State fines two engine-parts retailers $1.6M for violating clean-air law
The California Air Resources Board has fined two aftermarket auto-parts manufacturers a total of $1.6 million for violating California clean air regulations.
On Wednesday, the board said it negotiated a $1 million settlement with H&S Performance LLC of St. George, Utah. On Thursday, the board announced a settlement of $599,000 with Autosales Inc. The agency did not say where the company is based. ...Read More >
Truck owners have an opportunity to learn how to comply with several emissions regulations written and enforced by the California Air Resources Board this fall.
CARB recently announced the air quality agency is holding several free classes, including plans for one webinar.
To help educate the public on available emissions technology, CARB offers Course 511: “Controlling Diesel Emissions: Devices & Filters.” The course is offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7, in Imperial, CA. ...Read More >
LA County Public Works fined $256K over air pollution violations
State air regulators fined L.A. County’s Department of Public Works $256,000 for violating air pollution rules.
The California Air Resources Board audited records for the county’s heavy-duty diesel fleet four years ago, and the fine levied now is the result of a settlement under which county public works paid over $192,000 to the state’s air pollution control fund. ...Read More >
Beverage distributor DBI Beverage Inc. was fined $116,400 for failing to monitor the emissions of its diesel truck fleet, the California Air Resources Board announced Wednesday.
DBI Beverage has locations in West Sacramento, Chico, Truckee, South San Francisco, Fairfield, Ukiah, San Jose and Stockton. ...Read More >
tru -- Reminder - ARBs TRU Advisory 13-18 explains the use of replacement engines to comply with in-use performance standards
ARB Emailer >
If you are wondering how many years of compliance a replacement
engine gives you, the California Air Resources Board (ARB)
reminds Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) owners that Advisory
13-18 explains the TRU Regulation’s requirements related to
repowering with new or rebuilt replacement engines to comply with
the regulation’s in-use performance standards.
TRU Advisory 13-18 applies to TRU owners, who are responsible for
compliance with the TRU Regulation’s in-use performance
standards. TRU original equipment manufacturers and engine
rebuilders have requirements for providing supplemental labels
and registration information documents for the replacement
engines they supply. TRU dealers and repair shops have
requirements related to registration information documents if
they sell and/or install new or rebuilt replacement engines. TRU
Advisory 13-18 is available at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/documents/advisory_13_18.pdf
WASHINGTON – No one likes a mushy blueberry.
That’s why, when the tiny treats make the trip to America from Chile, they need to get to market as quickly as possible, and so far, the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach have been a good entry point.
But experts believe those blueberries – and a lot of other imports – could take a much longer trip if Southern California ports fail to keep their edge in the increasingly competitive world of trade and logistics. Accordingly, Rep. Janice Hahn of San Pedro recently introduced a bill aimed at funding significant upgrades that she says will help. ...Read More >
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers from both parties are pushing to halt an increase in the price of gasoline and other fuels expected to hit consumers in January, but their efforts appear to be dead with just a week to go in the legislative session.
A pair of bills — one sponsored by Democrats, the other by Republicans — seek to delay or exempt gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas and other consumer fuels from California's 2006 greenhouse gas emissions law. ...Read More >
Cargo moves to East Coast, crimping LA-Long Beach volumes
Journal of Commerce
Container volumes in Los Angeles-Long Beach were flat in July as uncertainty about the International Longshore and Warehouse Union contract negotiations resulted in cargo diversion to East Coast ports ...Read More >
California Gets Nod to Require Aerodynamic Gear on Some Trailers
By Michele Fuetsch
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a waiver of the Clean Air Act preemption to enforce provisions of EPA’s heavy-duty tractor-trailer greenhouse gas regulations.
What this means to fleets is that some Class 8 tractors that pull 53-foot-long box-type trailers will now be required outfit those trailers with aerodynamic fairings and low-resistance tires in order to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions ...Read More >
Senate Bill Contains Weight Exemption for Nat Gas Trucks
By Michele Fuetsch
A proposal has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to give a weight exemption to trucks powered by natural-gas engines, which have heavier fuel tanks than those that run on diesel.
The Natural Gas Long Haul Truck Competitiveness Act of 2014 was introduced in late July by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).
Under a 1991 federal law, truck weight on interstates was limited to 80,000 pounds, although some states such as Nevada, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming that already had higher limits were allowed to keep them. ...Read More >
California cleared to require use of aero devices on trailers
By James Jaillet
The California Air Resources Board has been granted permission by the federal government to enforce its requirement that trailers in the state be equipped with SmartWay-verified tires and other SmartyWay-verified equipment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week.
CARB asked the EPA in June 2013 for a waiver of preemption to the EPA’s Clean Air Act, which the EPA granted last week, effectively allowing CARB to enforce its rules — more four years after their effective date — requiring the use of certain tires and other devices that improve trailer aerodynamics and reduce fuel consumption ...Read More >
tru -- Act soon! Order compliance technology for your 2007 transport refrigeration units, by August 31st
Avoid penalties due to manufacturer delay: order new replacement
engines, transport refrigeration units (TRU), and TRU generator
sets by August 31, 2014, to meet December 31, 2014, deadline for
model year 2007 engines/units.
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) recommends that
transport refrigeration unit (TRU or reefer) and TRU generator
set owners take action to plan and order compliance options to
ensure TRU model year 2007 engines (or units manufactured in
2007) comply with in-use performance standards by the end of
The TRU Regulation allows compliance extensions if delivery or
installation is delayed; but, to qualify for these extensions,
the unit must be registered in ARB’s Equipment Registration
(ARBER) system and purchase orders must be placed early enough to
take into account delivery, installation, holiday, and year-end
lead times. The TRU Regulation has the following purchase order
• For engine repowers and unit replacements: By the end of
August -- four months ahead of the compliance deadline; and
• For verified diesel particulate filter retrofits: By the end
of October -- two months ahead of the compliance deadline.
For model year 2007 engines/units, owners must make a good-faith
effort to comply by the end of 2014. If in-use compliance cannot
be achieved by December 31, 2014, due to delays in delivery or
installation, owners may apply for a compliance extension. The
compliance extension application, with attached supporting
documentation, must be received at ARB by December 31, 2014.
If your TRUs go noncompliant after December 31st, you won’t be
listed on ARB’s 100 Percent-Compliant Carrier List. Brokers,
forwarders, shippers and receivers cannot hire noncompliant
refrigerated carriers to haul perishable goods in California.
You must be able to show the hiring business entity that you have
compliant TRUs. So, place your orders now to ensure you can show
compliance after December 31st or that you have at least ordered
compliance equipment by the August 31st purchase order deadline
and qualify for an extension.
All model year 2006 and older engines (or units manufactured in
2006 or earlier) should be in compliance now. Please note that
trailer manufacture year and in-service dates are not used to
determine compliance dates. Noncompliant model year 2006 and
older TRU/TRU genset engines/units must not be operated in
California unless they are brought into compliance immediately.
Where can I get more information? Right here >
The California Air Resources Board won a regulatory victory this past week when the Environmental Protection Agency ruled in its favor – clearing the path for enforcement of an expensive trucking regulation.
In a decision the EPA posted to its website, EPA approved a waiver to allow enforcement of CARB’s Smartway Rule and its requirements for aerodynamic equipment for trucks and trailers driving in California.
