By David Danelski, September 16, 2013
Maria Rodriguez watches her husband, Jose Rodriguez as he prepares his
semi truck for a job on March 28, 2013 in Jurupa Valley. The family
makes a living through goods movement by being truckers.
As many truckers face a Jan. 1 deadline to retrofit their engines
with pollution controls, some big rig operators are anonymously turning
in their competitors for driving vehicles that fail to comply with
California’s tougher emission rules, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Reporter Tony Barboza found that truckers themselves are “the No.1
tipsters” to the California Air Resources Board, which regulates car
and truck emissions in the Golden State.
They are “placing anonymous calls and sending emails to finger
competitors they say are gaining an unfair advantage by not upgrading
their engines or installing expensive filters that capture harmful
diesel particulates before they are released into the air,” Barboza
Our recent Air of Risk series of about Southern California”s on-going battle with harmful air pollution included a story about Jose Rodriguez,
a Jurupa Valley-based independent trucker who expects to spend about
$15,000 on a required diesel soot filter for his 2000 Peterbilt that he
must install for the end of the year.
I spent a day riding with Rodriguez as he picked up or dropped off
loads in La Mirada, Long Beach and Los Angeles before continuing east to
the Phoenix area. The job involved waiting hours outside warehouses
and skillfully tying down and wrapping tarps around cargo on his flatbed
so it would arrive safe and intact.
I gained an appreciation for Rodriguez and all the other men and
women who work long hours behind the wheel to deliver the goods that
keep our economy humming. And it certainly would be unfair for
Rodriguez to dig deep into his pockets for the sake of more healthful
air — if his competitors did not.