CARB public meetings clarify proposed rule amendments, hear other ideas

| December 05, 2013

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. Listen to the podcast below to learn more about potential flexibility options in the works and the forces helping shape them.

The California Air Resources Board’s public meeting Dec. 4 in Sacramento, following a Dec. 3 meeting in Diamond Bar and webcast via, took public comment on the board’s own proposed new compliance flexibility options as well as new ideas to introduce additional “paths toward implementation” and compliance, said Todd Sax, assistant chief of CARB’s Mobile Source Control Division. At once, he added, “While we’re looking at ways to expand incentive funding” as well as flexibility options, “ the costs of the rule will be paid for by truckers – it’s hard to comply with this rule, we realize.”

The challenge, Sax noted, for the board is balancing the needs of the public for clean air, 2014 deadlines set by the Clean Air Act at the federal level for NOx and particulate-matter levels in the air, and the financial hit the regulations are having on fleets large and small in the state and around the nation. Any changes the Board makes to help fleets comply at this stage, Sax noted, “need to be fair and enforceable,” likewise “recognizing fleets that have already taken steps to comply.”

The discussion was heated at times throughout the four-hour meeting, ranging from emotional to technically bureaucratic, but along the way clarity on certain of CARB’s already-proposed amendments was revealed, in addition to the Good Faith Effort to give operators with an intent to upgrade their trucks until July to comply. (We reported on that extension in this story. Follow that link for more.) 

Grant funding deadline fast approaching for small fleets and owner-operators
CARB is ready to let go of $180 million in funding for owners of fleets of 1-3 trucks as part of Proposition 1B: the Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program. The deadline for filing an application for funding to assist in replacement of a 2006 or older truck/engine with a new unit is Dec. 12. 

Small fleets/owner-ops are being given priority in this go-around. 

Basic requirements for eligibility under the Goods Movement funding program are as such: 

**75 percent operation within California for the past 2 years
**Move goods as part of a sales transaction
**Commit to at least 50 percent of travel within the four California trade corridors
**Drayage trucks (including dray-off trucks) are not eligible 

Click through the image to enlarge the map. find a copy in this pdf, too, of proposed Truck and Bus Rule amendments.

Click through the image to enlarge the map. find a copy in this pdf, too, of proposed Truck and Bus Rule amendments.

Delay in retrofit deadlines for trucks operating only in NOx-exempt areas
CARB is proposing to add to already-designated “NOx-exempt” attainment areas (where NOx values in the air are well below federally required levels for 2014, shown in green at right) the areas shown shaded or cross-hatched at right, covering a large portion of the state all told.

For operators around the nation running into and out of these areas in California exclusively, this presents potential new narrow alternatives for compliance. CARB is extending to January 2015 the retrofit DPF requirement for trucks reporting intent to run only in such areas. Trucks will need to be registered with CARB and obtain decals indicating their status, and in order to qualify, trucks will need to have been demonstrably in compliance through the end of 2013. 

As noted, to take advantage of this extension, as with all of the others, you must report in the CARB TRUCRS system by January 31, 2013 – find full information about TRUCRS at this page.

The proposed extension into the added areas is taken as CARB evaluates air quality in its different districts to determine what softening, or strengthening, of the regs may be in order in the coming year. 

As Joe Rajkovacz of the California Construction Trucking Association points out, also, for in-state or out-of-state truckers operating only in the dark-green shaded areas, the current rule (minus any amendment) “mandates that all fleets must have 33 percent of their fleet in compliance by January 1, 2014, to operate only in a NOx exempt area,” he says. “For a one-truck guy, 33 percent rounds down to zero.” 

Operators with 2006 and older engines running only in the Northern parts of the state or other of the dark green attainment areas on the map, as long as they are registered with CARB to operate exclusively in the NOx-exempt areas, ought to be in compliance through the first day of 2015 with no changes.

As for the proposed added areas, “If someone operates in that vast corridor that US 395, I-15, and I-40 are a big part of” in more southerly parts of California, says Rajkovacz, “they’d have an additional year too with the proposed expanded NOx exempt area that includes 95-plus percent of San Bernardino County.”  

The minute a truck leaves the NOx-exempt area and enters a non-attainment area, they must be in compliance. “There is a minor exception for taking a truck to a shop for repairs,” says Rajkovacz. 


Podcast: CARB compliance flexibility, or lack thereof, not set in stone

In the first of two podcasts on CARB's 11th-hour flexibility maneuvering, Joe Rajkovacz of the CCTA urged operators around the nation to get involved in ...

Low-use exemption changes, additions
As we’ve reported via the series of recent podcasts on the subject (find the most relevant one via this link), CARB’s low-use vehicle upgrade exemption for trucks operating fewer than 1,000 miles in-state per year will remain available in the new year. Added to the mix, however, is a proposed exception for trucks operating a total of 5,000 or fewer miles, unlikely to apply to a majority of the Overdrive audience. 

