California 18-Wheel Trucks Face New Clean Air Rule

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, September 12, 2008

There’s a battle brewing over a clean air proposal for 18-wheel trucks and school buses in California. 
Big Rig drivers complain the plan would cost their industry billions of dollars when truckers already are coping with high fuel prices. 
The state air resources board is reviewing a measure that would require each commercial diesel truck to install newer soot traps on exhaust pipes.  That would reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, according to board spokeswoman Karen Caesar… 

“We do need this regulation…diesel trucks contribute 35 tons per day diesel exhaust statewide to our air…”
And, Caesar says that leads to increased cases of sickness…including cancer, asthma and other breathing problems.
But, the California Truckers Association’s Julie Sauls…says the truckers already are complying with clean air rules and can’t afford the new pollution equipment… 
“The traps that they are requiring to reduce the emissions run anywhere from ten to 80-thousand dollars…depending on the equipment…”
That’s the cost per vehicle, Sauls says. 
The Air Resources Board is expected to vote on the proposed rule in December and it could start in 2010 for any big rig…in state or from outside California.  Meantime, truckers are urging the board to provide them with grants to help pay the costs of the soot traps.