California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s revised May budget has allocated an additional $48 million to the state’s Air Resources Board to help low-income truckers comply with regulations aimed at cleaning up diesel emissions from trucks and buses, the agency announced Monday, May 19.
CARB says the funds from AB118 will combine with previously allocated Proposition 1B funding to help truckers pay for the engine retrofits and replacements that will be required beginning in 2010 after the agency approves in October the country’s first regulation aimed at cleaning an estimated 420,000 trucks and buses registered in California as well as those coming in from other states.
CARB says it will work with the Treasurers Office to use the 118 funds to facilitate low-interest loans to help truckers install soot filtration devices or completely replace older, dirtier engines; funds also will be used to help truckers add devices such as side skirts and wider tires that reduce aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance of trailers, which save fuel and thus lessen greenhouse gas emissions.
“This money will help truckers in the state, many of whom are struggling financially, to retrofit and replace engines to help all of us breathe easier,” says CARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “We appreciate the Governor’s and Legislature’s support on this crucial public health issue.”
CARB projects the regulation will cost the trucking industry somewhere between $3.6 to $5.5 billion from 2010 to 2021. CARB says its staff reworked an earlier version of the draft regulation to eliminate the need for truckers to replace trucks twice, instead relying more heavily on retrofits for the first two years of the regulation. The proposed regulation now calls for truckers to retrofit pre-2007 model year trucks with soot filters, and then requires a gradual modernization of trucks beginning in 2012 so that ultimately all trucks are the cleanest 2010 or newer models.