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Trucking Groups Oppose Proposed Diesel Rules in D.C.

December 5, 2013

The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) and other trucking associations (including the American Trucking Association and American Moving and Storage Association) are fighting a new District of Columbia legislation.

Entitled the “Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013,” this legislation is designed to improve the health of D.C. residents by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s website. To create cleaner air and improve health, the act would promote the use of alternative-fuel vehicles and expand mass-transit benefits for employees.

“Our message today is clear — sustainability is health — and our Sustainable DC Plan is about creating the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the nation in one generation,” said Mayor Gray.

But this legislation would also prohibit new diesel-powered commercial vehicles from entering the city of D.C. after 2017 — unless the vehicle had been previous registered in the city. And according to the TRALA, this act is unnecessary due to the trucking industry’s compliance with federal mandates that have reduced emissions.

In a letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, TRALA and the other trucking associations explained that under the International Registration Plan (IRP), “a vehicle registered under the Plan is actually registered in and by each IRP member in which it is authorized to travel.” Therefore, after Jan. 1, 2018, no new diesel vehicle would be allowed in D.C. — even to just pass by on a busy interstate without stopping to do business, says TRALA.

In addition, a lot of new diesel trucks contain advanced safety technologies like anti-rollover and stability control systems and collision avoidance systems. If the legislation allows older trucks to run in D.C. but prevents newer trucks with safety technologies from operating, it could affect safety on D.C. roads, says TRALA.

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