• Feb 23rd 2011 at 1:11PM
  • 36
On February 11th, the California Dump Truck Owners Association (CDTOA) filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board (CARB), challenging the legality of a statewide rule that requires truck and bus owners equip their rigs with diesel exhaust filters and, eventually, to replace pre-2010 engines with emissions-compliant mills.

The lawsuit, the California Dump Truck Owners Association v. Air Resources Board, was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division and specifically asserts that CARB's emissions regulations are unconstitutional. Why? Because, CDTOA claims, the costs of complying with CARB's Truck and Bus Regulation will drive the majority of dump truck owners out of business and cause "incalculable" damage to the construction industry.

Back in 2008, CARB adopted the statewide Truck and Bus rule, which became effective on January 1st, 2011. The Truck and Bus rule requires owners to upgrade their rigs by installing diesel exhaust filters by 2014. Then, by 2022, truck and bus owners will be required to replace most diesel mills that were manufactured before 2010.

CARB has a good reason for wanting the improved filters. It claims that the Bus and Truck rule will reduce diesel emissions by 68 percent by 2014, but the CDTOA argues that the regulations will lead to escalating construction costs, higher unemployment rates and a dramatic weakening of the state's economy.

[Source: Green Car Congress | Image: aldenjewell – C.C. License 2.0]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      CARB needs to be legally challenged at every turn. If they raise the cost of doing business they need to pay for it. Will the last business in California please turn out the lights?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The unemployment and budget problems aren't CARB's doing. Texas has a larger deficit per capita per year than California and they don't have CARB regulations.
        • 4 Years Ago
        California's gross state product not only isn't shrinking as you imply, but is growing more rapidly than average.

        • 4 Years Ago

        I noticed that you didn't address the issue of your using old statistics from the housing boom. I take it that you admit you are wrong on this point.

        "The unemployment and budget problems aren't CARB's doing. Texas has a larger deficit per capita per year than California and they don't have CARB regulations."

        Lies again and disproved with a few quick Google searches. Texas has a $27 billion two year deficit (Texas does its budget two years at a time) and a population of 24.7 million people. CA has a $25 billion one year deficit and a population of 36.9 million people.

        Texas per capita per year deficit: 546 dollars.
        California per capita per year deficit: 677 dollars.

        While we are on the subject I will point out that California has CARB and a 12.3% unemployment rate and Texas doesn't have CARB and has a 8% unemployment rate. The two facts aren't necessarily related but CA does need every job it has.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ LS2LS7

        LIAR. Read the fine print on that web site:

        "DEFINITION: Percent change in GSP from 2004 to 2005."

        So your stat measures the change in growth from 2004 to 2005. As a Californian I can say that our 12.3% unemployment rate isn't in need of any love from CARB. CA isn't growing and our budget issues are looming. We desperately need every job we have.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the problem we have in NJ. They retroactively changed the emissions standards so many older trucks wont pass inspection, even though the same exact truck had no problem passing for 20+ years prior. Now they're basically telling small businesses that they've either got to buy new engines or buy totally new trucks, even when their current vehicles are in perfect working order for when they were produced and they might only use it a handful of times a year.

      It would be like the EPA suddenly changing the emissions standards and basically telling everyone....yea, if you own a car made before 1985 you've either got to buy a new engine or buy a totally new car, even if you only drive it once or twice a year. It's really ridiculous.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Come on. They have avoided taxes by writing off the value of the truck long before they have to replace them. They will do it again. They will write off the replacement engines as well. I don't get to write off my when I need it to earn money just like they do. Just another whine by business that their subsidy is not big enough.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You get them straight from ARB. They publish their studies and results in very much detail. This is how they came to decide to go after leaf blowers and lawn mowers too. It's how they went after commercial charcoal grilling too (restaurants, basically).

        They do a great job of measuring what is in the air, figuring out where it came from and what can best be done to correct the air quality problems that occur. Since new car trace emissions have been knocked down 3 orders of magnitude over the last decades, the big sources of these emissions are elsewhere now.

        CARB has exemptions for personal vehicles. It's politically difficult to say people have to take old cars off the road, even though these "gross polluters" (look it up) are a disproportionate source of pollution. But commercial vehicles are not protected, the feeling is these companies make money off these vehicles, they can afford to plow a little money back into them.

