California Extends Truck Emissions Control Deadlines

California has the toughest diesel air pollution rules in the country.

Independent owner-operators and small trucking businesses just caught a break from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB recently granted small fleets, lightly-used trucks and rural operators an extension of its emissions control compliance deadline, giving some truckers an extra year to meet California's newest anti-pollution standards. Affected truckers and small fleets who missed the original January 1, 2014 deadline will now have until January 1, 2015 to upgrade to cleaner trucks and engines or install soot-removing filters.

More Carrot; Less Stick

Adding more carrot to the stick, the new amendments to California's Truck and Bus Regulation also extended clean air credits for fleets and owner-operators that have already made investments in cleaner running vehicles. According to a CARB press release, "Any vehicles retrofit by 2014 do not have to be replaced until 2023."

CARB Explanation

In granting the 2023 credit extension, CARB seems to be trying to appease truck operators who borrowed heavily to meet the January 2014 deadline and are now crying "foul" over the deadline extension. In defense of its deadline extension, CARB chairman Mary Nichols said: "We recognize the enormous investments that many businesses have already made to clean up their equipment and abide by the terms of the regulations, but we are also aware that particularly for many rural areas of the state, economic recovery has been painfully slow and funding for improvements scarce. By providing limited additional time for certain fleets to comply, we believe that we'll have higher compliance rates overall."

Emissions Reduction Goals

California has the toughest diesel air pollution rules in the country and some of the heaviest truck traffic. Approximately 1 million heavy-duty trucks transit California highways annually with more than half based out of state. According to the Los Angeles Times, CARB standards are designed to reduce diesel emissions by 85% by 2020.

Truckers across the country should take note. Aggressive pollution regulations that begin in California are often a sign of coming national trends. If you want to upgrade your truck or fleet, find great deals on new and used trucks on

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