Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Heavy-duty diesel trucks filling the air with dark smoke were inspected at Otay Mesa before entering Mexico today.
Not all the trucks heading south were inspected. Some showed signs of violations, but Beth White, manager of truck and bus regulation with the Air Resources Board, said most were in compliance. Enforcement is not only looking for truck and bus regulation violations, but also to remind fleet companies of the regulations in general.
“If they see (trucks) that looks like a 1996- to 1999-model-year engine truck, they will probably wave them over because predominantly the trucks that have those engines had to meet a requirement at the beginning of this year to comply with the truck and bus regulations,” she said.
The inspections are part of “Gear Up For Clean Trucks” month campaign. State measures require diesel trucks to have fuel-saving technology, diesel soot filters and upgraded older engines. Fleet information is reported to the Air Resources Board. Inspectors were at sites throughout California this month.
Having these inspections also helps keep a level playing field in the industry between fleets, White said.
Most importantly, she said since California has the worst air quality in the nation and a high level of respiratory diseases, these checks are necessary.
White said this campaign is to ensure cleaner air in California for future generations. Her son has reactive respiratory disease, so she has a great incentive to make sure these trucks are in compliance.
“We are constantly hearing in our board meetings, we have kids saying, ‘I have asthma, my brother has asthma,’ and we just really want you to clean the air up,” she said. “So we hear that loud and clear from everyone and we’re doing what we can do achieve that.”
She said any trucks crossing the California border can be inspected for regulations, whether they are from another state or country.
By 2023 all the heavy-duty trucks should have 2010 or newer engines in them and nearly all trucks should have diesel shoot filters by 2016. There are incentive programs for companies to become compliant with the state regulations through the Air Resources Board, like the Voucher Incentive Program.