        We have a lot more old cars here in California than other places since the climate means they last a lot longer. But it's not like 1 in 10 cars is old. It's that 1 in 500 is and since those cars pollute thousands of times more than a current car, they are a disproportionate problem.


        'Half of the smog in the state is said to be produced by motor vehicles. Although Gross Polluters represent only approximately 10 to 15 percent of all these vehicles, they are estimated to be responsible for more than half of all vehicle produced smog.'

        (another source not going to link as I don't want to get spam flagged)
        '"75 percent of vehicular pollution is caused by just 25 percent of the vehicle fleet" in the state.'
        • 4 Years Ago
        For normal cars, California has a smog exemption for cars 1975 model year or older, because of how rare they are.

        For trucks though, Why Not has a point that they may have bigger impact than just old cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How many Pre 1985 Cars do you see driving around NJ? Dont see too many in Central Iowa - im sure with the higher incomes in NJ there are not too many cars older than 2000 other than collector cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Paul -

        You keep your trucks for 20+ to 40 years. You are a Gross Polluter.

        You want to make your private profits at the expense of public health in a state with heavy smog problems. In other words, you want to Socialize the external costs of running your business, while Privatizing and keeping the profits.

        My sympathy is thin since all you have to do is hold your current truck you want to replace until sometime between 2015-20, and you can replace it with the 5-10 year old used trucks you like. Since you keep your trucks for 20+ to 40 years, I really don't see that you are that badly inconvenienced. Especially considering you have been Socializing your costs of the pollution you have been producing for decades while Privatizing the profits.

        Your problem is that you only see things from your end (of the tailpipe), and you have absolutely no consideration for everyone your Gross Pollution affects on the other end of your tailpipe.

        • 4 Years Ago
        CARB measures the emissions from all kinds of vehicles in actual use. All the low hanging fruit has been taken already. These engines can produce 1,000 as much pollution in use as a modern one. So even if they only run a few hours a month, they vastly out-pollute all the other cars out there.

        So it's a case of having to try to reduce emissions on 500 cars or one 1980 dumptruck.

        It's not ridiculous, it's really sensible.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why Not -

        Where did you get your statistics?
        • 4 Years Ago
        You actually believe something CARB publishes? Well, I guess they were right, there is one born every minute...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm talking about the here and now. All my vehicles are pre-2010 emissions. If I was to go out and buy a truck today, I would likely be buying something pre-2010 emissions. Either way, I should have no problem getting 20+ years out of them just fine (hell my oldest truck that still moves equipment is from 1969, which comes out twice a year to move a 50ton shovel). Does it make sense to have to mangle or replace a perfectly good truck by 2014 and then possibly again in 2022? Does it really make sense to replace my perfectly good truck that comes out twice a year with something new? Am I really saving the environment having to special order a brand new truck to replace one that goes out twice a year? From my end, I just don't see it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Paul P.

        You make a very compelling arguement.

        There is only one problem: This law doesn't require anyone at all to ever buy a brand new engine or truck.

        In 2022, these companies can buy those "5, maybe10, year old" trucks that you talked about. In fact, they will be able to buy up to 12 year old used trucks and still comply with this law. They can install up to 12 year old used engines and still comply.

        So besides the part where you have completely mis-read the law, and this law completely allows CA companies to continue to buy the "5, maybe 10, year old" trucks you talked about, you made a great arguement against a strawman.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yea, for an owner/operator that makes $90,000 grand a year it's no big deal to write off a $100,000+ new truck or $30,000+ engine/exhaust replacement....right.

        Fact is, most small businesses and owner/operators don't buy new trucks. They just can't afford it. Instead they buy trucks that are 5, maybe10, years old. So they buy a used truck that works just fine and then they'll end up having to pay out of pocket to put a new compliant engine and exhaust setup in it? By the time they're done they'll be paying almost as much as is would cost for a new truck...the thing they couldn't afford in the first place.

