Nearly everyone in trucking knows California regulators love their heavy truck speed limit of 55 miles per hour. It’s a pain in the butt for any truck going through the “Golden State,” but it’s their golden rule. The delightful state government agency everyone just loves to hate, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) might have found themselves going faster than the legal speed limit.
You see, CARB loves to implement change, in particular, changing anything dealing with particulates. You could say they’re the reason we are now putting fertilizer into our diesel exhaust systems. I’m a farmer, I know what urea is and what it should be used for. They even gave us these nice stickers to put on our trucks to say they are “CARB Compliant.” Yet the agency keeps changing the rules so often that the sticker is as useful as a bumper sticker – in other words, it’s just a decoration.
CARB hates NOx emissions, yet we have DEF systems that eat that?!?
Now that you understand what we’re dealing with, let’s see what CARB went and did this time. The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) is not happy with CARB; they were only given two years to comply with the Heavy-Duty Omnibus Regulation on new emission standards. The problem is that Congress mandated a four-year period in 42 U.S. Code § 7521 – Emission standards for new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines:
3 (C)Lead time and stability.—
Any standard promulgated or revised under this paragraph and applicable to classes or categories of heavy-duty vehicles or engines shall apply for a period of no less than 3 model years beginning no earlier than the model year commencing 4 years after such revised standard is promulgated.
In response to CARB’s action, EMA launched a lawsuit in the Central District of California on May 27. The association is seeking an injunction using the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution to have the federal court order that CARB hold the Heavy-Duty Omnibus Regulation until Model Year 2026. The current date for the Omnibus Regulation is January 1, 2024.
You don’t get to force feed regulations this time CARB!
To quote EMA President Jed R. Mandel:
“Manufacturers and our customers should not be forced to short circuit the design, development and integration process, and CARB should not be allowed to circumvent Congress’ clear mandate to provide adequate lead time. We urge the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to reaffirm the minimum four-year lead time requirement. We hope this matter will be resolved quickly so that manufacturers have the lead time and regulatory certainty needed to develop and build the products our customers – and our economy – depend on.”