CARB diesel regs’ human toll: Family uprooted, split by move’s necessity

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Not only has the California Air Resources Board’s Truck and Bus Rule forced a decision to leave the trucking business completely by an independent team that was named several years back, as commenter Joe Rajkovacz of the California Construction Trucking Association reminded me, as the No. 1 safest California small fleet by the CHP, for the Jez family, formerly of Galt, Calif., and whom I’ve written about here in the blog a time or two, it’s forced even tougher decisions. 

Martin Jez, with a 1980s Peterbilt he owned for a time before moving on with the 2000 Freightliner he owns today. The Freightliner falls this year under the prohibition on 1996-2006 model-year diesel engines operating in the state that is the CARB Statewide Truck and Bus Rule.Martin Jez, with a 1980s Peterbilt he owned for a time before moving on with the 2000 Freightliner he owns today. The Freightliner falls this year under the prohibition on 1996-2006 model-year diesel engines operating in the state that is the CARB Statewide Truck and Bus Rule.

“We moved to Michigan a month ago,” Alice Jez wrote me yesterday. Her husband, Martin, is still operating a 2000 Freightliner under his own authority, but he’s doing it running mostly local loads in a region far away from the state whose rules forced the long move. “I lost my six-year-old son to his father [from a previous marriage],” in order to make the move, Alice says, “but I’ve come to terms with that. CARB tore my family apart. It was move or starve if we stayed.” 

Two other children — a 15-year-old daughter from Alice’s prior marriage and the Jezes’ 2-year-old girl — remain with them in Michigan, fortunately, and there’s been another bright spot: “So far the truck is working daily (minus major storms),” Alice says, and freight has been stronger and higher paid for the same or fewer miles than what my husband ran in California.”

The state could “care less,” she believes, “about what CARB is doing to people there. I wrote a letter to the governor and never got a single response.”

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