In June 2013, California asked EPA for a waiver of the Clean Air Act to enforce specific parts of its Heavy-Duty Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas Regulation. California wanted to be able to require specific technology for trucks and trailers designed to increase fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions. ...Read More >
Siemens to Bring eHighway Demonstration to California
Siemens has been selected by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to install an eHighway system in the proximity of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two largest ports in the U.S. Siemens eHighway is the electrification of select highway lanes via a catenary system which supplies trucks with electric power, similar to how modern day trolleys or streetcars are powered on many city streets, while still offering the same flexibility as diesel trucks. A two-way, one-mile mile catenary system will be installed by Siemens and the system will be demonstrated with different battery-electric and hybrid trucks. The expected result is lower fossil fuel consumption, substantially reduced smog-forming, toxic and CO2 emissions, and lower operating costs. Siemens and the Volvo Group, via its subsidiary Mack Trucks brand, are developing a demonstration vehicle for the project. Siemens also is supplying current collectors, the technology that allows trucks to connect and disconnect from the catenary system at any speed, to local California truck integrators whose vehicles will also be part of the demonstration. ...Read More >
A port driver strike at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – the nation’s largest combined port on the Left Coast – would be bolstered if longshoremen joined the fight.
Drayage drivers, supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, have had picket lines at specific companies multiple times in the last two years, including headline-making protests last month.
About 120 truck drivers walked off the job July 7 to protest the classification of drivers as independent contractors. The drivers work for Green Fleet, Total Transportation Services Inc., and Pacific 9 Transportation – three motor carriers who move major freight quantities for Walmart, Target and other retail giants. The strike was the fourth such work stoppage in the past year, and reflected building tension between the drivers and the trucking companies. ...Read More >
Big oil launches Twitter attack on ARB regarding Cap and Trade program
Big oil has taken to social media to challenge California authorities to explain recent statements related to climate change regulations. In a series of several "tweets" on social media site Twitter yesterday and today, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) accused staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) of misleading the public about how transportation fuels, consumers, and businesses will be affected by the state's Cap and Trade program. ...Read More >
California state lawmakers returned to the state Capitol on Monday to continue discussion on issues that include a delay to putting fuels under the state’s cap-and-trade program.
The program has been in place since 2006 through passage of AB32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The program allows the California Air Resources Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to buy permits to exceed those caps.
Currently, the cap applies to power plants and other heavy manufacturers. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the program is set to expand to include oil companies. It is estimated the program could result in at least a 15-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase. ...Read More >
Steyer takes on oil interests in 'donnybrook' over motor fuels in cap and trade
Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter
Billionaire activist Tom Steyer is challenging oil industry-led efforts to keep motor fuels out of California's program to cut carbon emissions, ratcheting up an already heated battle.
Steyer accused oil companies yesterday of trying "to avoid paying their fair share" as they push to stop expansion of the cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas pollution. Come January, it's slated to wrap in the transportation sector, forcing 14 refineries to start buying permits for emissions tied to in-state gasoline and diesel sales. ...Read More >
California Supreme Court Ruling Means Truck Drivers Are Entitled to Meal Breaks
On July 28, 2014, a ruling from the California Supreme Court opened the door for truck drivers working in California to make a claim for missed meal breaks under California law. The class action lawsuit alleged that the employer misclassified their truck drivers as independent contractors and among other things did not provide proper meal periods to the truck drivers.. ...Read More >
A late-in-the-game bill pushed moderate Democrats to delay placing vehicle fuels into the state's controversial cap-and-trade requirements may be a populist measure to mitigate rising gas prices, but likely will be a tough sell to the governor.
Beginning Jan. 1, California’s emission control law known as cap-and-trade will include transportation fuel, a policy that may raise gas prices by 12 cents or more. Assembly Bill 69 would postpone bringing vehicle fuels under cap-and-trade until 2018. ...Read More >
The California Air Resources Board has expanded grant funding opportunities for small trucking businesses.
Eligible trucking companies, however, are still required to spend a majority of their operating time in California’s borders.
During CARB’s monthly board meeting Thursday, board members unanimously approved amendments to the agency’s Carl Moyer Program, which distributes tens of millions of dollars in grants annually.
The program now funds $69 million, with local state air quality management districts matching an additional $12 million ...Read More >
High-speed rail Pacheco Pass route upheld by appeals court
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a proposed route for California's high-speed rail line connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley.
The decision is a short-term win for Gov. Jerry Brown, who has prioritized the $68-billion project that has become bogged down by legal and regulatory challenges.
The Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento heard an appeal from San Francisco Bay Area cities arguing that a planned path through Pacheco Pass hurts the environment.
The state argued the project was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act because it is overseen by the federal Surface Transportation Board....Read More >
California truckers have been doing our part by spending nearly a billion dollars a year on cleaner equipment and cutting pollutants by over 90 percent. While we are continuing to pay to stay in compliance with many expensive California regulations, the California Air Resources Board is planning on enacting another rule starting in January. The policy also referred to as fuels under the cap-and-trade program will increase gas prices by at least 12 to 15 cents a gallon and more in future years. With gasoline being one of the top expenses in the trucking industry, the regulation will inflict unpredictable damage on the goods and services that we provide for our communities.
Last month, Assemblyman Adam Gray chose to stand with 15 Assembly Democrats in writing and submitting a letter to the California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols urging the delay of fuels under the cap program. The letter discussed negative impacts the regulation will have on Californians – specifically in the Central Valley. As a concerned trucker who operates my own business, I applaud Gray and encourage all Californians to join Assembly Democrats in urging for the delay of fuels under the cap....Read More >
Why Trucking Signals Promise For U.S. Production
In sum, data suggests the economy is settling into its glide path of 2%-2.5% real growth with the production side of the economy contributing more to growth than consumers. This is a better mix than not. If the US economy is going to finally break out to a higher growth path it will come from better corporate spending to produce more here to supply domestic demand. Current levels of production versus capacity utilization are suggestive of expanding facilities – or producing more elsewhere in the world. Policies have worked to shift the terms of trade to help engender a domestic response. Looking to Treasury market real long-term yields as a cue, the expected real return on capital investment isn’t priced near high enough, or even trending in the right direction, to signal an impending boom in capex ...Read More >
Report warns of diesel fumes' risks
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Leticia DeCaigny straps a portable air-sampling device to the side of a neighbor's deck. For two days, the small gray box with what looks like a chimney on top will gather evidence of pollution from diesel engines.
"It's like a human lung," sucking in air as a person would breathe, DeCaigny says as she pushes some buttons that set the device whirring ...Read More >
CA Air Resources Board – No Legislative Oversight, No Rules, and Nothing to Stop It
By Katy Grimes
The California Air Resources Board is a state agency completely out of control. With no oversight by the Legislature, as the California Constitution calls for, Mary Nichols, ARB Chairman, is setting policy on behalf of this regulatory body, for the entire state ...Read More >
Only 21 people went for state’s cash-for-vehicle deal in first year.
California is well-known for imposing environmental regulations and programs that have questionable benefits, environmental or otherwise. The cap-and-trade program and high-speed rail project come to mind. We can add to this list the state’s “cash-for-clunkers” program ...Read More >
Traffic at the Port of Los Angeles increased by nearly 14 percent on a year-over-year basis in June as shippers moved up their cargo due to the possibility of a work stoppage at the nation’s busiest seaport.
The port handled about 736,000 containers in June, the greatest amount since September 2012. The volume of June’s imports rose nearly 17 percent above the same month last year, while exports increased by about 9 percent. ...Read More >
On the fourth day of picketing by union-supported port truck drivers at marine terminals and truck yards, a group of drivers who work as independent contractors Thursday defended two of the three trucking companies under attack.
