal of the other two counts brought in OOIDA’s suit. In its first count, OOIDA claims the Truck and Bus Rule violates the U.S. Commerce Clause and wants the court to put a hold on the implementation of its provisions. 

The second count asks the court to declare the rule in violation of the Commerce Clause. 

OOIDA filed its suit Dec. 6, saying CARB’s regs are unfairly costly to truck owners, are not proven to be beneficial and are unconstitutional. 

Click here to see OD’s coverage of the suit.

CARB is also still facing a lawsuit brought by the Alliance for California Business, filed in November. ABC claims CARB did not disclose alleged dangers of diesel particulate filters, which are required to be retrofitted to trucks with pre-2007 engines.

Likewise, the California Construction Trucking Association continues to pursue litigation making an argument similar to that in the American Trucking Associations suit over the Port of Los Angeles’ Clean Trucks program’s attempt to eliminate the use of independent contractors in port drayage there. The CCTA argues particular CARB rules violate the Act, which prohibits state laws or regulations relative to motor carrier prices, routes or services. Read more about the suit in this reporting from last year. 

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