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.
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.
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.
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 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.
inhaled, microscopic soot particles lodge deep into the lungs, enter the
blood stream, and injure and inflame cells of organs, including our
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
Tavianini said the citations are issued to the truck owners –
not the drivers. So the status of Broadwater’s driver’s license won’t
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.
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
He said the trucking industry is spending about $1 billion a year in California to comply with these diesel regulations.
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.