Purpose

To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Friday, November 29, 2013

DIESEL CRACKDOWN: State regulators cite offending trucks

http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20131119-diesel-crackdown-state-regulators-cite-offending-trucks.ece

By David Danelski, November 19, 2013



 
From left, California Air Resources Board inspectors Valente Armenta and Jose Andujar attempt to read the emission control label on the engine of a commercial truck belonging to Patrick Tracey of Rancho Palos Verdes during a spot inspection in Lake Elsinore on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. The inspections were conducted to see if commercial trucks complied with new, cleaner emissions standards. 

See website for a video.


Gary Broadwater, 47, didn’t appreciate the $300 citation he received Tuesday, Nov. 19, after the flatbed truck he drove was inspected by state air-pollution regulators just off Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore.

The truck owned by his employer, the Lancaster-based Frazier Corp., didn’t have a special exhaust filter that traps and burns diesel soot to reduce harmful emissions. Nor was the truck registered as part of a small fleet, which would have given the company until Jan. 1 to install such a device or get a new cleaner engine, state regulators said.

“It’s just one thing after another,” said Broadwater, standing in the makeshift truck inspection area on Collier Avenue near the Lake Elsinore Outlet Center. “I like clean air. I Iike clean water. But this is just frivolous,” he said.

Broadwater, a Lancaster resident, climbed back into the cab of the 2006 Peterbilt, holding the thin, yellow-paper ticket as well as educational literature about the California Air Resources Board diesel regulations.

“I got to roll,” he said as he shut the door and drove off with his load of construction equipment.

State air pollution regulators inspected 54 trucks at the location Tuesday between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. They wrote 13 citations.

These inspectors enforce a complex set of rules approved in 2008 that requires California’s truckers to phase-in the use of cleaner, newer engines or retrofit old engines with the special exhaust filters that cost about $15,000 each.

This owners of about 50,000 trucks in the smallest fleets of three or less face a Jan. 1 deadline to bring their trucks into compliance.

A trucking industry group supports the enforcement effort, saying it’s needed to keep cheaters from getting a competitive advantage over truckers and trucking firms that pay to meet the standards.

The rules are working to greatly reduce diesel pollution, which has been linked to cancer, asthma aggravation and various other health problems, said Mark Tavianini, a state air board official who teaches truckers how to comply with the rules.

Once inhaled, microscopic soot particles lodge deep into the lungs, enter the blood stream, and injure and inflame cells of organs, including our brains.

Diesel soot from trucks, trains and ships is responsible for about 93 percent of cancer risk from air pollution in Southern California, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The diesel rules are helping the region make progress toward meeting federal standards on fine-particle pollution, which includes soot.

Tavianini said the citations are issued to the truck owners – not the drivers. So the status of Broadwater’s driver’s license won’t be affected.

On Tuesday, flashing signs ordered all southbound trucks off I-15 at Nichols Road. A California Highway Patrol officer directed the trucks from Nichols to Collier Avenue, where they were subjected to a CHP safety inspection.

Some of the trucks, generally the older ones, were then inspected by the state air-board officials. Older trucks generally pollute more. The newer ones are made to meet tougher emission standards.

Karen Caesar, a spokeswoman for state air board, said the agency has teams of roadside inspectors working throughout California.

Contacted in Sacramento, Michael Shaw, the vice president for external affairs for the California Trucking Association, said the industry group supports the enforcement effort.

The association “is happy to see that CARB is taking enforcement seriously to be sure the rules apply equally across the board,” Shaw said. “With a level playing field, companies can compete on services and rates rather than someone cheating the system.”

He said the trucking industry is spending about $1 billion a year in California to comply with these diesel regulations.

Most trucks pass the pollutions inspections, which have gone on in some form since the early 1990s. In the early day, truckers got busted for emitted exhaust that was too dark. Inspections today are based more on engine year and pollution-control installations

Memo Rocha, of Oceanside, said he was nervous when the inspectors checked out the 2000 Freightliner truck owned by his employer, Forest Wood Fiber Products. But the truck passed an emission test. The company’s fleet had complied with the state rules, and he left without a concern.