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SB 1 Provision Likely to Hamper Clean Truck Regulations

April 10, 2017

The Legislature passed California’s multibillion-dollar transportation bill, SB 1, in a late-night session April 6—with a provision that allows diesel trucks to be on the road for a minimum of 13 years but not more than 18 years or 800,000 miles, whichever comes first. It states that regulators can’t require owners to retire, replace, retrofit, or repower their trucks within 13 years of the model year or before the vehicle hits 800,000 miles.

The provision will keep polluting trucks on the roads longer and will likely make it more difficult for port operators to move to ultralow-emission fleets. It is likely to adversely affect the State Implementation Plan and the South Coast AQMD’s Air Quality Management Plan, which CARB approved last week.

The Coalition, however, believes key agencies can continue to make great progress with clean trucks plans.

“The ports of Lost Angeles and Long Beach should not let the passage of SB 1 deter them from moving forward aggressively with their Clean Air Action Plan,” said Todd Campbell, Coalition board president and vice president of public policy and regulatory affairs at Clean Energy. “They need to stay the course and avoid the necessity of state or federal agencies stepping in to mandate federal ozone attainment in less than six years.

“A CAAP that addresses the serious NOx and greenhouse gas issues in Southern California by using existing, affordable technology and fuel is very achievable,” he continued. “We will continue to work with the Legislature to address the issues in SB1 that create perceived impediments to the goal of cleaning up our polluted skies.”

The governor, Caltrans, and trucking industry leaders added the provision in a last-minute deal to gain support for the bill’s fuel taxes, which raise the base excise tax on diesel by 20 cents per gallon and on gasoline by 12 cents, reported Truckinginfo.com. The sales tax on diesel will also go up by four percentage points. The SCAQMD and environmental groups opposed the provision.

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