        I don't know, as a small business owner that runs a 'huge' fleet of four class 8 trucks that run perfectly fine, I just don't see how I should have to pay to replace them with new stuff when they've been working fine, and will continue to work fine. Especially when I don't want the new stuff specifically because they've been having a lot of reliability problems with the 2010+ compliant engines. Maybe by 2014+ they'll have it worked out and the new stuff will be great, and the economy will be doing great, and my business will be doing great, and I'll want to buy new trucks. But at that point, I should be able to decide. I shouldn't be forced into spending half a million dollars to update my fleet with an 'or else' ultimatum.

        • 4 Years Ago
        This is fundamentally an issue of entitlement. Some people believe that they are entitled to damage and devalue other peoples property. I think that if you pollute significantly you should have to either pay for the damages or build a bubble so that your pollution does not damage my property.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Paul P

        If any regulation forced you to buy brand new trucks every 5-10 years, I would be the first to join you with sharpened pitchforks to take down anyone who attempted to enact such a regulation.

        Nobody is doing any such thing. You can satisfy this law by buying used trucks up to 12 years old between now and 2022. You don't have to buy any new trucks.

        So all your ranting about new trucks simply don't apply to this law.

        And I am ABSOLUTELY certain that you will save tones of cash for yourself. You will do this while you privatize your profits for yourself, while Socializing the costs of your pollution that you create on everyone else.

        I think anything you do that is good for the world is admirable. But they don't reverse the fact that you are a Gross Polluter. Like every 12 step program, the first step is admitting to yourself that you are a Gross Polluter. Read up on it, understand what the external impact of your personal behavior have on people who are dying every year. Understand that you are in a unique position to do something about it, and people are depending upon you to act.

        Then take the next step and act to stop being a Gross Polluter.

        Read today's article in ABG about China's smog problem, and decide you will not allow that to happen here in the US. Then write a letter of thanks to all the people who have written regulations (like this one) that have kept us in the past, and will keep us in the future from suffering similar smog here in the US.

        You are a Gross Polluter who Socializes the cost of your pollution while keeping the profits. Take personal responsibility for who you are.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Gross polluter, eh? How much pollution is created every time a new truck is made? How wasteful is it to get rid of a perfectly good truck every couple years? As evident by our long term maintenance, our trucks don't leak oil, fuel, coolant....and they don't have air conditioners, so no worry about ozone-depletion there. Can't say that about a lot of guys running much newer trucks. Our trucks also use less fuel with smaller and less powerful engines with no regeneration cycle.

        I wonder, how much more pollution would I have created buying a new truck every 5 or 10 years instead of hanging onto one for 40 years? How much money did I save? Money that I can put towards other projects with a greater impact (like paying to have a solar panel grid installed on our shop [made in California by the way])? Or buying formally contaminated property that we can pay to clean up and reclaim?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh my god! This is a travesty!

      11 years from now, if a CA business currently owns a 13 year old or older truck, they will have to trade it in (in any of the other 49 states) for another truck that is 0-12 years old!

      And they only have 11 years to do it!

      The horror!! the HORRRROOHR!!

      • 4 Years Ago
      Requiring engine changes or new vehicles is all well and good.

      Question is, was there any plan to incentivize what might be major capital expenses to these companies? California is ok with incentivizing individuals to buy electric - I haven't heard of any tax breaks to install filters or replace still-working (and legal outside California) engines.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And you won't see CA subside Diesel because the idea is to reduce it's use. It is a toxic substance and harmful to people's health. Perhaps becoming tough on diesel polluters will cause a new approach to powering HD trucks. How about a NatGas engines with electric motor boosters. How about gasoline powered trucks with hydraulic power boost. There are lots of ways to power them if the industry is willing to join the movement to cleaner trucks and stop claiming they have a right to pollute the air with cancer seeds.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Julius said "Requiring engine changes or new vehicles is all well and good."

        This law doesn't require anyone to ever buy any new vehicles. All CA companies can comply with this law in 2022 by purchasing up to 12 year old used vehicles or used engines from any state in the US.

        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Lad:

        "How about a NatGas engines with electric motor boosters. How about gasoline powered trucks with hydraulic power boost."

        None of which exist in large-scale commercial use yet. And diesel as a whole is getting cleaner - note the low-sulfur requirements already in place. The point of CARB's rule is to reduce (mostly particulate) emissions by the filters or new technology, to match similar gasoline engine emissions.

