The California Air Resources Board will convene just less than a month from now to discuss and vote on a raft of proposed amendments to its Truck and Bus Rule, many of them aimed at potentially easing the rule’s burden on small fleets and owner-operators. Before you scoff, there’s some opportunity in them that hadn’t been much talked about prior to the release of the proposal earlier this month.
Perhaps most significant is a provision that would delay the final compliance date for owners of equipment requiring upgrade under the rule as of now until 2018, provided the truck owner can show evidence of being turned down for a loan to replace the truck or retrofit emissions equipment. If this is something you might be able to take advantage of, the California Construction Trucking Association points out in this round-up on its website that if the provision were to be approved…
To qualify for this new provision, you MUST have been denied a loan for a DPF or truck replacement between July 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. You would then be required to register with CARB no later than January 31, 2015.
And the CCTA issues this “warning” about planning to take advantage: As proposed, “selecting this option you will commit you to replace your current truck with one containing a 2010 or newer engine on [or before] January 1, 2018.”
I reached out to Joe Rajkovacz of the CCTA following the rule’s release, and he notes continuing competitive concern (among interests who’ve already made the decision and invested the money to upgrade) over these 11th-hour flexibility maneuvers, which observer Matt Schrap notes in this story are politically convenient for many state politicians in an election year.
“This is by no means a ‘done deal,'” Rajkovacz notes. And as he noted during the last round of new flexibility proposals, he adds, “Truckers need to participate in the public-comment process – even show up at the Board meeting [April 24] if they can.”
Rajkovacz says his organization will continue to “be supportive of increased flexibility for owner-ops and small businesses” following their own work getting the “goalposts” moved. “The proposal would give virtually four years of life to a lot of folks” if denied a loan this year, “and that is now being termed ‘anti-competitive'” by reps of some motor carriers, even some who may have benefited from grant money available early on in the process, when it was out of reach for many small fleets.Once you’ve read the proposal, follow this link to submit a comment to CARB, whether you live in the state or just run in it, ahead of the April 24 meeting in Sacramento (deadline for online comments is April 21, 5 p.m. PDT), where CARB will either vote on the proposals or make changes and return for a vote the following day.