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California Air Board, Port Truckers Strike Deal on Diesel Emissions Rules

CARBdeadlinesAverting a possible shutdown, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Port of Oakland truckers agreed to a last-minute deal that included additional funding to help the truckers comply with stricter requirements on diesel emissions that officially took effect on Jan. 1 and a deadline extension that allow hundreds of big rigs to operate at the port for two weeks while they work to meet the new regulations, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Truckers at the Oakland facility were protesting regulations, called the Port Drayage Rule, passed in 2007 that prohibit large diesel trucks made before 1994 from operating at the state’s ports and rail yards, and require expensive filter retrofits on trucks made between 1994 and 2003, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The average cost of a particulate matter filter is $16,000, which removes 85 percent of the diesel emissions from older trucks, reports Refrigerated Transporter.

The $22 million in grants from the state to help the truckers pay for the filters or new trucks ran out, leaving the operators of about half of the 2,300 trucks that serve the Port of Oakland to face unemployment or big loans to pay for the retrofits, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The West State Alliance, in a letter sent to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, had asked for more funding and a time extension in meeting the drayage truck emissions requirements, reports TheTrucker.com.

Hours before the deadline the California Air Resources Board announced an additional $11 million in funding that will partly pay for more than 1,200 retrofits and more than 100 new trucks serving the Port of Oakland, according to a CARB press release.

The additional Proposition 1B funding will provide $5,000 per truck for 1,216 additional trucks to install particulate matter filters on their rigs, and provide $50,000 for owners of 103 old trucks to purchase newer models, according to CARB.

CARB said in the release it would continue to work with local, port and federal partners to seek additional compliance assistance funding. Click here for more information about the port truck regulations. (PDF).

Funding from CARB, local air districts, ports, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now totals more than $196 million statewide to help port truckers meet the 2010 requirements, reports Refrigerated Transporter.

CARB also announced an extension through April 30 to truck owners who have been approved for grants or who have secured private funding for retrofits or replacement trucks but are waiting for the new equipment to be delivered, reports TheTrucker.com.

If the sale or retrofit can’t be completed by Jan. 17, drivers will need to show proof of a contract or purchase agreement in order to apply for an extension to operate through April 30, according to state officials, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

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