        Oh, and @ Nixon: the law still requires some equipment exchange - older for newer - which is still a cash outlay no matter how you pitch it. And as many other states follow CARB vehicle emissions regs, it isn't quite true that they can get it from "every other state in the US". Which also means that the to-be-traded-in vehicles will have a small market at best (and therefore less intrinsic value).

        Then again, requiring new purchases of this magnitude will do wonders for the state budget re: sales taxes.

        Which comes to my point in that they'd get less complaints with a cash-for-clunkers style exchange program - but I'm guessing that as California is out of money, a mandate is cheaper.
      • 4 Years Ago

      If you are really worried about 6 year old economic numbers, then you should be doubly worried about applying current 2010 economic numbers that will be TWICE as old (12 years old) by 2022.
        • 4 Years Ago

        I guess I was being too witty with my word choice, and didn't spell it out clear enough for you.

        The newest economic numbers we have are from 2010. These numbers will be 12 years out of date in 2022 when the pre-2010 trucks have to be replaced.

        Any arguement you make based upon 2010 economic numbers will be twice as many years out of date as the 6 year old numbers you reject.

        Every time you say that the economy has changed so much in just 6 years that we just can't possibly use those numbers, you undermine your claims that we can ASSUME the economy will be exactly the same 12 years from now as it was in 2010.

        I'm sorry you aren't capable of understanding the cyclical nature of economics.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Tricky-Dick -

        If you think the economy today is even remotely comparable to what is was 6 years ago, you clearly have a state union protected civil service job...
      • 4 Years Ago
      They are not only dump trucks but diesel fleet trucks as well. I have friends who say their business will be hit hard, others say they will work until the law is enforced. Once 2014 hits they are going out of business. More unemployment. I'm all for a better environment but this is something that will cripple most businesses. Pros: Cleaner air Cons: Higher construction costs People out of Business Higher unemployment Even worse economy
      • 4 Years Ago
      These guys had years to comply and now say it'll cost to much. By 2012, they'll be required to replace most engines that are at that point 12 years old!

      Get over it guys, you don't have a license to pollute unnecessarily.

      I never see those type of dump trucks in California. They're almost all the half-round long cylinder (end dump trailer). These appear to be a lot cheaper and can hold more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @why not the LS2LS7?
        Ahh, I see your point. I don't know why, but I don't see those in Florida.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This isn't a surprise any more than the advance notice was.

        If some dump truck owner didn't plan ahead, that's his fault.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Here's what I'm talking about


        These store more because they are so long, not because they are cylinders. They are cylinders because it's cheaper.

        End dump trailers are simpler, cheaper, partly because they have a separate cab you can reuse. They also apparently have a problem with tipping over when dumping because they are very tall and unstable. Tip up on non-level ground and you have an issue.
        • 4 Years Ago
        These trucks usually have a useful life of much more than 12 years. Requiring new trucks to conform with some sort of new standards is one thing, but requiring business to replace or retrofit existing trucks is another matter. Since higher sulfur diesel fuel has been phased out, I think that this is unwarranted, anyway.

        I'm not sure what kind of cargo bay you are describing, but I don't know how a cylinder would store more than a rectangle. I've seen these trucks all over. They are popular because they are a single unit, no trailer, so they are more maneuverable on a construction site. I'm just guessing, but they may also not require the same level of driver's licence. Anyway, this has nothing to do with the emissions.

        Also, they hit on a pet peeve of mine. They claim that it's "unconstitutional" because it's harmful to business. I don't know anything about California's constitution, but in general, lawyers often throw around the word, "unconstitutional" on any issue they don't like regardless of whether the actual words written in the constitution address the matter. I doesn't really matter though, since their isn't a single judge in California for whom any constitution has any meaning.
      • 4 Years Ago
      These statstics are 6 years old... alot has changed in that time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just don't see how California requiring cleaner vehicles is such a horrible thing. Sure it causes some financial hardship, but I think the health of the citizens of the state should be more important than the financial hardship of the polluters. If there is technology out there that will make vehicles cleaner, we should use it. I feel that CARB gave a long enough window so these truck owners could plan for the move to cleaner trucks. I don't see why dump trucks (and old antique cars) should have a free pass to pollute the air that we ALL breathe.
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