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California Dump Truck Owners Association sues ARB to overturn Truck & Bus emissions rule

The California Dump Truck Owners Association (CDTOA) is suing the California Air Resources Board (ARB), challenging the legality of ARB’s Truck and Bus Regulation. (Earlier post.)

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.


Henry Gibson

The US Congress, the US President and Executive branch, and the US Supreme Court continue to blatantly allow California executives to violate the constitution by having rules and regulations instituted after vehicles are made and operated in the state after being imported, that is ex-post-facto. It is also a violation of the sovereign rights of the other states and the United States and foreign countries.

The CARBon chasers might as well be up front about it and say that they are putting a new large tax on this segment of energy users that is much bigger than the tax put on people with large automobiles or houses with big air conditioners.

To demand efficiency from the truckers who provide services to the users of energy without putting similar demands for efficiency on the end users is blatant extortion and persecution of a minority. Do the members of the board always drive at more efficient speeds in the most efficient automobiles and live in the most efficient houses that produce very little CO2. Why should they be allowed to require truckers to be more efficient than they and their neighbors are. Wanting to have cheap freighting by having less expensive trucking is no less a right of people than driving big cars and living in big air conditioned houses. Most things are bought from China because transportation is cheap and the workers and business there do not pay US taxes or obey US or CARBon chasers rules and others. CARB could forbid the import of goods from countries that do not follow its rules and reduce the release of CO2 in the world with the same logic that they require engines in trucks to produce fewer particles. California may well be getting more particles from China now than they get from lawn mower engines.

Only the assumed NOX and diesel(?) emissions of trucks will be lowered and it will not substantially lower the total NOX and diesel(?) and gasoline and natural gas of all of the vehicles and homes of the California. There is nothing mentioned about the diesel locomotive engines and ship engines and diesel automobile engines needing to all be replaced.

If the CARB, it is not ARB, were truly interested in lowering green house gases and NOX and other so called pollution they would pass a rule and mandate that at least two CANDU power plants be finished every year in the state to eliminate the importation of hydro-power into the state, eliminate the generation of electricity with central natural gas power plants or oil fired ones and make available large amounts of cheap electricity to allow the massive use of heat pumps to heat homes and water as is being done in Japan.

Natural gas should be made available for cogeneration at at least the same price large power plants get; the extra cost of billing is already paid for by other gas uses in the home or business. It would save more on and money CO2 to require business and home cogeneration and eliminate natural gas firing of power plants

The CARB is, as it is said in the UK, being penny wise and pound foolish. The logic of this rule can be extended to requiring all automobile drivers in the state to buy a new car within the next two years and this would save many times more gasoline? and diesel? "pollution", but so would eliminating the breathing of the members of the CARB and a large portion of the population of California.

Most people in the state do not know that they breath out CO2. They also do not know that this can be reduced by not eating as much, or they can eat more fats instead of carbohydrates and protein. CARB's next rule could be to require efficient diets for people or replace the people with newer and more efficient versions. These versions of people would be smaller, weigh much less, eat much less, drive the most efficient plug-in-hydraulic-hybrid automobiles, live near work, schools and shopping, drive slow, and live in houses or apartments with only a few hundred square feet with limited air conditioning, they would also not be bribed by fuel cell promoters to eliminate ZEVs. ..HG..

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