The California Air Resources Board on Friday adopted amendments to its Truck and Bus Regulation, giving new compliance options to fleets with three or fewer trucks and owner operators.

During the board meeting members heard from small fleets who said they needed more time to comply with the rules, due to the cost. Both large and small fleets complained they had spent money to comply and any changes would leave them at a competitive and financial disadvantage, according to the Los Angeles Times and Landline.

The amendments include:

  • A longer phase-in period for diesel particulate matter requirements for trucks that operate exclusively in certain rural areas with cleaner air,
  • Additional time and incentive funding opportunities for small fleets,
  • A new compliance option for owners who cannot currently afford compliance,
  • Expansion of the low-use exemption and the construction truck extension.

They also include recognition of fleet owners who have already complied by providing additional “useable life” for retrofit trucks and reducing near-term compliance requirements. Fleets that have invested in cleaner, compliant equipment and trucks will be able to use credits longer and any vehicles retrofit by 2014 do not have to be replaced until 2023. 

The amendments still require nearly every truck in California will have a diesel particulate matter filter by 2020.

“We recognize the enormous investments that many businesses have already made to clean up their equipment and abide by the terms of the regulation,” said CARB chairman Mary D. Nichols, "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.”

She said by providing limited additional time for certain fleets to comply, CARB believes it will have higher compliance rates overall. 

“It’s a difficult balance but we believe that this is a fair approach that offers flexibility to those who need it, while also rewarding those business owners who have already upgraded their vehicles to meet the requirements of the regulation,” said Nichols.

The Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted in 2008 to clean up emissions from nearly all heavy-duty diesel trucks operating in California.

Those with questions can visit the CARB website at or by calling 866-6DIESEL.

Read more from the L.A. Times and Landline.