Truck drivers from Green Fleet Systems and Pacific 9 Transportation Inc. gathered at The Grand Long Beach to speak out against what they say is intimidation by the Teamsters, their desire to stay independent and their frustration over the harassment of their customers.
“We will lose our jobs,” said one driver. “We depend on our customers. ...Read More >
WILMINGTON >> The flow of goods through the nation’s two busiest seaports was halted for up to two hours Tuesday when dozens of longshore workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach temporarily walked off the job to honor a strike brought on by port truck drivers.
Three of the ports’ 14 terminals were shut down, creating a backup in the unloading of cargo and of trucks waiting to get into the ports. ...Read More >
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has just approved an action that will see the states’ Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
receive an additional $116 million in funding:
...Read More >
California low-carbon rule survives big legal challenge
By Dale Kasler
California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, one of the centerpieces of the state’s fight against global warming, survived a significant legal challenge Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit brought by oil-industry and out-of-state farm groups.
The court let stand a 2013 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the state’s low-carbon fuel standard. But opponents of the law said there will be more litigation against the standard under different legal theories. “I don’t think this closes the door,” said Anthony Francois of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative Sacramento group that filed court briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs.
Read More >
CARB Approves $85 Million for Clean Truck Technology Projects
The California Air Resources Board said it has approved $85 million for advanced-technology, heavy-duty truck projects to help improve the state’s air quality.
CARB said it plans on spending $10 million to $15 million to purchase heavy-duty hybrid and electric vehicles, such as delivery trucks, and about $25 million for large-scale pilot projects to demonstrate zero-emission technology in the freight sector. Read More >
Lawmakers urge change to carbon emissions plan
As California gas prices climb, a group of moderate and pro-business Democratic lawmakers is voicing concerns about the cost to drivers of state regulations to curb carbon emissions set to take effect next year.
As part of a landmark law passed in 2006, motor vehicle fuel will be subject to new price pressures starting in January, and the change could add at least an estimated 15 cents to the average price of regular unleaded gasoline.
Both industry and environmental groups generally agree on the estimated cost. Read More >
Longshoremen Contract Threatens U.S. West Coast Port Trade
By Mark Niquette
Business groups are urging longshoremen and their employers to avoid a dispute that could cripple ports along the West Coast and affect billions of dollars in commerce.
A six-year pact between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents about 20,000 dock workers at 29 West Coast ports, expires June 30, both sides said in a joint June 4 release. Negotiations began in May. The ports account for about half of all U.S. maritime trade and more than 70 percent of imports from Asia, according to the association.
A failure to agree and a resulting halt to shipments will have “serious economy-wide impacts,” a coalition of organizations representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, and other groups wrote in a May 9 letter to union President Robert McEllrath and association President James McKenna. Read More >
The biggest ship to ever come to the Port of Los Angeles arrived Wednesday.
Big ships carrying 10,000 to 11,000 containers have come in the past, but never the size of the 13,000-container ship, the Cosco Development, which is berthed at APM Terminals/Pier 400.
The 13,000 containers held by the 3-year-old ship are 20-foot equivalent units, a standardized maritime industry measurement used when counting cargo containers of varying lengths. Read More >
Truckers, Business Leaders Rally Against ‘Hidden’ Gas Tax
By CBS News
CARSON (CBSLA.com) — Southland truck drivers and local business leaders Thursday staged a protest over what they say is a hidden gas tax under California’s “cap and trade” program.
Supporters of the “Tank the Tax” effort warn that consumers and small businesses could see an increase of 12 cents or more at the pump beginning in 2015, when the California Air Resources Board is set to move fuels under the cap-and-trade to be traded on the new California-specific carbon market.
KNX 1070′s Ron Kilgore reports opponents under the program, companies must buy emissions “allowances” to continue to sell gasoline at the pump – and push prices higher in the process... Read More >
California is two steps ahead on climate rules proposed by EPA
By Evan Halper
When California launched its landmark global warming law in the final years of the George W. Bush administration, it was a risky act of defiance from a state frustrated by federal inaction on climate change.
Now, the federal government is trying to catch up — and that could position the state to cash in on its energy policy gamble.
California's laws are stricter than the Environmental Protection Agency rule, formally proposed Monday. The EPA would require the nation's power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
If the rule is finalized in its current form next year, California can easily adhere to it. In addition, other states are likely to clamor for California's help.
Air Resources Board fines JR Custom Harvesting Company et al $141,000
SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board has fined JR Custom Harvesting Company Inc., and its associates New Venture Trucking LLC, and Zion Harvest Company Inc., a total of $140,925 for a variety of air quality violations relating to the company’s diesel vehicle fleet.
An investigation by the ARB showed that the Salinas-based company failed to:
- Properly self-inspect its diesel trucks to insure they met state smoke emission standards;
- Meet the requirements of the Truck and Bus Regulation’s Engine Model Year Compliance schedule, and
- Register its Transport Refrigeration Units in ARB’s TRU tracking system.
In addition, the company was cited for having non-compliant TRUs and for failing to properly label them as required. Read More.
Independent Truckers Do Just Fine
By SHAWN YADON and ALEX CHERIN
month, a small group of drivers, organized and backed by a special interest public
relations campaign, created a minor work
disruption at the ports of Los Angeles and Long
Beach. That same day, the overwhelming majority
of port drivers reported for work. This was no “crisis,” but rather was the latest in a long line of attacks
on the right of independent truckers to operate in
California’s ports. Read More.
CARB to hold free informational meeting for Truck and Bus Reg compliance
By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer
Truck drivers around southern California have an opportunity next week to get personalized help in complying with the state’s Truck and Bus Regulation.
The California Air Resources Board will hold two informational sessions on Thursday, May 29 at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. The first session is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The second session is scheduled to run from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Predicted to cost the industry more than $1 billion, the Truck and Bus Regulation requires most trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds to be upgraded either with diesel particulate filters or by upgrading to cleaner and newer engines between 2012 and 2023.
In an announcement posted to CARB’s website, the air quality agency said the meeting will include discussion about the regulation’s overview, good faith efforts to comply, funding opportunities, enforcement, approved and pending regulatory changes and a question and answer session. Attendees also will have an opportunity to obtain personalized fleet assessments.
The meeting has limited seating and reservations are required. To reserve your spot, contact Michael Donnelly at 916-445-7599 or by email here.
For more information, click here.
The Double Tree Hotel in Ontario is located at 222 N. Vineyard Avenue.
Study Finds Regulations Could Be Improving Sacramento’s Terrible Air Quality Rating
By CBS News
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The American Lung Association ranks Sacramento as having the fifth-worst air quality in the nation, but new testing reveals that ranking may soon begin to fall, meaning possible big savings for the state.
From the outside, the Toyota Rav4 doesn’t look like much, but inside is $300,000 worth of pollution testing equipment.
“All that instrumentation, what it does, it sucks air in from the outside as the car is driving along and it analyzed that air, and tells us what’s in the air,” said Michael Benjamin with the California Air Resources Board. ... Read More >
California Company Installs Electric Drive in Heavy-Duty Drayage Trucks
TransPower aims to move electric drives beyond light- and medium-duty
California-based TransPower has installed its ElecTruck battery-electric drive system into the second of eight trucks of this design that it plans to convert this year and place into drayage service near the L.A./Long Beach ports.
