U.S. EPA settles with six companies over California trucking rules
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recent settlements with six companies totaling over $450,000 in penalties for violating the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Truck and Bus Regulation and Drayage Truck Regulation. The companies either failed to install particulate filters on their own heavy-duty diesel trucks, failed to verify that trucks they hired for use in California complied with the state rules, or failed to maintain required records. As part of one of the settlements, $90,000 will be spent on an air filtration system at one or more schools in the South Coast Air Basin.
“Heavy-duty trucks can emit drastically higher levels of pollution when not equipped with required emissions controls,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Transport companies must comply with California’s rule to improve air quality and protect adjacent communities from breathing these toxic pollutants.”
Diesel emissions from trucks are one of the state’s largest sources of fine particle pollution, or soot, which is linked to a variety of health issues, including asthma, impaired lung development in children, and cardiovascular effects in adults. About 625,000 trucks are registered outside of the state but operate in California and are subject to the rule. Many of these vehicles are older models and emit high amounts of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.
Today’s announcement highlights separate administrative settlement agreements with the following companies:
The Coca-Cola Company failed to verify that 63 of the carriers it hired in California from 2015 to 2017 complied with the Truck and Bus rule. In addition, the company dispatched drayage trucks that did not meet emission standards and failed to verify that their contracted truck owners were registered with the CARB’s Drayage Truck Registry. The company, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, agreed to pay a $145,000 penalty.
Mercer Transportation Company Inc. failed to verify that their contracted truck owners were registered with the CARB’s Drayage Truck Registry and failed to maintain records. The company, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, failed to comply with CARB’s regulation governing drayage moves destined to or from California ports from 2015 to 2017. Mercer Transportation Company agreed to pay a $46,787 civil penalty.
Liquid Transport LLC and Liquid Transport Corp. operated heavy-duty diesel trucks in California from 2014 to 2017 without the required diesel particulate filters. The companies also failed to verify that 122 of the carriers it hired to transport goods in California complied with the Truck and Bus rule. In addition, the firms owned and dispatched 22 drayage trucks that did not meet emission standards and were not registered with CARB’s Drayage Truck Registry. The companies, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, agreed to pay a $150,000 penalty.
Dean Foods Company operated 14 heavy-duty diesel trucks from 2014 to 2017 without the required diesel particulate filters and failed to maintain records for 40 vehicles. The company, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, agreed to pay a $30,000 civil penalty and will spend $90,000 on a supplemental environmental project to install an air filtration system to reduce harmful air pollutants in classrooms in one or more schools in the South Coast Air Basin, which includes Orange County and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
D&E Transport LLC operated 26 heavy-duty diesel trucks in California from 2014 to 2017 without the required diesel particulate filters. The company also failed to verify that 104 of the carriers it hired to transport goods in California complied with the Truck and Bus rule. The company, headquartered in Clearwater, Minnesota, agreed to pay a $55,000 civil penalty.
Flat Creek Transportation LLC operated 24 heavy-duty diesel trucks in California from 2014 to 2018 without the required diesel particulate filters and failed to maintain records for 63 vehicles. The company, headquartered in Kinston, Alabama, agreed to pay a $71,250 penalty.
The California Truck and Bus Regulation has been an essential part of the state’s federally enforceable plan to attain cleaner air since 2012. The rule requires trucking companies to upgrade vehicles they own to meet specific NOx and particulate matter performance standards and to verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions standards or use diesel particulate filters that can reduce the emissions of diesel particulates into the atmosphere by 85% or more.
The California Drayage Truck Regulation was also adopted into federal Clean Air Act plan requirements in 2012 and applies to owners and operators of drayage trucks operating in California, motor carriers that dispatch such vehicles, marine or port terminals, and intermodal rail yards. In particular, the Drayage Truck Regulation requires owners and operators of drayage trucks operating in California to meet specific emissions standards and register such trucks with the Drayage Truck Registry administered by the California Air Resources Board.
For more information on California’s Truck and Bus rule, please visit: ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/truck-and-bus-regulation.
For more information California’s Drayage Truck Rule, please visit: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/drayage-trucks-seaports-railyards .
For more information on the Clean Air Act, please visit: www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview.
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