California Considers Easing Some Emissions Rules

November 8, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Truckers who don't run a lot of miles in California may get more time to comply with emissions rules.

Late last month the California Air Resources Board took up amendments to the state’s Truck and Bus Regulation. If passed soon, as expected, they would offer allow more time for truck owners to comply with emissions rules under its Low-Use Vehicle Exemption.

Currently trucks can operate in California without meeting the diesel particulate filter or engine upgrade requirements, provided a truck does not run more than 1,000 miles in the state annually.

The new proposal would expand this low-use exemption program. That means truck owners would not need to comply with the Statewide Truck and Bus rule requirements to retrofit or replace engines until 2020, provided they don’t run more than 5,000 miles annually inside California. Registration with CARB and annual mileage repotting would be required.

This development is “huge,” says Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs and communications for the California Construction Trucking Association and its interstate conference, the Western Trucking Alliance, in an interview.

“For instance, if someone has a 2000 model year truck, the first of January it has to be retrofitted with a DPF or replaced with a truck with a 2007 model or newer engine. [If this is approved by CARB] they don’t have to comply with that. They get six more years of running their in-use equipment. All they have to do is manage their fleet.”

Rajkovacz says for fleets, this simply means making sure that none of the trucks run more than 5,000 miles annually in the state. For an owner-operator it can have benefits, too.

“I talked with a guy who lives in California but is leased to an Iowa company and comes home once a month, and he said an allowance of 5,000 miles is going to allow him to not have to comply with California’s rules because he doesn’t put 5,000 miles a year in his home state,” Rajkovacz says.

As part of this proposal, CARB is also considering a “Good Faith Effort” extension for those who will still be required to comply with the Jan. 1 deadline. It would give a six-month extension if one of the four following conditions are met:

  • a DPF has been ordered;
  • a replacement truck has been ordered;
  • a grant has been applied for to pay to repower or replace a truck
  • a loan has been applied for to repower or replace a truck.

Source documents would be required to be provided in order to get the extension.

CARB earlier agreed to increase loan and grant money to owner-operators and small-business trucking operations that were cut out of another funding opportunity.

Rajkovacz concedes this change will not benefit everyone, and not everyone likes it.

“For someone who regularly runs California, this doesn’t do them any good, except for the good faith effort extension,” he says. “I do know some of the large motor carriers feel this is unfair because they invested in newer equipment and they feel the playing field will be unlevel. So sad, so sorry. It just buys people a lot more time to comply."


  1. 1. Gordon A [ November 08, 2013 @ 07:55PM ]

    I think CA is finally getting the message that in 2014 there is going be a truck shortage and the cost of everything is going through the roof. In and out of Ca..

  2. 2. Leon [ November 09, 2013 @ 12:23PM ]

    All of this is bull I bought my truck nov.2006 it's a 07 they should have said this shit was coming I would have got 07 emmisioms

  3. 3. Ed [ November 09, 2013 @ 02:28PM ]

    I have been waiting and waiting until the end of the year to make a change and I settled on just leaving California off my haul list. I live in Arizona so I normally go out there to get a load. This is a breathe of fresh air (not literally, its more like a breathe of the same dirty air I've been breathing for 30 years now), but its good news for my business. I hope this passes because it will just allow my business to grow without the added expense of having to buy a new truck in the next year. It also adds to the value of my existing equipment. It's not obsolete until 2020 now. That will be enough time for me to pay off everything and feed my family. We don't have the same poor air quality where I live as the congested areas of California. I think that what they did was admirable. I like clean air and I bet that it will result in longer lifespans of drivers with the better air quality. I am all for clean air, so this is a sensible addition to the existing regulations for those of us who just go to California once or twice a year.

  4. 4. Johnny Dark [ November 11, 2013 @ 04:30AM ]

    For all the problems and money CARB has cost the trucking business, I cannot understand why anyone would want to do business there except for residents. If CA companies and their customers want a product made out of state , they should either come after it or go down to the train depot and pick their crap up there. I used to live there, beautiful place, loved it , but I make my living with a truck and it is too hard to do it running the state.

  5. 5. Stormy [ November 11, 2013 @ 07:10AM ]

    Their arrogant and obnoxious attitude along with their ignorance got lhem in this mess and if they weren't in a mess they would never consider this. I never left anything in CA I need to go back for and they have nothing I need to go pick up CA did this to themself so you can just take a breath of fresh air and look at their blue skies as their businesses write out those huge checks for trucking. That 29,4% poverty rate in CA may be about to climb. But you could care less about the truckers you ran out of the state or what you cost the ones who tried to comply. How's that highway fund looking without your fair share of IFTA, IRP, tolls and fines? Way too little, way too late.

