CARB seeks to mandate SmartWay specs

As part of its response to a 2006 state law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the California Air Resources Board has drafted regulations that would require tractors and trailers be spec’d or retrofit to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay certification for aerodynamics and the rolling resistance of tires.

The proposed regulation would apply to long-haul heavy-duty tractors and 53-foot box-type trailers operating in California, regardless of the state of registration. New tractors and trailers would have to meet the standards beginning with model year 2011. Older tractors and trailers would have to be retrofit by 2014 under a phase-in schedule based on fleet size.

Although carriers and their drivers will be subject to enforcement on the roadside and at loading docks, the agency says it will focus compliance on California-based shippers and receivers rather than the trucking industry directly. CARB believes that focusing compliance on shippers and receivers makes it more likely that the initial costs would be passed to California consumers rather than truck owners.

CARB’s board plans to consider the regulation in October.