The truck uses a next-generation electric drive system designed to meet the demands of drayage trucks. New features of this drive system include a dual-motor propulsion unit designed to provide up to 300 kilowatts (400 horsepower) of peak power, a 5-speed automated manual transmission, a unique power conversion and accessory assembly that replaces the truck engine, and a modular 270 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery subsystem using proprietary TransPower battery management software. ... Read More >
California at 'epicenter' of climate change
By JULIET WILLIAMS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is at the "epicenter" of global warming and other climate change, with the state experiencing longer fire seasons, rising sea levels and droughts that threaten agriculture, Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday.
The governor made his remarks during a conference about climate change, as California was mopping up from a string of wildfires in San Diego County that caused more than $20 million in damage. ... Read More >
Ford Motor Co. is the latest large vehicle maker to get slammed with a multimillion-dollar fine by the California Air Resources Board.
In an interesting twist, however, part of Ford’s fine money will go to help fund diesel upgrades for companies needing compliance help to meet California’s Truck and Bus Regulation.
According to a CARB news release, CARB investigators found on-board diagnostic systems on some Ford vehicles sold in California weren’t working properly, which could lead to increased emissions in the sometimes smog-choked state.
Ford has agreed to pay $2.96 million in fines for the violations – including $740,000 that will go to help small-business owners finance retrofits or upgrades necessary to meet CARB’s Truck and Bus Rule. ... Read More >
California greenhouse gas emissions inch up 2 percent
By Rory Carroll, Reuters
(Reuters) - California’s greenhouse gas emissions rose about 2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year as more natural gas was burned to compensate for the closure of a nuclear plant and a drop in hydro-electricity due to a drought, the state’s air regulator said on Wednesday.
Higher utility sector emissions were offset somewhat by a modest decline in output from the transportation sector, which remains the state’s largest single source of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. ... Read More >
CARB 2013 Heavy-Duty Diesel Fines Totaled Nearly $2.2 Million
The California Air Resources Board announced it settled 256 cases last year involving air quality violations by heavy-duty diesel truck and bus fleets that failed to comply with its various air quality programs with fines totaling nearly $2.2 million.
Violations included failure to comply with the statewide truck and bus program, verification/certification procedures for diesel particulate filters, properly self-inspect diesel fleets to assure trucks met state smoke emission standards, dispatching noncompliant trucks on California highways along with other infractions. ... Read More >
For 15 years, most long-haul trucking operations haven’t qualified for grant money to pay for diesel emissions upgrades through the California Air Resources Board.
Times may be changing.
According to a proposal by California Air Resources Board staff, CARB is considering lowering the required operating time in California for trucking companies from 75 percent to 51 percent. While trucks based on the other side of the country may not qualify, the move could make California and other West Coast-based trucks eligible.
CARB’s Carl Moyer Program has been in existence since 1998, and provides partial financing to help various diesel owners pay for vehicle upgrades and replacements.
The program now funds $69 million, with local state air quality management districts matching an additional $12 million. ... Read More >
Diesel truck and bus fleets fined for California air quality violations
Settlement of 256 cases generates $417,167 for community
SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board announced that in calendar
year 2013, it settled 256 cases involving air quality violations
by heavy duty diesel truck and bus fleets that failed to comply
with ARB’s various diesel risk reduction programs.
The amount collected will be distributed to the California Air
Pollution Control Fund and to the Peralta Colleges Foundation.
The fund will receive $1,703,084 for research projects to improve
California’s air quality, with the remaining $417,167 going to
the college district to fund diesel emission education classes
and diesel technology certificate and degree programs, conducted
by participating California community colleges around the state,
and $57,562 to fund school bus diesel particulate filter
“ARB’s diesel risk reduction program is designed to limit the
amount of harmful pollution from diesel engines,” said ARB
Enforcement Chief James Ryden. “Companies who fail to comply with
the regulations are contributing to that pollution, and that is
when ARB must take action.”
The fines totaled $2,177,813. Violations included failure to
comply with the statewide Truck and Bus program and
verification/certification procedures for diesel particulate
filters, failure to properly self-inspect diesel fleets to assure
trucks met state smoke emission standards, and dispatching
noncompliant trucks on California highways, along with other
infractions. The companies paying the highest amounts were:
• Thermo King Corporation - $213,200
• California Gas Transport - $136,125
• GC Harvesting - $120,000
• KS Industries, Inc. - $230,250
• Roly’s Trucking - $58,000
• White Arrow- $50,700
• THX Transport - $50,000
The companies involved in other settlements were:
• Altos Brothers Trucking
• Amador Transit
• A.M. Ortega Construction, Inc.
• Apple Valley Unified School District
• Arctic Glacier Ice, Inc.
• Bear Valley Electric Service
• Berryessa Garbage Service
• California American Water
• Capital Drum, Inc.
• Cardenas Markets, Inc.
• CR&R Waste & Recycling
• Daly Movers, Inc.
• Dash Transport, Inc.
• Dolphin Express/ Dolphin Transport
• ESTES West
• File Keepers, LLC
• F.N.F Rolloff Services
• Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport
• Jerry Melton & Sons Construction Inc.
• JLV Transport LLC, Lakeport Disposal Company, Inc.
• Mike Tamana freight Lines, LLC
• Mountainside Disposal, Inc.
• MVP Trucking, Inc.
• Old Durham Wood Co.
• Oltmans Construction
• Pacific Green Trucking
• Pemer Packing Company
• R &F Disposal
• Redwood Debris Box
• Reeve Trucking
• Rodolfe Nunez DBA Nunez Transport
• Selma Disposal &Recycling, Inc.
• Smartway Express
• Sterling Express Services
• Transloading Express, Inc.
• Victor Nunez DBA Nunez Transport
• Vigold Transport Systems, Inc.
• Water Reclamation Equipment, Inc.
• Williams Tank Lines
The remaining 209 cases were individually settled below $10,000
for a total of $449,838 in penalties.
In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a
toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer,
premature death, and other health problems.
For more information about ARB’s diesel risk reduction programs,
A “Clean Trucks Bill” has received final approval from Colorado lawmakers and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The Colorado Motor Carriers Association praised the bill.
“This legislation provides excellent incentives in the way of tax credits and a sales tax exemption for trucks over 10,001 pounds that are compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, electric, hydrogen and hydraulic hybrid trucks,” said Gregory Fulton, CMCA president. “In addition the bill reduces our form of a property tax (known as specific ownership tax) so the tax is more comparable to a conventional diesel vehicle.”
... Read More >
APPLE VALLEY - Even as California air quality officials ease diesel engine regulations intended to meet state emission standards, local trucker Michael Velez says he’s still in the same place as five months ago.
Velez, 51, is a self-employed contract driver with Sully-Miller Contracting Co. Late last year, he was prepared to lose his job while the California Air Resources Board pushed for most heavier trucks to be retrofitted by Jan. 1, 2014 with costly diesel particulate filters.
Under obligation to clean the air by the state, officials hope the required upgrades will curb large amounts of smog-forming oxides of nitrogen (also known as NOx) and toxic soot emitted by diesel trucks and buses ... Read More >
CARB largely unmoved by fleet concerns over compliance changes
Some carriers argued that CARB compliance relief puts compliant carriers at a competitive disadvantage
Despite a chorus of opposition from fleet owners who had already complied with California emissions rules for trucks and buses, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved with little change a package of proposed changes to give small fleets and certain other fleet operations more time to comply with its Truck and Bus Rule.
