If California adopts draft regulations being circulated for comment, 2011-model and later equipment will have to be U.S. EPA SmartWay certified in order to operate 53-foot trailers - and both truck operators and shippers would be liable for fines.

The California Air Resources Board is circulating a draft regulation that would require, starting in 2010, that a 2011 or subsequent model year sleeper-cab tractor to be a U.S. EPA SmartWay Certified Tractor in order to pull a 53-foot box-type trailer on any highway within California. It also would require EPA SmartWay spec'd low-rolling-resistance tires on the tractor; and starting in 2012, all tractors, regardless of model year, would have to have the EPA-spec tires.

As for trailers, also beginning in 2010, the draft regulations would require 2011 or subsequent model 53-foot box type trailers operating in California be SmartWay certified.

Larger fleets (20 or more trailers) must retrofit their older trailers on a phased-in schedule, and all 53-foot trailers operating in the state, under this draft regulation, must be retrofitted to the EPA SmartWay requirements.

The draft regulation also says brokers, shippers and receivers are responsible for making sure these rules are followed. There are some exemptions for short-haul tractors, including intermodal drayage tractors operating within 100 miles of a port or rail yard.

For more information: www.arb.ca.gov/cc/smartway/smartway.htm