REDDING, Calif. — A new Carbon emissions regulation is about to go into effect in 2020, cracking down on commercial trucking emissions throughout the state of California.
The California Air Resource Board, also known as CARB, held a meeting on Tuesday, in Red Bluff for people who will be impacted by the new regulations.
They say between January 2020 and 2023 all commercial trucks must pass their new emissions standards, or they won't be able to register their trucks with the DMV making it illegal for them to drive on the road.
"I know people that have literally nearly gone out of business and I'm sure there are people who have gone out of business because they went out and spent tens of thousands of dollars to be compliant and all of a sudden, the guy next door who was running illegally, he does the job cheaper and he puts them out of business, So there are both sides to the story. There are small businesses that may have a difficult time. we understand that."
The new law only applies to commercial vehicles about the size of an F-450 and larger.
In order to meet the new requirements, commercial trucks must have a special filter that removes a lot of the toxic particulates and a newer engine, 2010 or newer, that reduces smog forming compounds.
CARB has been trying to enforce this diesel exhaust change for about 11 years in the state, but many commercial trucking companies have not yet complied.
Now, they won't be able to get away with it anymore.
Starting in about a month, commercial trucking businesses can expect to start getting notices in the mail from the DMV saying they must comply with the new regulations or they will not be able to register the vehicle at all.
However, the reason why many haven't done anything yet is that the cost can be enough to put them out of business.
To help businesses handle the expenses, Bruce Tuter with the CARB says they may have some programs that can help.
He says they can help businesses get in contact with some loan programs that work with the state to assist companies with affording the new engines or trucks.
They're hoping the loan programs can help businesses make the changes they need and stay on track.
Yet, the cost is still troubling for many commercial truck business owners.
“We feel it, every time we have to get an added loan. We feel it and we want to make sure that we give the best possible service to someone and not have to charge extra to compensate for these new vehicles we have to get,” said Jeff Thompson Owner of We Move It.
For Thompson’s moving company, the new regulations could mean big expenses, they can’t really afford.
The CARB says there are loan providers that can help them afford new trucks, but sometimes those expenses roll-over onto the customers.
"It puts a strain on it, you know. And it raised prices. It costs the customer more money because it's costing us more to operate so everyone has to raise prices and charge more for it,” said Eli Mizuta the owner of Elite Towing Company in Redding.
Mizuta’s already had to buy two new trucks to meet the regulation, but still has one more to go.
"I think the last quote on the new flatbed we got was about 111,000 and our newest wrecker was 140 something thousand. Which is a lot of money,” Mizuta said.
They both understand the new emissions law is there to help protect the environment, but it doesn't make it any easier for small business owners to afford it.
Now, they say they're just hoping to survive these trying times, so they can continue driving in the future.