Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Truck Fleet Faces $523,675 Fine for Non-Compliance with CARB Rules

When They Find You, They Will Fine You...
This month, CARB fined a Taft, CA based trucking firm over $500,000 for not complying with several HDD programs. Typically, fines of this size have been reserved for importers of non-compliant small engines or manufacturer and distributors of cleaning chemicals and supplies.  This recent fine is a blatant signal that CARB is out there and stepping up enforcement activites on motor carriers operating in California.

Although it may take many weeks or sometimes months to reach a “settlement”, truck operators should understand that all it takes is one violation to bring down the house.
Over the years, many fleets have given CARB the “one-fingered-salute” when it comes to the in-use truck regulations; resting on the fact that the limited enforcement capability of CARB would allow them to operate without incident through the ever tightening requirements. Those days are numbered; when CARB finds a fleet that has not been doing anything, they have little, if any sympathy.

And what makes these fines even more unsettling is the fact that not only are fleets required to pay the citation, but they must also bring their fleet into compliance within 45 days of the settlement.
The trucking fleet in question must not only demonstrate compliance, but they are also required to fulfill a payment plan of over $43,000 to the state each month through the end of 2015. The fleet must also designate an individual to attend classes on existing regulations as well as maintenance procedures for emission control equipment. Not to mention submitting annual smoke testing reports and even installing “Low NOx” software on particular model year engines.

CARB has made it crystal clear over the past 15+ years of HDD enforcement that fines are not to be considered a “cost of doing business”. In fact, CARB has statutory authority to fine a truck fleet up to $10,000 per day that a fleet is out of compliance with the statewide On-Road Truck and Bus Rule.
Considering the On-Road Rule started in 2012, a single citation that leads to a full fleet audit may be enough to put a fleet out of business.  CARB has even been inclined to levy unfair business practices lawsuits at fleets for non-compliance. And no matter where a fleet is based, if they come into California, they are subject to a host of regulations.

Although the cost of compliance is high, CARB expects fleets to meet the deadlines or face the fines. To put it harshly, fleets have three choices when it comes to dealing with CARB compliance this late in the regulatory scheme of things; suck it up, pass it on or go away. It is the current regulatory reality here in the Golden State.
While many carriers have boycotted California, even more have not, and if they want to do business here, they must address their CARB compliance issues. When they find you, they will fine you, no way around it.

Details of this settlement and others can be found at .  

1 comment:

  1. This is hard on small companies but good news in that shady non compliant conversion companies pushing expensive CNG conversion classes with non-compliant conversion kits for over the road California licensed vehicles will finally be put out of business.