The proposed diesel emission rule would require operators to upgrade or replace heavy-duty diesel vehicles like school and private buses and big rig trucks to meet stricter air quality standards by 2014.
A respiratory specialist at the UC Davis Medical Center – Dr. Samuel Louie – says a change needs to happen now. He says diesel emissions cause some of the most harmful pollution. He says diesel exhaust particulates can lodge deep in the lungs and cause illness. Louie says this pollution caused almost 5,000 premature deaths last year.
“This really effects everybody – not only people with lung disease and heart disease, the young and the old – it effects every Californian.”
But Betty Plowman with the California Dump Truck Owners Association says in this economy, the rule could cripple the trucking industry.
“We have people that cannot afford groceries. They cannot possibly go out and do this now, even with incentive funding.”
The California Air Resources Board is expected to vote on the proposal by the end of the week.