CARB’s April 25th approval followed a lengthy hearing on April 24th in which many truck owners complained bitterly that it was unfair for CARB to ease compliance rules when they had spent the money to comply ... Read More >
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ARB adopts changes to California’s Truck and Bus Regulation
Provides limited additional time for small fleets while still
protecting air quality
SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board today adopted
amendments to its Truck and Bus Regulation that will provide new
flexible compliance options to owners of aging diesel fleets and
recognize fleet owners that have made investments to comply,
while also protecting air quality.
The changes approved at today’s Board hearing provide additional
regulatory flexibility to small fleets, lower use vehicles, and
fleets in rural areas that have made substantial progress towards
cleaner air. 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.
“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 ARB 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
“By providing limited additional time for certain fleets to
comply, we believe that we’ll 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.”
Nichols also said that the amendments, while potentially delaying
compliance for some, will still protect air quality, preserving
93% of the NOx (oxides of nitrogen) and diesel particulate matter
(PM) benefits of the original regulation.
The amendments include:
• A longer phase-in period for diesel PM requirements for trucks
that operate exclusively in certain rural areas with cleaner
• Additional time and incentive funding opportunities for small
• A new compliance option for owners who cannot currently afford
• Expansion of the low-use exemption and the construction truck
• Recognition of fleet owners who have already complied by
providing additional “useable life” for retrofit trucks and
reducing near-term compliance requirements. The amendments will
still ensure that, by 2020, nearly every truck in California will
have a PM filter, consistent with the goals of the Diesel Risk
For more information, please see: • April 2014 Proposed Truck and Bus Amendments ... Read More >
Our View: Air Resources Board should consider easing up a bit
Here's hoping the state's Air Resources Board eases up a little on regulations that phase out older diesel engines.
It's important that we continue to work to improve our air quality; but it's also important that we don't put our economic cornerstone — agriculture — at risk.The board approved regulations in December 2008 to reduce particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen emission from diesel-powered vehicles in use throughout the state.
The goal is to protect people's health. Laudable. ... Read More >
Southland air regulators seek to hold ports to pollution targets
By Tony Barboza
Air quality regulators, embarking on a bold new strategy to reduce smog in Southern California, want to hold the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach responsible for their pledges to cut pollution from thousands of trucks, ships and trains carrying goods to and from the nation's largest port complex.
If a rule proposed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District is adopted, it could open the door to similar regulations on other facilities that are magnets for truck and rail traffic, such as warehouses, distribution centers and rail yards ... Read More >
onrdiesel -- CARB Truck and Bus Regulation Information Session Bay Area, APRIL 17
The California Air Resources Board is offering a free information
session in the California Bay Area for diesel truck owners,
operators, fleet managers, motor carriers, and brokers in the
process of complying with the Truck and Bus Regulation.
Thursday April 17,2014
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
College of Alameda
Building F, Student Center
555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway (Atlantic Ave)
Alameda, CA 94501
• Good Faith Efforts to Comply
• Potential Regulatory Changes
• Participating in the Regulatory Process
• Funding Opportunities
• Enforcement Q&A and
• Personalized Fleet Assessments
Limited Seating, Reservations Required. Contact:
For more information:
The diesel decision: ARB ponders whether to allow current engines more time before tougher emissions standards set in
By David Bitton
Area trucking companies and farmers may soon be given more flexibility with regulations aimed at reducing engine emissions on their diesel trucks and buses.
The Air Resources Board is accepting comment through April 21 ahead of an April 24 board meeting, when it could decide to allow diesel truck and bus owners to be able to drive additional miles each year.
The regulation allows AG-registered diesel trucks and buses to be driven 10,000 miles per year until 2023, at which time they would need to have a 2010 model year engine or newer. ... Read More >
UN panel shows who's responsible for CO2 emissions
By KARL RITTER
BERLIN — The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change is preparing a new report this weekend outlining the cuts in greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, required in coming decades to keep global warming in check.
Since it's a scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won't tell governments how to divide those emissions cuts — a crunch issue in negotiations on a new climate pact that's supposed to be adopted next year. ... Read More >
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to develop a new program to recognize ports for their sustainability efforts, which could ultimately influence multinational corporations' shipping decisions.
The program could be similar to the agency's SmartWay Transport Partnership, which encourages trucking companies, rail carriers and others to move goods in a clean and efficient way. Companies that commit to reduce transportation-related emissions can use the SmartWay logo.
The EPA wants to provide the same recognition for ports, Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, said. The nonprofit forum serves on a committee formed to help with the EPA's ports initiative.
“Ports are very competitive,” Schaeffer told Bloomberg BNA April 8. For example, if a port on the East Coast is designated as a sustainable port, “that could have value for people making their shipping decisions,” he said.
... Read More >
IdleAir finding profitability with fleet locations, better truck stop site selection
By Kevin Jones
IdleAir, the long-struggling provider of truck stop electrification services, has turned the corner on operational profitability, company executives explained during a press briefing at last week’s Mid-America Trucking Show.IdleAirGATSlo
The key has been partnering with carriers to develop on-site, dedicated fleet facilities, as well as more selective expansion at truck stops and closing unprofitable legacy locations, says CEO Ethan Garber. ... Read More >
California Climate Policies Continue To Survive Legal Challenges
By Carolyn Whetzel
—Lawsuits challenging California's climate policies have yet to delay implementation of the programs, attorneys involved in the various cases said March 26.
“The California Air Resources Board is batting about 1,000,’’ Tom McHenry, a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher in Los Angeles, said during a presentation on the status of legal actions the state still faces eight years after enacting the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32).
McHenry represents the Climate Action Reserve, one of several groups intervening in the litigation on behalf of the state.
CARB has prevailed, so far, on the substantive challenges to A.B. 32, the state's greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program, and the low-carbon fuel standard, largely because the broad language in the statutes and the courts' deference to the agency in implementing the programs, attorneys said at a workshop held in advance of the opening of the Climate Action Reserve's Navigating the American Carbon World conference in San Francisco. ... Read More >
Industry Listens as CARB Reacts:
Statewide Truck and Bus Rule Amendments Become Inevitable Reality
By Matt Schrap
It is no secret that thousands of operators in the industry are struggling to survive the harsh regulatory environment that exists here in the Golden State. Until recently, many were speeding headlong into a regulatory brick wall; despite lawsuits, threats of more lawsuits and even outright boycotts, there was little relief and even less sympathy for those in this particularly precarious position.
Fleets of all shapes and sizes are finding themselves in this conundrum. They are spread throughout the state and throughout many different vocations and specialties; these are 3rd and 4th generation companies, mom and pop shops, single truck operators, two man fleets, corporations, partnerships and LLC’s. Every configuration under the trucking business umbrella has found themselves behind the 8 ball at one point or another over the last 4 years. Suffice it to say, it has not been easy. ... Read More >
Trucking of Sacramento River salmon starts Monday
By Matt Weiser
More than 12 million juvenile hatchery salmon will get a truck trip downstream starting Monday to help them circumvent the harmful effects of drought on the Sacramento River.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the plan Friday, as a way of bolstering survival rates for the fish. The Sacramento River, compromised by California’s persistent drought, is too low to provide adequate food and protection from predators, potentially jeopardizing a crop of fish that supports the state’s commercial and recreational salmon fishing industries. ... Read More >
Group Suggests New Rules for Further Cuts in Carbon Pollution
CORAL DAVENPORT, NYT
WASHINGTON — An influential environmental group on Thursday released a new analysis suggesting major climate change regulations that could lead to even steeper cuts in carbon pollution than those being considered by the Obama administration.
