Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dressing Down, "Dress for Less"

Major California Retailer Cited for CARB Rule Violations
Ross Stores Inc., a Dublin, California based retailer was fined close to$39,000 for failing to confirm that companies they used to move merchandise met CARB Truck and Bus rule standards.

This is important for anyone moving anything by truck in or out of California. It represents a blatantly clear warning that CARB will go after cargo owners if they are arranging for transport and not verifying CARB compliance status.
This particular fine was  $38,250; made up in part of a fine of $750 for each of the 31 companies the company contracted with but did not verify compliance and $7500 for each company that did not meet CARB standards regardless of reported status.

Considering CARB could push their regulatory authority to cite on a daily basis or possibly a month to month fine for these BCO type entities, in this case, they did not. Legally, CARB’s authority allows for citations up to $10,000 for each day a fleet or covered entity is out of compliance.

Of course, $10,000 per day is a relatively harsh citation for a trucking firm, cargo owner, retailer or otherwise, but of course, anything is possible; the fine structure will always depend on severity.
What should be of interest to anyone who is shipping anything into or out of California is that Ross Stores Inc. was cited for not only contracting with non-compliant carriers, but they were also cited for merely not verifying that their trucking firms had even registered with CARB at all.
31 out of the 33 carriers Ross Stores Inc. contracted with were in compliance, the issue is that Ross Stores Inc. never confirmed carrier compliance status. Since most of their carriers met the standards, Ross Stores Inc. received the lower end of the citation matrix after carrier compliance was established. Nonetheless, a citation was still levied.
Although the Ross citation is probably not going to raise prices at the “dress for less” super chain, those carriers who were non-compliant are no longer hauling in California for Ross Stores Inc.

In the settlement agreement with CARB, Ross Stores Inc. agreed to CONFIRM that each company they contract with meets the CARB standards. No grace period, no phase in. No nada. 
The link to the settlement summary can be found below; this is not the first and it will certainly not be the last.

So, if you or someone you love is operating in California, be sure to remind them that CARB is not just some four letter word that isn’t worth its weight in particulate matter. They are out there… and when they find you, they WILL fine you.
Stay Tuned!

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