The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with two interstate trucking companies claiming to violate the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Truck and Bus Regulation. The companies Capurro Trucking and Republic Services operate heavy-duty diesel trucks in California, among other states, and have failed to install controls to reduce pollution, upgrade year-model engines, or verify that trucks comply with state regulations. The EPA brought these enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act. Capurro Trucking paid a civil penalty of $119,162, and Republic Services, comprised of 30 entities, paid a civil penalty of $100,000 to resolve individual EPA violation complaints against the companies.
“National truck fleets operating within California must comply with our state’s truck and bus rules that regulate hazardous air pollution,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Administrator Martha Guzman. “Responsible companies protect the environment and public health, especially in already burdened California communities that suffer from heavy pollution from diesel-fueled, heavy-duty trucks. ”
Diesel emissions from trucks are one of California’s largest sources of fine particle pollution, or soot, which has been linked to a variety of health issues, including asthma, impaired lung development in children, and cardiovascular effects in adults. About 625,000 trucks are registered out of state but operate in California and are subject to the rule. Many of these vehicles are older models and emit large amounts of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, a precursor to ozone, another air pollutant responsible for California’s poor air quality.
The California Truck and Bus Regulation has been a key part of the federal implementation of the state’s plan to achieve cleaner air since 2012. The rule requires trucking companies to upgrade the vehicles they own. to meet specific performance standards for emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter and to verify compliance of the vehicles they rent or ship. As of January 1, 2023, all vehicles subject to the rule that travel in California must have a 2010 model year engine or equivalent emissions.
In April 2023, the California Air Resources Board approved a rule requiring a phased-in transition toward the use of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Known as Advanced Clean Fleets, the new rule will help put California on a path toward fully transitioning trucks that travel across the state to zero-emissions technology by 2045. The rule is expected to generate $26.5 billion in health savings from reduced asthma attacks, emergency room visits, and respiratory illnesses. Additionally, CARB believes that fleet owners will save an estimated $48 billion in their total operating costs from the transition through 2050.
In July 2023, CARB and truck and engine manufacturers announced an unprecedented partnership to meet clean air goals. The new Clean Truck Partnership agreement offers flexibility to address the public health of Californians and the needs of truck and engine manufacturers who are building the technology necessary for the transition to zero emissions.