Trucking Groups Battle Ultra-Strict Calif. Reefer Rules
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assoc. (OOIDA) has joined the American Trucking Assoc. (ATA) in contesting the new Airborne Toxic Control Measure proposed to the EPA by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), according to a Today’s Trucking report.The measure establishes tough, new environmental performance standards for any diesel-powered, in-use transport refrigeration units (TRU) and TRU generator sets that come into California, regardless of where the unit is titled. Even stricter than upcoming federal diesel engine emission mandates, the TRU standards will be phased-in over time and vary depending upon the age of the engine. The rule requires reductions in PM emissions of at least 50 percent for older engines and 85 percent for engines newer than 2002. Operators would either have to retrofit or replace existing, non-compliant TRUs before bringing them into California. OOIDA has filed comments with the EPA that echo the concerns of the ATA, including that the out-of-state carriers and owner-ops were not involved in CARB's rulemaking process; that both California and out-of-state truckers are dramatically affected by the costs and other burdens the rule imposes; and that the rule would require carriers to segregate their fleets into approved and non-compliant divisions.In addition, both OOIDA and ATA suggested that the cost of retrofitting or replacing TRUs, as required by CARB, could cost between $2,000 and $20,000, which is way too expensive for smaller, independent owner-operators, Today’s Trucking report.