In 2011, CTA's Refrigerated Carriers Conference petitioned the California Air Resources Board to extend the useful life of regulated TRUs from 7 to 10 years. CARB staff argued that the additional emissions from making this small alteration to the rule were too large, despite being presented with evidence that they could extend the useful life to at least 9 years before any adjustments to their original emission estimates would occur. In the end, no changes were made to the rule.
On January 20th, 2013 the Bakersfield Californian reported that non-compliance with the TRU rule in the 4th quarter of 2012 is 43%, leaving the 53% of the industry who has chosen to comply on an uneven playing field. Why were common sense measures to adjust the rule to allow for more compliance ignored when reported non-compliance rates were so high?
Fleets with 1-3 vehicles:
If you own a small fleet with 3 or fewer vehicles, and you own a heavier truck with a 1996 to 1999 model year engine, you can still report to take advantage of the Small Fleet Option until January 1, 2014. However, you may be subject to enforcement actions. See the Small Fleet Options FAQ for more details about the Small Fleet Option.
A. For fleets that did not report by March 30, 2012, but were in compliance with either the Engine Model Year Schedule or the Phase-In Option since January 1, 2012, may still report vehicles and use the Phase-In Option. However, fleets will not be able to use the other credits and flexibility options that required reporting by March 30, 2012. Your fleet may still be subject to enforcement actions.
B. Fleets that did not report by March 30, 2012 and did not comply by the January 1, 2012 deadline are not eligible to use the Phase-in Option nor other flexibility options or credits that required reporting by the March 30, 2012 deadline. Fleets will need to demonstrate compliance with the Engine Model Year Schedule for heavy vehicles. The fleet may be subject to enforcement action and must be brought into compliance as soon as possible to reduce the potential penalties. This can be achieved by retiring non-compliant vehicles, upgrading to newer engines, or installing PM filter retrofits.
From the ARB:
"Foster Enterprises fined $300,000 for violating California air quality laws
SoCal court imposes first-ever penalty for not complying with refrigerated trailer rule
LOS ANGELES – The San Bernardino County Superior Court has fined Foster Enterprises, an Ontario-based refrigerated transportation and cold storage business, $300,000 after an Air Resources Board investigation revealed that the company failed to upgrade older diesel engines in its refrigerated trailer fleet as required to meet current emissions standards.
The case is noteworthy in that it resulted in the first court-imposed fine issued under ARB’s 2004 Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) regulation. The company owners will pay $200,000 and the balance of the fine will be stayed, as long as they comply with the terms in the judgment handed down by the San Bernardino County Superior Court, and keep their fleet updated as required. The company is not connected to Foster Farms.
“All business owners should pay attention to this case,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “This company actually had to pay twice – once to comply with the law, and then again as a penalty.
Had the owners complied originally, they would have saved us and themselves significant time and money, and helped to keep a level playing field for their colleagues and competitors.”
Although the diesel engines powering “reefer” units on trucks and trailers are relatively small, large numbers of these engines congregate at distribution centers, truck stops and other facilities, resulting in the potential for health risks to those that live and work nearby.
California’s TRU regulation, adopted in 2004, gave fleet owners several years to plan for compliance before enforcement began.
Fleet owners now need to gradually replace or retrofit their reefer engines, beginning with those dating from 2002 and earlier. Most companies have invested substantial resources to follow the rules. Foster Enterprises, which is located near a school and residential area, continued to operate reefers powered by engines from the 1980s and 1990s. The majority of Foster’s TRU fleet – 32 units – were out of compliance on the first day of 2010.
The ARB originally offered to settle the case for much less than the ultimate penalty. Because the company refused and continued to operate the high-polluting TRUs, ARB referred the matter to the Attorney General for prosecution. Finally, months after the deadline and in order to avoid a trial, the business owners sold their non-compliant units and leased cleaner TRU trailers, about 18 months later than their competitors."
On Wednesday, a District Court Judge dismissed the California Dump Truck Owners Association’s challenge to the Air Resources Board’s Truck & Bus Regulation on two main points:
1) The Court found it cannot retain jurisdiction over the suit in light of Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of the Truck & Bus Regulation as part of California’s State Implementation Plan; and
2) Even if the Court were to retain jurisdiction, the suit would need to dismissed because EPA is a necessary and indispensable party under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19, and it cannot be joined as a party to a case of this type in a District Court.
The plaintiffs may bring continue to challenge the Truck & Bus Regulation at the Court of Appeals, but in that challenge the EPA’S approval of California’s SIP must be challenged in addition to California’s regulation itself.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has previously discussed the enforceability of State or local regulations once they are part of an approved SIP in the Association of American Railroads v. South Coast AQMD and found that once approved by EPA, SIPs have “the force and effect of federal law.”.
To read a copy of the judge’s order to dismiss, please CLICK HERE.
9/1/2012: Deadline to submit Large Fleet Compliance Plan (21 or more 53+ft trailers) and meet 20% aerodynamic retrofit requirement for Tractor-Trailer GHG Rule (Smartway Rule)
1/1/2013: Deadline to submit Small Fleet Compliance Plan (20 or fewer 53+ft trailers) for Tractor-Trailer GHG Rule (Smartway Rule)
12/31/2012: MY05-06 Drayage Trucks Must Install Level 3 VDECS.
12/31/2012: MY05 TRUs must meet ULETRU Standard
1/31/2013: Annual Truck and Bus Rule Reporting Deadline
9/1/2013: Deadline to Order Equipment in Event of Manufacturer Delay