  6. 6. Steve [ November 11, 2013 @ 07:11AM ]

    Every truck should have been Grandfathered in regardless the only Requirement should have been is that when the truck was replaced it had to be replaced with a 2007 model or newer Period. CA can Kiss my you know what.

  7. 7. Chris [ November 11, 2013 @ 07:36AM ]

    I live in California and waited until November to upgrade my Volvo '04 with a 2011. There was nothing wrong with my old truck. It had a new turbo and new EGR. I didn't even get the money back for the repairs when I turned my truck in because thanks to CARB it is now worthless. I do 48 States and mainly out of state operation I looked for grants but all money was only available for local operations or big fleet. I just now finished paying for the new reefer unit that I had to upgrade in 2010, again because of CARB. Comes January CARB requires me to buy air skirts for my 53' trailer. It never ends!
    I would be very upset if they now come out at the 11th hour with an extension and grants. What about the hard workers that follow the rules and deadlines. I was counting on the shortage of trucks to increase rates and make up for my hefty investment. Now it seems the balance is changing again.
    Are we owner operators being scammed?

  8. 8. james [ November 11, 2013 @ 07:51AM ]

    i love this, nobody wants to go to cali severs them right next it will happen all over trucking with all this new csa stuff then people will start to quit all together.

  9. 9. leon [ November 11, 2013 @ 09:18AM ]

    Im not quiting going to weather the storm but i tell you this iwont be busting a dollar till the last minute cause you just never know with these people!

  10. 10. Mike Cook [ November 11, 2013 @ 04:16PM ]

    Johnny Dark.....Have you looked at the old diesel engines in trains?

  11. 11. NRT [ November 12, 2013 @ 07:42AM ]

    So are the companies that already upgraded going to get rebates on their out of pocket costs.are we going to get anything for playing by the rules or do we just get the shaft AGAIN. The government is always making law and then changing it to benefit their programs. How about the companies that have spent millions to upgrade already? My company sold our older trucks to make sure we were in compliance, but now we might not have had to. This is BULLSHIT. Heads need to role if they let this extension go through. If this goes through I hope the California truckers get together and sue for the added costs put on us to operate.

  12. 12. Shaina [ November 12, 2013 @ 02:40PM ]

    I have a better idea than wasting all this be to begin with. Why don't we all just stop going there when they have no food it will shut them up. Sorry Cali I refuse to go to your state. Between the a-holes at the scale who won't let you in because your trucks dirty yet its snowing going over Donner, the 55 mph speed limit in a danged Desert (what we gonna do run over a stupid cactus) and the emission standards. Y'all can go hungry for all I care

  13. 13. Jef [ November 14, 2013 @ 01:06AM ]

    Here's the news release from CARB. Thank GOD I didn't buy newer. My '98 cabover just got a reprieve until 2020.

  14. 14. Stacey [ November 14, 2013 @ 11:06AM ]

    To meet the low use equipment exemption you must travel less than 5,000 a year in all states. If greater than 5,000 miles, than you must travel less than 1,000 miles in California to be able to use the low use exemption.

  15. 15. shayne [ November 17, 2013 @ 07:09PM ]

    Quit bowing down to CA.! I know I wasn't in position or ready to upgrade my 07 that has less than 500,000 miles. I was just going to stop going there. but I knew they were going to back peddle on this. I was hoping there wouldn't be any more extensions because this would have been the best organized STRIKE ever and we didn't even organize it! But, if you upgraded your truck because it was time,good for you. If you upgraded because of CARB, shame on you.

  16. 16. Adam [ December 30, 2013 @ 04:03AM ]

    I hate LA traffic so goodbye Cali, let's see who will bring you the everyday chemicals and oils your state needs that come from Texas. I know for sure my 07 won't be. Let the govt send in the national guard with their tankers to supply you! Lmao -:)

  17. 17. stooley [ December 30, 2013 @ 02:04PM ]

    You know everyone should of just took a load to ca that was schudled for the first, and just parked on the borders. They would of thought we were striking, but we would just be following the rules. They would of just have to figer that out.Oh thats right every man and woman for their selves. we cant agree on anything together, other states will follow now that they got away with this. Youll see boys and girls

  18. 18. Darrell [ February 25, 2014 @ 05:51PM ]

    Do you all understand this will be`` unitedstates`` wide in time?
    were just fighting the war here in California.
    were all going to do this in time if we don't stop this crap here.


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