Since mandating statewide emissions standards for trucks that run freight in and out of California, the struggle to enforce it has been a tough one for the agencies tasked with doing so. The thought of how CARB (California Air Resource Board) might cover such a large state with limited enforcement staff has always been the weakest link in their plan to phase out older trucks that do not meet current state emission standards. Pop-up white tents were the norm at many rail and port facilities, as well as the occasional one at certain ports of entry, but still only covered a small portion of the trucks that run within the state. By now forming a new alliance with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), CARB has now taken a larger step to eliminate non-compliant trucks, by at least taking control of the mandate for the trucks based within the state.
If you think about it, given CARB’s limited enforcement staff in comparison to the amount of trucks in California, the move they are now putting into place makes perfect sense. What better way to take the target trucks off the road than making sure they just can’t be plated in this state anymore? You in fact read that right, CARB and DMV have partnered up and are now going to restrict registration on non-compliant trucks in a phase-out schedule, which I have pictured below from the CARB website. Paralleling their emissions regulations for compliant trucks that were given sunset dates on certain model years, their registration denials for certain model years will follow the same schedule from the DMV for not being able to renew cab cards for operation.
No matter which side of the fence you are on when it comes to the fairness and ethics behind this issue, you have to agree that this move of CARB and DMV teaming up signals a solid move forward in their agenda of rule enforcement in California. If you are one of the carriers based within the state that have been skirting the lack of enforcement with your non-compliant trucks, which I see out there all the time, know that there will be no way to hide anymore. For those that think they are okay because they are based elsewhere out-of-state and run in and out of California under the radar, know that this move signals a move by CARB to begin harsher enforcement and that a measure to regulate this type of regulation avoidance is likely in the works as well.