The group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has had a strong voice in efforts to shape President Obama’s climate change agenda, sent the Environmental Protection Agency a proposal that it contends will lead to cuts of 470 million to 700 million tons of carbon pollution per year in 2020, the equivalent of emissions from 95 million to 130 million automobiles. The numbers are an update of a model regulation that the group sent to the E.P.A. in 2012, which the group contended would cut carbon pollution by 270 million tons annually. ... Read More >
Reduce air pollution for region’s health, economy: Guest commentary
By Ricardo Lara and Fran Pavley
Clean air is a right, not a privilege. A child’s health should not be determined by where they live or how much their parents make. But one-third of Californians still breathe levels of soot and smog that violate U.S. health standards, and cause asthma, cancer, heart attacks and strokes.
These pollutants are also powerful short-term climate change forcers. This is a problem we cannot tolerate. But this problem is solvable with a clear long-term vision for climate policy that protects families and stimulates business innovation. ... Read More >
Proposition 1B: Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program - 2013 Truck Solicitations
For 1st Solicitation “Good Faith Effort”
Large Fleets that Have Applied for Funding
and Still Need to Pass a Compliance Check
ARB is providing additional time, until
April 2, 2014, forlarge fleets to demonstrate compliance
without “Good Faith Efforts”. This additional time is only available to those large fleets that
for Proposition 1B funding
in the first solicitation (August 26 to October 10, 2013)
“Good Faith Effort” but still need to pass their compliance check.
ARB recognizes that large fleets may not have understood how the “Good Faith Effort” could impact
their ability to receive Proposition 1B funding, so
extending the time allowed for these fleets
to finish taking the action needed to demonstrate compliance
with ARB’s Truck & Bus Regulation. ... Read More >
TRU (reefer) owners: Its time to begin planning model year 2007 reefer engine compliance
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) recommends that
refrigerated carriers that own transport refrigeration units (TRU
or reefer) that must comply with the TRU Regulation’s in-use
performance standards by the end of 2014 need to begin planning
compliance strategies and budgets now.
Model year (MY) 2007 TRU engines must comply with the TRU
Regulation’s in-use standards by December 31, 2014. Purchase
orders for compliance equipment (e.g. trailers, units, or
engines) or technology (e.g. diesel particulate filters) must be
placed before the TRU Regulation’s purchase order deadlines to
qualify for a compliance extension if delivery or installation is
delayed until after December 31, 2014. To qualify for this
compliance extension, the TRU must be registered in ARB’s
Equipment Registration (ARBER) system, purchase orders must be
placed before the purchase order deadlines, and compliance
extension applications must be submitted by December 31st.
The purchase order deadlines that apply to TRUs are:
• For reefer trailers, TRU replacements, and TRU engine
replacements: August 31st (four months ahead of the compliance
• For verified diesel particulate filter retrofits: October 31st (two months ahead of the compliance deadline).
If purchase orders are placed before the purchase order deadline
and in-use compliance cannot be achieved by December 31, 2014,
due to delays in delivery or installation, the TRU/reefer owner
may apply for a compliance extension. A compliance extension
application, with attached supporting documentation, must be
submitted to ARB by December 31, 2014.
All MY 2006 and older TRU engines (or units manufactured in 2006
or earlier) should be in compliance now. Please note that
trailer manufacture year and in-service dates are not used to
determine TRU compliance dates. Noncompliant MY 2006 and older
TRU engines/units must not be operated in California unless they
are brought into compliance immediately.
The replacement engine compliance option for trailer TRUs no
longer results in a full seven years of compliance until ULETRU
is required. The replacement engine models that will fit and
perform in trailer TRUs are Tier 4i engines. Since Tier 4i is no
longer in effect, the effective MY of a Tier 4i replacement
engine is 2012, so compliance with the Ultra-Low-Emission TRU
(ULETRU) in-use performance standard is still required by
December 31, 2019 (seven years after the effective model year).
This results in only 5 years of compliance before ULETRU is
Retrofitting with a Level 3 Verified Diesel Emissions Strategy
(VDECS) may be something to consider because Level 3 VDECS meets
the TRU Regulation’s ULETRU In-Use Performance Standard. There
is no more-stringent in-use standard than ULETRU, but you need to
understand that more emissions-related engine maintenance is
needed to ensure reliable operation with a DPF (e.g. periodically
check fuel injectors pop pressure and spray pattern, check fuel
pump, check engine intake and exhaust valves). Diesel
particulate filters are NOT “fit-and-forget” systems.
Where can I get more information?
For general information about the TRU Regulation, the TRU Website
is at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru/tru.htm
Information about Level 3 VDECS is at:
The ARBER registration website is at:
ARBER Registration Help pages are at:
TRU Advisories are listed at:
TRU Compliance extension applications are at:
If you have questions about in-use performance standard
compliance, registration in ARBER, or in-use compliance
extensions, please call the TRU Help Line at 1-888-878-2826 or
Background: TRUs are refrigeration systems powered by integral
diesel internal combustion engines designed to control the
environment of temperature-sensitive products that are
transported in trucks, trailers, shipping containers, and
railcars. The emissions from these units are a source of
unhealthful air pollutants including particulate matter, toxic
air contaminants, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and
hydrocarbons, that all pose a potential threat to both public
health and the environment. These units often congregate in large
numbers at California distribution centers, grocery stores, and
other facilities where they run for extended periods of time to
ensure their perishable contents remain cold or frozen. These
distribution and loading facilities are often in close proximity
to schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods. In 2004,
the TRU Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) was adopted by the
Board to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions from TRUs and
TRU gen set engines. Amendments were adopted by the Board in
November 2010 and October 2011.
Five months after taking heat from much of the industry and being sued by OOIDA and others, the California Air Resources Board unveiled multiple changes to enforcement and deadlines tied to its Truck and Bus Rule Thursday.
“The trucking community spoke and we listened,” CARB Chairman Mary Nichols said according to a CARB news release. “The good news is that we will not have to sacrifice the state’s air quality goals to assist fleet owners. These amendments, which include more flexible deadlines and increased opportunities to access incentive funding, will further our emissions reduction goals by better ensuring that fleets can meet the requirements of the regulation.”
CARB’s 12 board members are slated to hear amendment proposals for the state’s most expensive regulation in history – the Truck and Bus Rule – at its April 24 board meeting. ... Read More >
Summary of Proposed Changes
to the Truck and Bus Regulation
Board Decision Planned for April 2014
This summary describes staff proposed amendments to the Truck and Bus Regulation, which would
better protect the emission and health benefits of the regulation by providing new flexible compliance
options for small fleets, low mileage fleets, and fleets operated exclusively in certain areas that have
made substantial progress towards cleaner air. None of the proposed changes are currently in effect.
The California Air Resources Board will consider the changes at its April 2014 meeting. ... Read More >
Anticipation Grips the Industry
By Matt Schrap
CARB Releases Major Changes to Truck and Bus Rule
There has been a groundswell of industry concern as of late over recent efforts by CARB to provide relief to an already beleaguered industry. In part, the relief is a response to the mounting criticism (and lawsuits) over how this rule is impacting fleets of all sizes, all over the state in all types of vocations. The relief is also a clarification of the "Good Faith Effort" compliance pathways released in November.. ...Read More >
Bullet train could increase greenhouse gases by 2020
By Dave Roberts
Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to spend the lion’s share of cap-and-trade auction revenue on the high-speed rail project won’t help the state meet its goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020, according to a recent Legislative Analyst’s Office report. It could actually make things worse during construction. ...Read More >
George Easow’s move to India to start a clinical diagnostics business lasted just three weeks before he was persuaded to return to Britain.
