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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA holds trucking company accountable for failure to install emissions controls on its California fleet

Contact Information: 
Monica Lee (lee.monica@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO-Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Estes Express Lines will pay a $100,000 penalty for violations of the California Truck and Bus Regulation, for failing to install particulate filters on 73 of its heavy-duty diesel trucks (15% of its California fleet).

In California, mobile sources of diesel emissions, such as trucks and construction equipment, are one of the largest sources of fine particulates. About 625,000 trucks operating in California are registered outside of the state, many are older models emitting particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The California truck rules are the first of their kind in the nation and will prevent an estimated 3,500 deaths in California between 2010 - 2025.

The California Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted into federal Clean Air Act plan requirements in 2012 and apply to privately-owned diesel trucks and buses. The rule also requires any trucking company to ensure their subcontractors are only using compliant trucks, and requires companies to upgrade their vehicles to meet specific NOx and PM2.5 performance standards in California. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions levels or use diesel particulate filters, which can reduce the emissions of diesel particulate into the atmosphere by 85% or more.

"Trucks are the largest sources of air pollution in California, and the state has the worst air quality in the nation," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "EPA's enforcement efforts are aimed at ensuring all truck fleets operating in California are in compliance with pollution laws."

"ARB's partnership to enforce our clean truck and bus regulation with our partners at EPA is vitally important to us," said ARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. "It helps bring vehicles that are operating illegally into compliance, and levels the playing field for those who have already met the requirements."

In addition to the penalty, Estes will spend $290,400 towards projects to educate the out-of-state trucking industry on the regulation and for replacing old wood burning devices in the San Joaquin Valley. Estes will pay $35,000 to the University of California Davis Extension to implement a state-approved training program for out-of-state trucking firms on compliance with the rule. Estes will also pay $255,400 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's Burn Cleaner Incentive Program that will be used to replace 80 or more wood-burning devices with cleaner ones.

Estes is a large, private, for-hire trucking firm based in Virginia that owns and operates diesel-fueled vehicles in all 50 states. In February 2015, EPA issued a Notice of Violation to Estes after EPA's investigation found that the company failed to equip its heavy-duty diesel vehicles with particulate filters and failed to verify compliance with the Truck and Bus Regulation for its hired motor carriers. Estes now operates only new trucks in California.

Fine particle pollution can be emitted directly or formed secondarily in the atmosphere and can penetrate deep into the lungs and worsen conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

For more information on the Truck and Bus Rule, please visit:

For more information on the Clean Air Act, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/airprogm/oar/caa/