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  • Righting the Ship – Part Two

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    May 20, 2019

    May 20, 2019
     Leah Silverthorn Environmental RegulationTransportation

    In my last post, we looked at SB 44 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) and how it went from Job Killer status to a support position from CalChamber by including balance and looking at ways to encourage, rather than punish trucking fleets for early adoption of new technology.

    SB 210 (Leyva; D-Chino), billed as “Clean Trucks, Clean Air,” still needs that balance. SB 210 proposes to create a smog-check program for diesel transportation vehicles. The bill has improved from its original form; for example, adding a two-year pilot program and sunsetting duplicative smoke check programs. However, problems that will introduce uncertainty, increases in costs, and delay transportation remain.

    Putting the bill in context helps. Five years ago, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began the process of prohibiting older commercial vehicles from operating in California, adopting the “Truck and Bus Rules.” These rules require all diesel commercial vehicles to use technology that reduces particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions to almost zero. Upgrades are required on a phased in-basis starting in 2015, with the final upgrades required in 2023. New commercial trucks have been required to meet CARB standards for both NOx and PM emissions since 2011. Reductions in PM and NOx, both ozone precursors, and the efficiencies that result from upgrades have the added benefit of also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As I noted in my last post, diesel engine upgrades have made trucks 97 percent cleaner than those that existed in 1990. With this in mind, CalChamber and a coalition of business and agriculture groups have asked for two additional amendments.  Read More