Pollution Regulation Exemption Leads to Controversy
Trucking companies are used to dealing with regulatory compliance. Schedules, hiring practices, and other aspects of the industry are all affected by numerous laws. Pollution laws are also a well-known topic among trucking companies. Many federal regulations have put pressure on trucking companies to reduce their emissions. It’s understandable that larger trucking companies have more resources at their disposal to make these changes. Still though, some maintain that it is unfair to provide additional leeway for smaller companies.
In California, some maintain that regulators have created an unfair business landscape by easing their stance on small trucking companies. Deadlines were postponed to allow these smaller firms to acquire the technology they needed. Larger companies had already invested heavily in cleaner engines and pollution controls to comply with the new regulations.
The California Trucking Association along with the John R. Lawson Rock and Oil Trucking Company sued The California Air Resources Board over its choice to delay the enforcement of new emission rules for smaller companies. The lawsuit claims the board violated both the Administrative Procedures Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.
Aside from violating the aforementioned acts, the postponement purportedly gives smaller firms an advantage over larger ones. While these smaller firms may not have the type of resources available to adapt to new changes quickly, they also derived economic benefits from their additional time according to some parties. It has also been said that these economic ramifications were not considered during the decision making process.
The California Air Resources Board defended their decision, stating that the extreme economic pressures put on smaller fleets and owner-operators to comply with regulations warranted additional time. This issue will continue to receive additional attention in the future, and the debate is clearly unfinished regarding pollution regulations and their effect on the economic landscape of trucking.