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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Latest deadline looms for state's diesel truck rule


By Ben Keller, December 20, 2013

 The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is divvying up $45 million this year ito help diesel truck operators comply with the state's new emissions rule.
 The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is divvying up $45 million this year ito help diesel truck operators comply with the state's new emissions rule.

The state’s truck emissions rule takes effect for thousands of diesel engines beginning next year, a wake-up call to some trucking companies still seeking compliance funding.

As part of the California Air Resources Board’s Truck and Bus Rule, heavier trucks with 2005 or newer model year engines will be swept in on Jan. 1, requiring them to be retrofitted with particulate matter filters or else replaced with a 2010 vehicle.

The latest deadline is the last under the regulation’s compliance schedule that first started in 2012 for engines dated 1996 to 1999. A year later, 2000 to 2004 model year engines fell subject to the rule.
Companies that took the phase-in option instead of the normal compliance schedule must have 90 percent of their fleets in compliance by January through new trucks or PM filters.

James Ganduglia, owner of Ganduglia Trucking in Fresno, started retrofitting his trucks as far back as 2006 — two years before the Truck and Bus Rule was adopted — earning credits that give him until 2016 to bring all 20 trucks in his fleet to compliance.

But with ten trucks still left to replace, Ganduglia wonders if assistance from the state’s Goods Emission Reduction Program, funded by Proposition 1B, will still be available when his deadline approaches.

The 2006 voter-approved initiative promised $1 billion to fund projects that reduce air pollution including up to half the cost of a replacement that meets 2010 emissions standards.

Although the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is divvying up $45 million this year in Prop. 1B’s fourth round of funding, there’s no guarantee that bonds will be sold next year to support the program.

“At this point, we’re sitting here going ‘if there’s no more money, that means we have to swallow the price of an entire new truck and that could get really costly,’” Ganduglia said.

Currently costing anywhere from $120,000 to $150,000, 2010 trucks are getting pricier all the time since the Truck and Bus Rule has pushed them into such short supply, Ganduglia added.

 It doesn’t help, he said, that those with the oldest and worst polluting trucks get first priority for Prop. 1B funding. That bodes poorly for some of his 2006 models.

Quali-T-Ruck is hoping for enough funds to help replace nine more trucks after spending close to $3 million in the last four years to buy up to 22.

The company also started saving and gearing up for grant money early on to bring the now 40 or so trucks in its fleet to compliance, something a lot of others weren’t able to do.

“We’re starting to see the smaller companies that are not able to afford to be in compliance starting to dissolve themselves,” said Safety Director Bill Clyde. “The mom and pops out there, it’s hard for them to be competitive with the standards going on. My heart goes out to them.”

Besides Prop. 1B, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has made available $10 million this year from its locally funded Truck Voucher Program to cover 35 percent — or $50,000 — of the cost of a new truck. Money to help with retrofits can no longer be awarded as in years past and priority funding will be given to applicants of single-truck fleets, with only 2006 or older model year engines eligible.

According to the air district’s Executive Director Seyed Sadredin, the air district has awarded $101.8 million from Prop. 1B and $17.6 million from the Truck Voucher Program over the last five years to help heavy-duty trucks operators replace or retrofit more than 2,600 trucks, cutting diesel emissions by 17,600 tons.

But even broadening the Truck Voucher Program’s eligibility criteria for the Valley’s 15,000-plus single-trucker owner/operators and small fleets, the mission has faced roadblocks.

“Part of the problem with owner operators with this January deadline is they are hard to reach,” he said. “So even when the money was available, they have not been coming forward to take advantage of it because they had no association or connection to be able to be in the loop.”

More information about the air district’s grant programs for truckers can be found online at www.valleyair.org/grants or by calling 1-855-99-GRANT (7268). A broader overview of the Truck and Bus regulation as well as incentive money statewide is available at ARB's TruckStop website at arb.ca.gov/truckstop or by calling 1-866-6-DIESEL (634-3735).

 California is home to around 200,000 trucking business and 450,000 registered heavy-duty diesel trucks. Another 500,000 or so drive in regularly from out of state.