Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bad Faith?

Typical Indifference From our Favorite Four Letter Agency

CARB is up to its old tricks again, blaming lack of communication and regulatory indifference for a misinterpreted publically advertised exemption for fleets meeting 2014 On-Road deadlines.
Basically, if as a fleet operator, you took what CARB said in the Good Faith Advisory at face value  (See Out of Touch or Out of Reach – Monday, January 13, 2014), you thought that some relief was being provided in reaching the 2014, On-Road Truck and Bus deadline.
For the most part, you were correct, unless you happened to be applying for a Proposition 1B grant and you had more than 4 trucks in your fleet.
If that’s the case, then you do not get the “Good Faith” consideration, even though you might have drastically changed your compliance plan once the Advisory was released, albeit in full compliance with the pathways put forth in the Advisory.
Nothing in the Advisory informed fleets in this category that they would not be able to use the compliance “pass” until July 1, 2014, while maintaining eligibility for 1B grants because they needed to be in compliance on January 1, 2014.

According to CARB if you are using the Good Faith Extension (GFE), technically you are NOT in compliance for January 1, 2014; so, no grant. Suffice it to say, this came as a shock to fleets who thought they were doing everything correctly.

More or less, what it boils down to is that if you applied for grants you don’t get the GFE, if you didn’t apply for grants and didn’t do anything leading up to the release of the Advisory in November 2013, then you get until July 1, 2014 to demonstrate compliance.
Many fleets are benefitting from the GFE, and they should be allowed to continue to exercise the GFE for compliance, but, it is disingenuous to allow one set of the industry to receive relief, while the other subset must adhere to the original standards.
It would have been one thing if this was clearly laid out by CARB when they released the GFE, however, it was not, and in fact, nothing in the advisory gave anyone a different impression other than the GFE was open to anyone who could demonstrate one of the GFE options.
Unfortunately for many, a simple, innocent mistake in choosing GFE once the advisory came out has resulted in them being ineligible for 1B grants (thanks CARB!). The problem is that they were never told any differently. While CARB stationary division staff sits perched in their granite and marble tower in downtown Sacramento, hundreds of fleet operators out in the market are getting the shaft.
Shockingly enough, CARB cannot understand why this is an issue; per the guidelines, fleets knew they needed to demonstrate compliance above and beyond the trucks they were using to apply for grants.
For all intents and purposes the majority understood this issue and acted accordingly. However, once the GFE was released in November, after the application deadline for the first round of funding which closed October 10, 2013, fleets were now faced with a choice; continue down the same path, or exercise the GFE and receive a small amount of flexibility for 2014 compliance. Nothing in the GFE gave them any other indication that they would jeopardize their grant status by doing so.
Of course, CARB is sticking to their guns on this, even going so far to ask, “Is this even and issue?”.
CARB should recognize the good faith efforts of fleets applying for 1B grant funds and provide them the same opportunity for 2014 compliance demonstration just as they are allowing for everyone else in the industry. It would have been one thing if they explained this issue up front, but now, the horse is out of the barn, and the view isn’t changing.
Stay tuned…
Know a fleet in this situation...???
Contact us here or at http://www.cafleetsolutions.com/contacting-us.htm to share their info.

No comments:

Post a Comment