CARB facing more lawsuits over latest emissions regs

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Nov. 3, 2023:

Another trucking group suing CARB over latest emissions regs

The Western States Trucking Association (WSTA) has filed two lawsuits challenging the California Air Resources Board’s Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) and Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) rules.  

The lawsuit challenging ACT rule was filed in federal court in June, and the lawsuit over the ACF rule was filed in a state court in July.

WSTA’s ACT suit challenges the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision in April to allow CARB to implement the ACT rule, which requires 100% heavy-duty vehicles sold in California to be "zero emissions" where feasible by 2045. The ACT rule requires truck manufacturers to increase new-truck sales to 55% (Class 2b-3), 75% (Class 4-8), and 40% (tractors) ZEVs by 2035.

The ACT rule has since been adopted by seven other states -- Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington. 

WSTA’s suit petitions the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review EPA’s decision, claiming that EPA exceeded its authority in granting the waiver to CARB allowing the rule to take effect. WSTA Governmental Affairs Director Joe Rajkovacz noted the case has been joined by state attorneys general on both sides. Rajkovacz feels this is a case of the EPA exceeding its authority with the waiver, "trying to transform an industry." Rajkovacz cited judgments against EPA of a similar nature in the recent past, such as West Virginia v. U.S. EPA, decided last December against the EPA. 

The group’s challenge of the ACF rule, which requires all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold or registered in California to be zero-emission by 2036 and requires all trucks to be zero-emission by 2042, seeks to invalidate the rule because, according to the lawsuit, CARB “failed to fully comply with its mandate to evaluate the ACF Regulation’s potential environmental impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)” and “failed to adequately assess the ACF Regulation’s economic impacts and to consider feasible alternatives to the ACF Regulation under the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA).”

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The lawsuit also claims CARB “failed to engage in external peer review of the ‘scientific portions’ of the ACF Regulation,” violating California’s Health & Safety Code.

The California Trucking Association last month also filed a lawsuit challenging the ACF rule, claiming that the rule is preempted by both the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (F4A).

[Related: CTA files lawsuit to block CARB's diesel truck ban]

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree harvested

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree harvestingThe 63-foot-tall Norway Spruce that will serve as the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested in West Virginia Nov. 1.KenworthThe 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, a 63-foot-tall Norway Spruce, was harvested on Nov. 1, from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

A Kenworth 100th Anniversary T680 Signature Edition, sporting a newly-installed graphics wrap, will soon transport the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from the Monongahela National Forest to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.

The Capitol Christmas Tree Tour will officially begin on Nov. 4 with a special celebration in Elkins, West Virginia, home to the headquarters of the Monongahela National Forest. It will conclude Nov. 17, when the tree, named “wa’feem’tekwi” by the Shawnee Tribe, is delivered to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. The name means “bright tree” in the Shawnee language and is pronounced phonetically ‘wa thame tech we.”

“Endlessly Wild & Wonderful,” is this year’s tour theme, and the message is prominently displayed on the truck’s driver and passenger sides. The design also features the U.S. Capitol Building, U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, and a background of the sunset overlooking the Monongahela National Forest.

Kenworth T680 Signature Edition to haul U.S. Capitol Christmas TreeWerner Enterprises is the official designated carrier for the 2023 tour. Jesus Davila and Tim Dean will drive the T680 Signature Edition to a full slate of community celebrations en route to the nation’s capital.Kenworth

The full 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour is:

  • Nov. 4: Elkins Depot Welcome Center, Elkins, West Virginia
  • Nov. 5: Downtown Summersville, Summersville, West Virginia
  • Nov. 6: Mitchell Chevrolet, Marlinton, West Virginia
  • Nov. 7: Tamarack Marketplace, West Virginia
  • Nov. 8: High Lawn Elementary School, Huntington, West Virginia
  • Nov. 9: White Palace at Wheeling Park, Wheeling, West Virginia
  • Nov. 10: 84 Lumber, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Nov. 11: Mylan Park (a.m. event) and West Virginia University (p.m. event), Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Nov. 12: Swilled Dog/Raymond’s Gymnastic Center, Upper Tract, West Virginia
  • Nov. 13: Davis Yard, Davis, West Virginia
  • Nov. 14: WV Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, Romney, West Virginia
  • Nov. 15: Harpers Ferry Job Corps Center, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
  • Nov. 17: Delivery to West Lawn, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington D.C.

Driver named Highway Angel after helping truckers after crash

Jesse Felton, a Missouri-based truck driver for Buchheit Logistics, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for stopping to help two truckers after a horrific crash.

Jesse FeltonJesse FeltonOn Feb. 22, 2023, at approximately 2:55 p.m., on southbound Interstate 55 at the 93.2 mile-marker in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, a crash took place involving two commercial motor vehicles. A red truck traveling northbound lost control and crossed the median, striking a white truck traveling southbound.

As a result of the impact, both vehicles received an enormous amount of damage. On his way home from work, Felton was traveling southbound in the passing lane and was the first on-scene after the crash.

He exited his vehicle, raced through large amounts of diesel fuel on the roadway, through the debris of the two trucks and checked on the drivers.

“It was bad, because both trucks -- neither cab was really attached to the truck anymore,” Felton said.

First, he went to the red northbound truck and realized the driver was OK when the driver gave him the “thumbs-up” sign. He then went to the white southbound vehicle.

“The driver of that truck was hanging out of the side of the cab because the door was gone,” he said. “He was bleeding really bad; his arm was split open by his elbow, and he was losing a lot of blood.”

He pulled a lace from one of the boots he was wearing, grabbed a pencil, and made a makeshift tourniquet around the driver’s left arm. Felton placed the tourniquet several inches above the wound and began applying turns to the pen until the bleeding started to slow down and finally stopped.

Then he noticed the driver was being choked by the shoulder strap of the seatbelt that was wrapped around his neck. Felton used his knife to cut the upper shoulder strap of the seatbelt, which freed the driver and allowed him to start breathing.

Eventually, first responders arrived. Because he sustained such significant injuries, the driver was transported to a Cape Girardeau hospital and finally airlifted to a St. Louis hospital,

“I would hope anybody that could, would do it for me,” Felton said.