Environmental Law: California Pursuing New Diesel Truck Engine Standards

June 3, 2015

A mid-sized trucking company out of Bakersfield, Randy’s Trucking, has agreed to pay nearly $525,000 to California for violating several diesel truck regulations.  One regulation, the Truck and Bus Rule, requires yearly turnover of fleets through engine retrofits or replacements.  By 2023, the regulation will ensure that all trucks operating on California roads will be equipped with a model year engine 2010 or newer.  The regulation was first adopted in 2008 at the pinnacle of the recession and its standards continue to cause financial hardship for the trucking industry even as the economy recovers.
Nevertheless, California has announced that this year it will pursue even stricter standards for new heavy duty trucks.  As one effort of the state’s Sustainable Freight Strategy, California will petition U.S. EPA to develop a 2018 rulemaking that further regulates nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from new diesel truck engines.  If U.S. EPA refuses, California will adopt its own NOx standards for these trucks, scheduled for implementation starting in 2023.  California’s efforts to regulate truck engines beyond the end-date for the current Truck and Bus Rule indicate that the regulation is likely to become a fixture for the trucking industry and will require ongoing compliance. 

If you have any questions about regulatory compliance with the existing Truck and Bus Rule and other diesel regulations, or forthcoming diesel regulatory activities, please contact Alene Taber at 949.851.7492, Kathryn Casey at 949.851.7478, or Kristin Garcia at 949.851.7423.

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