CARB can enforce rule requiring aero add-ons to trailers, EPA says

| August 11, 2014

Note: This story says only that the EPA gave CARB permission to enforce its rule on 2011 and later model trailers. However, it also granted CARB permission to require add-ons to 2011-2013 year-model tractors. Click here to read more on that. 

The California Air Resources Board has been granted permission by the federal government to enforce its requirement that trailers in the state be equipped with SmartWay-verified tires and other SmartyWay-verified equipment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week.


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CARB asked the EPA in June 2013 for a waiver of preemption to the EPA’s Clean Air Act, which the EPA granted last week, effectively allowing CARB to enforce its rules — more than four years after their effective date — requiring the use of certain tires and other devices that improve trailer aerodynamics and reduce fuel consumption.

CARB’s Heavy-Duty Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas Regulations went into effect Jan. 1, 2010, and has a bevy of equipment requirements, but the preemption waiver granted by the EPA last week was specifically for 2011-2013 53-foot trailers running in the state.

Several trucking groups filed formal comments during the EPA’s public comment period on CARB’s request for the waiver, with nearly all stating opposition.


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The American Trucking Associations, however, said it wouldn’t take a position on the waiver itself, but it did note that the four-year period between implementation of the rule and the actual enforcement go-ahead from the EPA puts carriers that did invest in what they thought were mandatory expenses at a competitive disadvantage.

“The fact there has been no enforcement to date has likely disadvantaged companies that made timely investments (due to higher initial technology costs) as well as those companies that have observed little to no fuel efficiency benefit from the mandated equipment,” ATA wrote in its formal comment.


CARB fines for trucking companies total $2.2 million last year

California’s Air Resources Board Diesel penalized truck and bus fleets a total of $2,177,813 last year for non-compliance with state diesel risk reduction programs.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, however, said CARB’s greenhouse gas rule places “unfair and unconstitutional burdens” on small fleets and one-truck owners who aren’t based in California.

“…The regulation imposes arbitrary, expensive and inequitable burdens on OOIDA members residing outside of California,” the group wrote in its formal comments.

OOIDA estimates that carriers will have to spend between $7,520 and $9,325 (in 2008 dollars) to comply with the regulation.

CARB, however, says it estimates the cost to be around $1,250 per trailer. It also says the fuel savings achieved by the devices will offer an 18-month payback.

Both the California Construction Trucking Association and the California Trucking Association submitted comments asking the EPA to deny CARB’s request to enforce the rule.

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  • john cook

    Remember the united states

  • localnet

    California can starve for all I care anymore. It used to be a great place to go. Now, a third world cesspool run by idiot Marxists.

  • Patty Cakes

    This is great … I’m all for it !

    I’m ‘ All For ‘ adding a ‘ CARB Surcharge ‘ to any load in / out of The Shakey.

    Remember that old sayin’ …. Life gives you lemons, make lemonade

    ……………. well, when you visit California, piss in thier face via a CARB Surcharge and tell ’em ‘ It’s not piss, it’s CARB Lemonade ‘.

  • Chris

    Being FROM Kalifornia (I left in 2003) I am not surprised at this insanity.

  • Karl

    I guess the one thing I want to know is where CARB is pricing their stuff. I would love to get aero skirts and 8 tires for 1250 bucks. I think they should be required to prove the cost. Anybody here get CARB approved tires for under 160 a piece. Of course dont forget to find the dealer offering the buy 8 and get some free skirts.

  • Mountain Flyer

    California sucks, moreso if you are a trucker. The liberal mentality at work– GENIUS!

  • Dave Nichols

    California surcharge for us is $1.00 per mile. When we enter until we escape!

  • Pingback: Clarification: EPA’s clearance for Calif. enforcement of aero device regs … | clearance

  • lastgoodusername

    This should only be of concern to those based in CA. Everybody else stay the hell out and life will be so much easier.

  • walt morris

    kalifornia is soo funny! first they pass laws about keeping the brakes properly and when they can’t find enough truckers without the brakes our of adjustment they issue wrenches to be used during inspections to back off brakes and then they cite the drivers for out of adjustment brakes.
    next they stop you for driving at the national speed limit of 65 mph and send you a letter that for 11 miles over the speed limit you owe them $1000. I was dropping off of a hill north of reno, nv while still in kalfornia and picked up a ticket for 70 mph and was told by the chp officer that as long as you don’t go over 65 mph no one is going to bother you. about a year later coming out of the bay area on I-215 I was stopped for going 62 mph but was told that my speed was over 68 mph. I explained to the “polar bear” that I wasn’t going nearly that fast and that I had seen him coming for a mile or two. then I asked him why he didn’t stop the porche that had just blew by at over 100 miles an hour and he said that as a commercial carrier enforcement officer he was not allowed to stop the private automobiles. boy did that make me feel good–at 62 mph and over 3,000,000 miles long haul experience I was apparently a bigger danger than some guy driving his porche at 100 miles per hour.
    Kalifornia will never see me or my truck in their state again strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.