By Ben Keller, December 20, 2013
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
“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
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
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
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.