The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (CNGVC) says California’s recently passed multibillion-dollar transportation bill, SB 1, contains a provision that allows diesel trucks to be on the road for a minimum of 13 years but not more than 18 years or 800,000 miles, whichever comes first. It states that regulators can’t require owners to retire, replace, retrofit, or repower their trucks within 13 years of the model year or before the vehicle hits 800,000 miles.
The provision will keep polluting trucks on the roads longer and will likely make it more difficult for port operators to move to ultralow-emission fleets. It is likely to adversely affect the State Implementation Plan and the South Coast AQMD’s Air Quality Management Plan that was recently approved. The Coalition, however, believes key agencies can continue to make progress with clean trucks plans.
“The ports of Lost Angeles and Long Beach should not let the passage of SB 1 deter them from moving forward aggressively with their Clean Air Action Plan,” said Todd Campbell, Coalition board president and vice president of public policy and regulatory affairs at Clean Energy. “They need to stay the course and avoid the necessity of state or federal agencies stepping in to mandate federal ozone attainment in less than six years.
The governor, Caltrans, and trucking industry leaders added the provision in a last-minute deal to gain support for the bill’s fuel taxes, which raise the base excise tax on diesel by 20 cents per gallon and on gasoline by 12 cents. The sales tax on diesel will also go up by four percentage points.