The persuading was done by his 7-month-old daughter, Fiona. Within days of moving to New Delhi, the child was wheezing and gasping for air because of smog. “She could hardly breathe,” her father said.
Fiona was kept indoors and put on medication. Nothing worked. “We had to make a call,” said Easow, a molecular biologist. He added that her symptoms disappeared once the family left, and they haven’t recurred. ...Read More >
World's largest aircraft unveiled and hailed 'game changer'
By Claire Carter
The world's longest aircraft, consisting of part airship, part helicopter and part plane, has been unveiled and could be the key to greener more efficient planes in future as developers predict one day there could be as many of the hybrids as there are helicopters today.
...Read More >
Will Natural Gas Fuel America’s Big Trucks? Shell Treads Carefully
By Tom Fowler
Shell is tapping the brakes on plans to push natural gas as a fuel for the trucking industry.
The company confirmed it will not build a previously announced plant 20 miles west of Calgary that would turn natural gas into liquid form, known as LNG, for use in heavy duty trucks.
Shell still plans to build out a network of LNG fueling stations along a 900-mile stretch between Alberta and Canada’s Pacific Coast. But those LNG service stations, which will be operated by Pilot Flying J, will sell natural gas fuel created by a company other than Shell.
“We are definitely still interested, but it’s an emerging market so Shell has to take a balanced approach to these developments,” Shell spokeswoman Destin Singleton said.
So far Shell has not changed plans for two other LNG fuel plants – one in Geismar, La. and one in Sarnia, Ontario, Ms. Singleton said. Once constructed, they could produce up to 250,000 tons per year of natural gas fuel for use in trucks and even ships as some tanker and ferry owners install the equipment needed to burn LNG instead of oil-based fuel.
The company has been pulling back from some North American investments as it tries to fund costly oil and gas projects around the globe, including selling off shale fields in the U.S. In December the company abandoned plans to build a multibillion-dollar plant in Louisiana that would have converted natural gas into diesel, citing skyrocketing costs.
There’s also a chicken-and-egg nature to building liquefaction plants and LNG fueling stations. While natural gas has made inroads as a fuel for heavy truck fleets, including buses and trash collection trucks, those systems largely work because the vehicles return to central locations every day, where they can be refueled from special pumps.
Building out natural gas fueling stations on North American highways is a much bigger gamble. Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has installed special fueling equipment at about 500 locations around the U.S. That may sound like a lot, but it’s a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of service stations around the country.
But more big companies are beginning to embrace LNG for their massive trucks, including Lowe’s, Procter & Gamble and UPS. As many as 20% of P&G’s trucks could run on natural gas within two years. UPS plans to buy 1,000 natural gas trucks by the end of this year, while competitor FedEx Corp. said it will shift up to 30% of its fleet to natural gas in the next decade.
Diesel To Remain Dominant For Decades In Trucking?
BY Antony Ingram
Electrification and hybridization are the buzzwords of passenger transportation right now, but debate in the trucking world focuses on two different alternative fuels.
As the industry seeks to clean up its act and reduce costs for operators, diesel and natural gas are slugging it out as the two main fuels of trucking's future.
But as far as those within the industry are concerned, diesel will remain the dominant option for many years to come--well past 2050, in fact.
That's the view of Allen Schaeffer from the Diesel Technology Forum, writing for GE's Ideas Lab.
He notes that the booming industry for natural gas is undoubtedly a good thing, improving the domestic economy and keeping more money in the country.
But when it comes to fueling the trucking industry, diesel will likely remain the best option for quite some time to come.
That might not have been the case had such big strides in diesel technology not been made over the past few decades.
It's gone from a fuel with dubious environmental credentials to one that challenges gasoline and natural gas for cleanliness, all the while offering better fuel economy and does so at an effective price point.
The advent of low-sulfur fuels in 2006-2007 allowed diesel to significantly clean up its act. It allowed engine-builders to develop ways of cutting diesel exhaust emissions that otherwise wouldn't have been possible, as sulfur can attack the elements used in after-treatment technologies.
As particulate traps and urea injection have cleaned up diesel fumes in passenger cars, so too have similar technologies improved heavy-duty engines in trucks.
The improvement is clear to see: A truck manufactured after 2007 emits just two percent of the pollutants a truck made in 1988 did.
They're more fuel-efficient too, by three to five percent. Schaeffer quotes figures suggesting class 4-8 trucks on the road today save 13.3 million barrels of crude oil per year compared to their counterparts from a few decades ago--and produce 5.7 million fewer tonnes of CO2.
Cost will also play a part in diesel's expected continued success.
Pricing is steadier than that of natural gas, which fluctuates through global demand and as techniques like fracking vary supply of the gas.
Diesel is more expensive right now, but Schaeffer suggests operators are as concerned about predictability as much as they are cost--stability is key when planning for the future. He also says that current long-term gas deals cloud the real cost of natural gas fuels--a cost that could one day hit operators.
The end result is that by 2040, diesel could account for 70 percent of all transportation fuels, while natural gas rises from today's one percent to a still-modest 4 percent of the market.
While not mentioned in the article, it's also worth noting that diesel is still the more widely-available fuel right now--and that situation is unlikely to change for natural gas unless operators demand it. And they're unlikely to demand natural gas trucks without stations to fuel them...
While someone writing from the Diesel Technology Forum on an outlet funded by General Electric might be taken with a pinch of salt when discussing diesel, it's hard not to see diesel being the dominant truck fuel for some time to come.
But as with passenger vehicles, we're likely to see a real mix over the coming years--diesel may be dominant, but it won't be the only fuel, and for a select few, natural gas will remain the less expensive, potentially cleaner way of moving goods from place to place.
JURUPA VALLEY: Council eyes truck routes
BY SANDRA STOKLEY
In its continuing effort to blunt the impact of hundreds of big rigs on residents and city streets, the Jurupa Valley City Council on Thursday, Feb. 20, will consider establishing seven truck routes to keep the tractor-trailer trucks out of residential areas.
Council members also are expected to authorize a study of possible truck restrictions on Etiwanda Avenue from Highway 60 north to Hopkins Street in the city’s Mira Loma area.
The 7 p.m. meeting is at the old Sam’s Western Wear building, 8930 Limonite Ave., Jurupa Valley.
The study would be paid for by a $30,000 grant that was part of a lawsuit settlement agreement against a warehouse developer.
Hundreds of big rigs pour off Highway 60 every day. Many head north on Etiwanda to the Mira Loma Space Center, a warehouse complex that sits across the street from the Mira Loma Village housing tract.
“The truck traffic has gotten progressively worse,” said Mira Loma Village resident Patricia Mendoza, who has lived there for 40 years.
“I know people need jobs, but they’ve got to find a better way to reroute these trucks away from the residential area,” she said.
During afternoon rush hour, Mendoza said it can take up to a half hour for a resident to exit the tract because trucks are backed up, waiting to get on the freeway.
“Sometimes there are 10 trucks,” she said.
Eric Sauer, spokesman for the California Trucking Association, said in an email that the group has “concerns regarding adequate alternative routes.”
The association looks forward to working with the city to find a resolution, he wrote.
Penny Newman, executive director of the Jurupa Valley-based Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, said there is a practical alternative for drivers headed to the Mira Loma Space Center. Trucks can exit at Milliken Avenue, head north to Philadelphia Avenue and enter the warehouse complex from Philadelphia Avenue, she said.