One of the ideas being floated at both Dec. 3 and 4 public meetings, says Rajkovacz, has been to allow NOx-exempt-area trucks to use the low-use exemption to “travel into non-attainment areas where only the miles traveled in the non-attainment areas are counted toward the overall mileage cap.”


DPF Cleaning

Careful DPF maintenance will boost both your uptime and bottom line.

CARB investigation of DPF problems
“We hear what you’re saying” about reliability problems with both OEM and retrofit diesel particulate filters, Sax said, referencing voluminous commentary from truck owners skeptical of the devices. “We are going to do an investigation looking into the quality of the filters. If you’re interested in talking to us to try to get at the root cause of DPF failures,” get in touch.  

Results of the investigation Sax and company will present to the full board at their April meeting, where official consideration of amendments to the Truck and Bus Rule will also be taken up. 

A central hotline to CARB is 866-6-DIESEL, or visit for online contact information. 

Other ideas floated in the Dec. 4 meeting included consideration of household-goods haulers in CARB’s niche-specific extension (currently covering only certain vocational applications), among others. 

Find a schedule of similar meetings where operators in the area can voice their own ideas below, all times PST.

Thurs., Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
City of Redding Civic Center Council Chambers
777 Cypress Avenue
Redding, CA 96001

Tues., Dec. 10, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Chula Vista Public Library
365 F Street
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Thurs., Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
Central Region Office, Governing Board Room
1990 E. Gettysburg Avenue
Fresno, CA 93726
(The public can also attend this last workshop via video conference at the air district’s Bakersfield and Modesto offices — 34946 Flyover Court in Bakerfield and 4800 Enterprise Way in Modesto.)

CARB choices decision tree

Use our interactive tool to determine baseline requirements for your operation under CARB’s Truck and Bus Rule. 

  • NikoT

    BoyCott Time!

  • Loren Hutnick

    I attended the meeting held by CARB in
    Sacramento on Dec. 4, 2013. While the meeting was informative it was
    not a meeting to try to aide the American truck driver or the
    California trucking company. There was a lot of bureaucrat side
    stepping. The outline given for the miles and hours of service to the
    out of state and in state trucks are not what is needed to work a
    full year. There is a push of CARB to reduce the the amount of trucks
    that are working in the state and a reduction of trucks that come to
    California. There is no financial help to the small one truck owner
    or the small business owners outline currently or the perceived
    future. A representative of CARB, was quoted in saying “ The
    financial burden, hardship and business destruction will be on the
    backs of the trucking community and the general public. CARB is not
    responsible for any of that.” CARB does not care about the fact
    that out of state trucking companies that are already doing business
    within the state, or that may come to California have already stated
    they will have to raise rates to come to California. Again, CARB
    stated the cost of these rules and the cost of coming will just for
    a positive more healthy environment in California lowering the burden
    of healthcare on all Californians. CARB showed little to no
    interest/care about the financial and economic burden that these
    rules that they are trying to put in place will have on the
    individual, owner, commerce, the infrastructure or the economy of

    The focus or concern about air
    quality and saving lives is a issue we all have to be concerned
    about, however, CARB has said that diesel exhaust has caused many
    deaths, but can not produce a report from a scientific expert that a
    single individual has died from exposed diesel exhaust. When I
    informed the the CARB member about the stamp on my motor the reads
    “This motor meets or exceeds the requirements of emissions for
    the state of California Air Resource Board and EPA”. The answer
    I received was “Yes when you bought your truck, that was true
    and your truck did conform to the rules of the time. However, as with
    everything else time marches on and rules change, and it doesn’t work
    now in California.” This is nothing more than big brother
    trying to supersede its power at whatever cost. Also this was such a
    one sided meeting, all to CARB and not to the working truck driver.

  • Todd Dills

    Loren, Do you think they’ll do anything else in terms of making this rule more palatable, more than they’ve already tried to do? Sounds like you’re doubtful, to say the least. Very little of our audience that actually runs in California will be able to take advantage of the exceptions they’ve as yet introduced. I was able to catch the audio of the webcast but not the full feeling of the room. Your account doesn’t sound like there was much of a feeling of true back and forth.

  • Loren Hutnick

    Todd no I do not see in any way that CARB will make this in your word more palatable. All CARB is concerned with their new found power. Cleaning the air at our (truck drivers) cost, and saving lives do to the so called deaths from diesel fuel and exhaust. There will not be any relief to us as the drivers and owners of trucks until the high courts of the lands hold CARB’s feet to the fire. Until then we have to play their game or take our trucks and leave the State of Calif. (Communist state of California) There was no give and take but a bunch of bureaucrat side stepping and BS.

  • Robert

    I sure am glad I moved out of California. It just shows you the stupidity of the state government to have such regulations . I am a small carrier fleet and I never will do business in California. That is a corrupt ran state who is only looking for money to feed its mass welfare population. A bunch of 60 reject dope smoking – tree huggers who have lost touch with reality…..just look at Feinstein-Boxer- and that space alien Palosie.

