Diesel Trucks

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Air Pollution Standards Mean Truckers Must Retrofit or Upgrade — Soon

California Air Resources Board field representative Barry Pratt (right) questions Canadian trucker Henry Gustof, left, as a CARB team inspects trucks for compliance with clean air rules at a weighing station north of Los Angeles. Gustof’s engine met CARB standards. (Chris Richard/KQED)

California Air Resources Board field representative Barry Pratt (right) questions Canadian trucker Henry Gustof, left, as a CARB team inspects trucks for compliance with clean air rules at a weighing station north of Los Angeles. Gustof’s engine met CARB standards. (Chris Richard/KQED)

By Chris Richard

Every time Bloomington dump truck operator Ruben Garcia pulls up at a job site, he finds himself caught in the same conversation: “What are you going to do next year?”

Not everyone has a good answer.

“If we can clean up these fleets, then we will definitely have a positive impact on public health.”
Truckers in the Port of Oakland grabbed headlines recently when they held a demonstration at Oakland City Hall, demanding an extension to the January 1st  deadline to upgrade their engines to meet California pollution standards. They also want additional state subsidies to help them meet the cost. Meanwhile, general freight and construction truck drivers face a separate January deadline to start replacing their vehicles or install filters that can cost as much as a second-hand truck. That rule applies to most of the big rigs on the state’s roads. It’s an especially heavy burden for small operators.

“It’s like telling the person who works in an office that they’ve got to tear down the office because the outside of the office building doesn’t work well with the environment.” he said. “Those trucks are our offices. That’s how we make our living.” Continue reading

Quick Read: Diesel Truck Pollution in West Oakland Plummets

Diesel trucks in West Oakland. (Photo: Xan West)

Diesel trucks in West Oakland. (Photo: Xan West)

West Oakland residents have long been plagued by polluted air that comes from living near a huge port and three freeways. Rates of asthma and other illnesses are high. In early 2010, the Port of Oakland implemented a program to replace and retrofit the diesel trucks that rumble in and out of the neighborhood to comply with new state laws to reduce pollution.

Researchers at U.C. Berkeley measured emissions before the program started and again in mid-2010, just months after it went into effect.

The researchers found a dramatic change, just in those few months. The Berkeley Transportation Letter reports that “after the first phase of the emission control program took effect in early 2010, black smoke emissions were reduced by about half. NOx emissions also dropped by 40 percent.”  NO(nitrogen oxide) is a key contributor to smog.

Read the entire story here.