California Truckers Hate the Clean Air Laws

A long time ago, 1971 to be exact, I was in a car just peaking the crest on Hwy 5, at the Grapevine\Gorman Pass, just before you descend into the LA basin. To this day, I was shocked at the orange-brown layer of smog hovering and thinking, "God, do I have to go into that and breathe the air"?

Well, yes, and I did. I kept looking for signs of proof of the smog. I didn't notice anything but for a slight stinging in the eyes, which did not last. Once in the smog, to be honest, I did not notice anything. It was no different than anywhere else, I mean, I still saw the sun and blue sky and oddly, when you are in it, you just do not notice it as I did from the Gorman Pass.

Since then, California has become obsessed with clean air. Now, the air is very clean in many large urban areas.Obsessions are fine, at times, but they tend to extreme the extreme. For instance, in California, there are areas where no smog tests are requires, yet not more than 10 miles away, smog tests are stringent. The way around it is to have an address in that locale, but this is crazy. California gas is always more expensive than other states because the state requires refineries to make cleaner fuel, heck with the population who has to pay for it. Because refining "california" gas is special, there is less of it. California is tough on smog businesses and they can lose their license easily if the DMV sees any manipulation of results, using the wrong equipment for tests, or not following the procedures. Keep in mind, smog businesses are costly to start, at least $40,000 for the test computer. Yes, if your car is more than 30 years old, it is exempt from smog. But those built before 2000, are having a tougher time passing smog tests because of the rising air quality standards they test for. It seems like a big rip-off, smog tests are.

Now, California is going after the diesel trucks (diesel is actually cleaner than gas) in a major way. Your typical rig runs $160,000. Now, the state wants any rig older than 2006 models off the road, the sooner the better. They want all diesel trucks by 2023, to be not older than 2010 models to reduce their emissions. Th law impacts over a million trucks and 200,000 big 70 ft.+ rigs. The Feds are also applying weight on the state via highway funds and told California that several areas must be clean by 2014. The DMV has given the trucking firms with rigs and all others with trucks five years.

There is no other state in the US so extreme about clean air and prices will go up for any goods shipped by trucks, trucking firms have promised to pass it along to the consumer. Sometimes living in this state really sucks.

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Comments 7 comments

greenhealthguru profile image

greenhealthguru 4 years ago

The problem is you have politicians or in the case of the Air Resource Board, Bureaucrats making decisions without understanding the science. In their zeal to regulate clean air in the state, they also banned ozone for residential use. Ozone is a natural process in nature that actual breaks down and destroys pollution and I've known many truckers who use ozone machines or generators to keep the air in their truck clean. California used to be the 8th largest economy in the world, its still big, but its definitely lost a lot of businesses because it doesn't have business friendly laws.


kschang profile image

kschang 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

The problems are multi-fold.

1) CARB is a bunch of academics who failed to understand their regulations. Once they tried to regular the color of cars (i.e. no dark colored cars as that would make the AC run harder, decrease mileage) Then they tried to regulate type of glass to be more reflective (imagine getting glare everywhere you see cars!)

2) Diesel is a tough beast to tame, as it's not that easy to clean diesel as it is for gasoline. Diesel exhaust has particulates, and Sulfuric oxide and Nitrous Oxide (which makes acid rain). Particulates require particulate filters, while the oxides need special exhaust fluids (another maintanence item) or advanced engine design (EGR design like the gasoline engines).

You can buy particulate filters now... about $10K to 20K PER VEHICLE, but that doesn't do the oxides. You need something ELSE to do the oxides.

3) Several California jurisdictions, like "Port of Oakland", already pushed through their own clean-air legislation and outlawed non-compliant trucks. They are not waiting for CARB.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

What about my VW diesel car, I wonder....


Johnkadu123 profile image

Johnkadu123 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

A selfish approach to the environment will eventually lead to serious consequences. If you think that green living is a waste of time then you are abandoning the future generations to a life of hardship. I have seen the effects of pollution on a firsthand basis. The truckers may be inconvenience now but ultimately the regulations might help the rest of the community.

Having said that, I agree that the politicians should let the scientist advise them. Otherwise they will end up increasing the costs of doing business in California.

Thanks for a great hub.


greenhealthguru profile image

greenhealthguru 4 years ago

another piece to this is that globally fuel is about to get really expensive, especially with impending inflation in america. CARB will probably be the least of truckers worries at that point.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Clean air is important, but nationally and globally, the quest is so inconsistent-China is a major violator, their pollution does arrive here. Nationally, some states require no smog, others, have more lax standards. air pollution travels around the globe via the jet stream, to think Calif. stringent and obsessive requirements will make much difference is folly. Even within the state, there are inconsistencies from county to county and within counties where smog is required or not.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I think truckers have such a hard time in general when riding the roads. This will increase the cost of products as they begin to apply this law.

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