  • Robert

    CARB stands for ….California Ain’t Real Bright

  • Bob G.

    Feinstein-Boxer-Pelosie they all are ethnic jews…))) I am not antisemit but…

  • Joe

    It is easy to get discouraged listening to CARB justifications for their rules – trucks are killing people! (Not me, that’s what they really believe). Having attended the first work shop, truckers do need to weigh-in (whether by attending or sending comments). The only absolute is: if you do nothing, nothing changes.

  • Mark French

    This story is as confusing as CARB itself! I do not understand one thing it says! I am in the process of moving from California, I will not miss it or ever return!

  • Mark French

    What have they done to make it more “palatable”? I live in CA and must have missed that!

  • Robert

    I was born and raised in Ca. I allways thought people who left were traders… I know they were the smart ones….I left when I was 30 and 13 years later I haven’t looked back!!!!

  • Out of state driver

    Air pollution? Come on California, how many death certificates state, cause of death, Air pollution. Again, none. When is this going to stop? CARB did not do their homework. It’s a shame that people who enjoy trucking have so many rules and regulation to go by. California needs to be a country all their own.

  • Out of state driver

    Your right! I bet none of them have ever sat in a truck, let alone drive one.

  • bigred

    Let Ca. shut the outside trucks out for a while. There instate trucks will eat them alive. Last year with just what few did not run into CA. the price of freight skyrocketed for produce to the east coast.

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  • Todd Dills

    Not much, Mark, it’s true, but they claim to be trying.

  • Thomas

    To hell with these tyrannical sob’s I have lost all respect for any regulatory police,law.It is nothing more than a bunch of $$$$ hungry pointed head types soaking the rest of us and trying to control every aspect of our business and lives!!!What will it take to stop this?Maybe burning something down.It is obvious that these types have no clue how disgusted we really are…

  • MM

    90% of our loads involves some mileage in CA. But, we don’t fit into their eligibility “bubble” for funding. Who has the competitive advantage now? Also, I noticed that in order to obtain the funding you must go through one of the Approved Retrofit Installers or Approved Dealers. All on the list are businesses located in California. I’m sure someone here in Idaho would be just as capable of doing a retrofit on my truck but would do it for 10-25% less than it would cost to have done in CA.
    The last few years were a struggle; if not for our seasonal “niche” we would be out of business. We put up with the astronomical fuel prices at the CA pumps, We have paid the outrageous amounts in (non-refundable) IRP and IFTA taxes which CA has determined is their fair share. We contended with the lack of freight originating north of the Grapevine available for interstate transport. We’ve put our lives at risk every winter on their inadequately maintained Donner Pass.
    We would love to cross CA off our IRP, but people count on our two little trucks. Weigh scales, truck inspections, load inspections. Bad roads, cheap freight, high fuel prices, split speeds, no idle, no parking…you name it we put up with it. For what? All to assist our customers in supplying CA growers with what they must have in order to produce and distribute their crop to the world market. Not many truckers want to do what we do, but we love it. It’s our whole purpose, really. Other than that we’re basically unemployed looking for spot market freight. We have to haul other freight or we could fit in to the agriculture exemption. One truck is new the other is a 2007 bought only two years ago (about the time the whole MY engine year was communicated clearly). Big companies update their fleets on a regular basis so nothing is new for them. CA fleets have funding available. We get the same nothing, more regs, no funding yet have to provide the new equipment at our expense with nothing in return.
    Sorry for the rambling, had to get it out. Anyway seems CARB is providing CA businesses with a competitive edge over out of state companies.

  • Thomas Duncan

    These narrow minded overpaid federal employees are living in another world!They will listen to nothing or no one until someone starts shouting it out enough to be heard…WE ARE TIRED AS HELL MAD AS HELL AND WE WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS UNCONSTITUTIONAL REGULATORY CRAP!!!!!!

  • Ralph

    Can you tell me where on this site I have to go to find the form to fill out for this regulatinon?

  • Pingback: CARB unveils proposed compliance extensions and delays for small fleets, owner-operators | Commercial Carrier Journal

  • Jude

    I read that the filters add fuel consumption meaning if you used to get 20 miles per gallon with the new filters you will be lucky to get 9 mpg. Plus from what I’ve read on other sites these DPF’s trucks are always broke down and it costs between $7000-10,000 to replace these exhausts alone. Not to mention all the damage from the back pressure to your engines. Which could result in blown motors and costly repairs. All carb says is were going to look at the overall quality of these parts but in the mean time go ahead and put these on your trucks and cars! The only ones that will be able to afford to do business with California is the big mega companies like swift or JB hunt which will in time raise there rates to whatever they want. Sounds to me like California CARB might have been paid off to hand over the keys to the state to large corporations at the expense of the people! Thankful to not live in California.. Good luck!! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.