Or they can continue on Philadelphia, go south on Etiwanda to Hopkins and enter the complex from that street.
“This would reduce the exposure of families at Mira Loma Village tremendously,” Newman said.
Her center filed the lawsuit against the developers of the Mira Loma Commerce Center that resulted in the settlement agreement that funded the study.
City Councilman Brad Hancock said he is fine with the truck routes being proposed but said he would like to see the city draft ordinances against residents who run trucking businesses from homes zoned for residential use. Hancock said he receives emails from residents complaining that a neighbor has five or six big rigs parked on their property.
Enforcement is difficult because the zoning is nebulous, Hancock said.
“We need zoning that is clear and enforceable,” Hancock said.
According to a city report, this would be a preliminary step in establishing truck routes in Jurupa Valley. A California Environmental Quality Act report must still be prepared before formal adoption of the routes.
Contact Sandra Stokley at 951-368-9647 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TRUCKS A TOPIC
The Jurupa Valley City Council will discuss proposed truck routes and a study of possible truck restrictions on Etiwanda Avenue between Highway 60 and Hopkins Street:
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. A workshop on smoke shops and synthetic drugs will precede the council meeting at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Council chambers, the old Sam’s Western Wear building, 8930 Limonite Ave., Jurupa Valley
Obama to order tougher fuel standards for heavy trucks
By ALEX GUILLEN
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will order his agencies to tighten the fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, the latest stage in his effort to tackle climate change without waiting for Congress to act.
During a visit Tuesday morning to a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md., Obama will announce he’s directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department to develop fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for future trucks and other heavier vehicles by March 2016. They would cover vehicles for model years after 2018.
Tighter post-2018 standards for heavy-duty vehicles, which account for about a quarter of onroad greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, were part of the list of items Obama laid out in June in his climate action plan. The new requirements follow up on standards the administration imposed three years ago for heavier vehicles from model years 2014-18.
The initial standards were meant to reduce fuel use and emissions by 10 to 20 percent from vehicles like school buses, garbage trucks, large pickups and tractor-trailers, and the White House said they will save a total of 530 million barrels of oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million metric tons over the vehicles’ lifetimes. The White House would not immediately say how steep the cuts would be from the post-2018 standards.
Under Obama’s order, EPA and DOT should issue an initial notice of proposed rule-making by March 31, 2015, according to a White House fact sheet.
The new vehicle standards build upon efficiency requirements the administration approved during Obama’s first term for passenger vehicles, which must get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, as well as sweeping greenhouse gas regulations that EPA is working on for power plants.
As part of Tuesday’s announcement, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must work with manufacturers, states, labor groups and others on developing methods to cut fuel consumption and emissions after the 2018 time frame. The agencies will also work with the California Air Resources Board “with the goal of ensuring that the next phase of standards allow[s] manufacturers to continue to build a single national fleet.”
Obama will also tell the Energy Department to offer assistance to any company that joins the National Clean Fleets Partnership, a public-private partnership that encourages companies to switch to alternative or advanced vehicles. Those companies will get “specialized resources, technical expertise and support in developing a comprehensive strategy to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency and cost savings.”
The program’s members include Coca-Cola, UPS and Waste Management, and together operate about 1 million commercial vehicles in the U.S., according to the White House.
Obama isn’t focusing entirely on executive actions on Tuesday. He will also repeat his call for Congress to set up an Energy Security Trust Fund, an idea the president has called for in his past two State of the Union addresses.
His plan would use drilling revenue to fund a research and development program for advanced vehicle technologies. But it faces serious opposition from congressional Republicans because it does not include expanded oil and gas drilling.
Obama will also call on Congress to revive the expired tax credit for producers of cellulosic biofuel and will propose Congress create a $200 million “tax credit to catalyze investment in the necessary infrastructure to support deployment of advanced vehicles at critical mass,” the White House said. The credit would be fuel neutral.
The White House will release a report Tuesday touting the administration’s work on fuel economy and vehicle emissions issues and detailing these new actions.
The transportation sector is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., after electric generation.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has responded to OOIDA’s lawsuit against CARB. On Jan. 27, Harris filed a partial motion to dismiss the complaint’s claims against the CARB defendants in their individual capacities, but did not seek dismissal of those claims against them in their official capacity.
The complaint names as defendants Richard W. Corey in his official and personal capacity as executive officer of CARB; Mary D. Nichols in her official and personal capacity as chairman of CARB; and Matt Rodriguez, in his official capacity as secretary of CARB.
On Dec. 6, OOIDA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, against CARB in connection with the agency’s controversial Truck and Bus Regulation.
“The California Air Resources Board has overstepped its bounds by requiring trucks from other states to be upgraded in order to operate in California,” says Jim Johnston, president and CEO of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
“Our position is that it violates the Commerce Clause and they cannot do it,” says Johnston.
Harris’s response did not seek dismissal of the Association’s claims based on Commerce Clause violations.
California should set interim goal for cutting emissions, report says
By Tony Barboza
The state is on course to meet its 2020 target, but reaching the 2050 goal will require huge changes, the California Air Resources Board says.
California is on track to reach its target for reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, but much tougher choices loom if the state is to meet its goal for the year 2050, state air quality officials say in a new report.
The changes needed to slash emissions enough to reach the mid-century target will be so great that the state should set an interim goal for about 2030, the California Air Resources Board said in a report released Monday.
The state's 2020 goal for fighting climate change is to scale back greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. The goal for 2050 is to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels.
Reaching that target will require tough new policies to slash carbon emissions in every sector of the economy, including energy, transportation, agriculture and water delivery, the board said.
"We have to accelerate our efforts to become more efficient," state Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols said. "The overarching test of everything we do is its impact on global climate change."
California will first have to transform its energy sector, which accounts for about half its greenhouse gas emissions, by relying increasingly on wind and solar power, making buildings more efficient and advancing energy storage technology, the report says.
Meeting the goal also will mean changing the transportation system, which contributes about 38% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions. California will have to boost vehicle efficiency; develop lower-carbon fuels; expand access to public transportation; clean up emissions from freight-carrying trucks, locomotives and ships; and expand access to public transportation, the report says.
The report also called for a strategy to cut other pollutants, including smog-forming compounds, methane and black carbon, which are shorter-lived than carbon dioxide but are many times more powerful at trapping heat. Reducing them would have the side benefit of cleaning up air pollution to help meet key federal ozone standards by 2032.
"We need to focus more on these non-carbon pollutants," said Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air. "They've been downplayed too long."
The 159-page report is the second update to a plan the Air Resources Board is required to revise every five years under California's 2006 global warming law.
Erica Morehouse, an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the document was more focused and ambitious than a draft circulated last year. "Setting a 2030 target will strengthen incentives for immediate pollution reductions," she said.
It also would put California in line with the European Union and Germany, which have plans to cut emissions far below 1990 levels by 2030.
The state's 2020 and 2050 greenhouse gas limits were established by a 2005 executive order by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and are based on a concept endorsed by the world's climate scientists: that only by stabilizing carbon emissions and keeping global temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels can society avoid catastrophic levels of climate change.
California already has adopted the nation's most sweeping climate change policies, including greenhouse gas regulations for vehicles, a low-carbon fuel standard, a cap-and-trade program and a requirement to make the state's energy portfolio 33% renewable by 2020.
Reaching its 2050 objectives will not be possible without aggressive new policies and technological innovations, outside experts say.
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