The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, against the California Air Resources Board on Friday, in connection with the Truck and Bus Regulation.

It is asking for an injunction saying the regulation is unconstitutional and discriminates against out-of-state truckers.

The Truck and Bus Regulation requires 1996-2006 model year trucks more than 14,000 pounds to be replaced or retrofitted with particulate matter filters and prohibits older trucks that have not been replaced or retrofitted from operating on public roads in California. The rule went into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

OOIDA is asking the court permanently enjoin CARB from implementing or enforcing the Truck and Bus Regulation against the plaintiffs and other truck owners or operators who reside or conduct business primarily outside California.

The association contends that the CARB regulation violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting state laws and regulations that discriminate against interstate commerce or unduly burden interstate commerce.

The brief filed by OOIDA states that CARB regulations have caused, and will continue to cause, irreparable harm to truckers who have been shut out of the California market because of the costs of compliance.

“It puts out-of-state truckers at a disadvantage because the cost to upgrade is disproportionate to the number of miles traveled in the state of California,” added Johnston.

OOIDA points out that trucking equipment purchased by its members when such equipment met all California regulatory requirements has now become obsolete for use in California because of the new restrictions imposed by the regulation.

The group claims the cost to comply with the regulation, for doing even a small amount of business in California, runs into thousands of dollars. Failure to buy and retrofit trucking equipment as required by the CARB regulation will effectively exclude out-of-state truckers from the California trucking market unless they are willing to face fines and penalties for noncompliance, says OOIDA.