Press Release Provided by the U.S. EPA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 16th settlements with three interstate trucking companies imposing $417,000 in penalties for violating the California Air Resources Board’s federally enforceable Truck and Bus Regulation, Drayage Truck Regulation and Transport Refrigeration Unit Regulation.
“As trucks are one of the largest sources of air pollution in California, EPA will continue to ensure these heavy-duty vehicles have the needed pollution-control equipment and operate in compliance with the rules,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “These companies have agreed to bring their trucks into compliance and operate more cleanly in all communities they serve.”
Transportation is a primary contributor to the high levels of air pollutants in Southern California and the Central Valley. Diesel emissions from trucks are one of the state’s largest sources of fine particle pollution, or soot, which is linked to health issues including asthma, impaired lung development in children, and cardiovascular effects in adults. Many of these trucks are older models and emit high amounts of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Some communities face a higher risk from respiratory and cardiovascular illness. For example, the area around Southern California’s I-710 freeway, which passes through 15 cities and unincorporated areas with a population of over one million residents – about 70% of which are minority and low-income populations is dense with goods-transport traffic, industrial facilities, residences, schools and day care facilities and serves the nearby ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. These entry points account for 40% of all imports to the U.S. The San Joaquin Valley’s air quality is also affected by heavy truck traffic on I-5 and Highway 99.
Today’s announcement highlights separate administrative settlement agreements with three companies:
Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc. operated heavy-duty diesel vehicles that lacked the diesel particulate filters required by the Truck and Bus Regulation and operated unregistered and noncompliant drayage trucks. The company also hired carriers to transport goods in California without verifying that the vehicles complied with the Truck and Bus Regulation, and dispatched drayage trucks without required record-keeping. As part of the settlement, the company will pay a $117,000 civil penalty and has agreed to use compliant trucks.
Ruan Transportation Management Systems Inc. operated heavy-duty diesel trucks in California lacking the required diesel particulate filters. Ruan also failed to verify that the carriers it hired to transport goods in California complied with the Truck and Bus Regulation. Ruan is the first company cited by EPA for failing to timely meet specified PM emission reductions in transport refrigeration equipment under State of California requirements. As part of the settlement, the company will pay a $125,000 civil penalty and will use compliant trucks.
The Boise Cascade Company failed to verify that the carriers it hired to transport goods in California complied with the Truck and Bus Regulation. As part of the settlement, the company will pay a $175,000 civil penalty and has agreed to use compliant trucks.
For the past several years, the California Truck and Bus Regulation and Drayage Truck Regulation have been essential parts of the state’s federally enforceable plan to attain cleaner air. California requires trucking companies to upgrade vehicles they own to meet specific NOx and PM performance standards and to verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions standards or use diesel particulate filters to reduce the diesel particulates emissions into the atmosphere by 85% or more. Owners and operators of drayage trucks operating in California must meet specific emissions standards and register these trucks with the state. Under California’s Transport Refrigeration Unit Regulation, owners and operators of transport refrigeration equipment that operate in California must meet performance standards that reduce particulate emissions by at least 50% (or 85% by certain deadlines depending upon the model year and horsepower of the equipment).