The lawsuit, California Dump Truck Owners Association v. Air Resources Board, was filed in the US District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division, on 11 February 2011. Specifically, CDTOA asserts that CARB’s regulation is unconstitutional as it is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) and seeks an injunction prohibiting CARB from enforcing their rule.
In 2008, ARB adopted the Statewide Truck and Bus rule, which came into effect on 1 January 2011. The Truck and Bus rule requires truck owners to install diesel exhaust filters on their rigs, with nearly all vehicles upgraded by 2014. Owners must also replace engines older than the 2010 model year according to a staggered implementation schedule that extends from 2012 to 2022. With the new State Bus and Truck rule in place, by 2014, diesel emissions will be 68% lower than they would be without the regulation, ARB calculated at the time, while NOx emissions would be 25% lower.
In December 2010, ARB amended the Truck and Bus regulation to provide relied to fleets adversely affected by the economy and to take into account the fact that emissions were lower than ARB previously predicted. (Earlier post.) The amendments to the Truck and Bus regulation eliminate requirements for trucks with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds, and ease the compliance schedule for heavier trucks. (Earlier post.)
CDTOA says that the dump truck industry is struggling to survive due to a depressed regional economy, a construction industry suffering through 50% unemployment, and construction price deflation, and charges that the compounding damage caused by the construction industry depression, escalating costs and the impacts of the CARB Truck and Bus Regulations will cause “incalculable” damage within the construction transportation industry. CDTOA charges that ARB has repeatedly refused to address these challenges, and that CDTOA was left with no remaining option other than litigation.
CDTOA claims its members base their businesses on the ability to use their trucks for at least 800,000 miles—and they only average 50,000 miles a year (i.e., about a 16-year operational life). Because the rule requires replacement earlier than would otherwise be required, CDTOA says that the majority of its members will be unable to comply and will close their businesses.
CDTOA’s complaint hinges on the FAAAA. In 1994, the US Congress explicitly acted to retain sole oversight over motor carriers in the United States in order to prevent state agencies from over regulating these motor carriers. The FAAAA specifically prohibits any state or any political subdivision from enacting or enforcing any regulation related to the price, route, or service of a motor carrier. CDTOA is arguing that the Truck and Bus Regulation is overreaching and directly impacts all motor carrier members prices, routes, or services. Thus, argues CDTOA, the rule is preempted by federal law pursuant to the supremacy clause of Article VI of the United States Constitution. As such, CDTOA is requesting the court prevent or enjoin the implementation of the CARB Truck and Bus Regulation.
The California Dump Truck Owners Association (CDTOA) is a 501(c)(6) trade association incorporated in 1941. A little over three years ago, CDTOA represented nearly 2,000 construction industry related trucking company members ranging in size from 1 truck to more than 350 trucks. That number has diminished to fewer than 1,000 today. Approximately 60%, or less than 600, of its members are sole proprietors; small one truck independent contractor owner-operator businesses. Additionally, the majority of its members operate low mileage vehicles, typically between 20,000 – 65,000 per year. These vehicles are all well above 26,001 GVWR, thus do not receive any of the benefits of any exemptions or special provisions found in CARB’s Truck and Bus Regulation, CDTOA notes.