Sean Edgar – Updated from CTN, April 2014
Over the last month, we have received numerous calls from truckers (and CCTA members) with questions about CARB enforcement practices. From on-highway inspections in the entire state to inspections on private property such as dumps, truck stops, material plants and construction job-sites; many have seen an increased CARB presence.
This month’s column is dedicated to helping members understand what their legal obligations are. In short, we will review what you MUST DO and my view of what you SHOULD DO when responding to CARB inspections or audits including those inspection stops on public or even private property, such as your own truck terminal.
Roadside Inspection Locations: “Where-Ever Trucks Operate!”
This is what state laws under the CA Code of Regulations say. “Right of Entry. For the purpose of inspecting vehicles subject to this regulation and their records to determine compliance with this regulation, an agent or employee of CARB, upon presentation of proper credentials, has the right to enter any facility (with any necessary safety clearances) where vehicles are located or vehicle records are kept.”
(See: “Truck and Bus Regulation” at 13CCR Section 2025 (v)).
Note: 1.) “Any facility” can mean dump sites, construction projects on public or private lands (shipping/receiving facilities) or even construction jobs or material plants, even truck-stops. And per 13CCR Section 2181. 2.) CHP escorts are not required to be with CARB inspectors when they direct you to pull over and stop.
Roadside Inspections: What a Driver MUST DO
The listing below provides references to the truck driver’s legal obligations when stopped by law enforcement of even CARB’s own inspection and enforcement officers. All truck drivers must:
1. Submit to a Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection:
(See Title 13CCR Section 2181)
“(A) Driver of heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicle. The driver of a heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicle selected to undergo the inspection procedure shall do all of the following:
a) Drive the vehicle to the inspection site upon direction of an officer.
b) Show proof of driver’s license and vehicle registration to the inspector or officer upon request.
c) Perform the test procedure upon request by an inspector.
d) Open the vehicle door so that the inspector can observe the driver depress the accelerator pedal.
e) Permit an emission control system inspection and open the hood of the vehicle upon the request of the inspector.
f) As applicable, sign the Citation or Notice of Violation to acknowledge its receipt and sign the smoke test report to acknowledge performance of the test procedure.”
2. Provide Documents for Filters Installed (see 13CCR Section s):
“(a) VDECS Documentation. For each engine requiring a VDECS to comply with the regulation, the owner shall keep the following documentation in the vehicle and provide it upon request to an agent or employee of the CARB:
a) A statement signed by the installer at the time of installation of the VDECS affirming that the installation was performed by an installer authorized by the VDECS manufacturer;
b) The name of the company installing the device;
c) The date the device was installed;
d) Description of VDECS installed;
e) VDECS family name;
f) Serial number of installed VDECS; and
g) Verification level and year of verification of the installed VDECS.”
3. “Good Faith Effort” Documentation
“Vehicle owners must keep copies of purchase orders, receipts, contracts, or correspondence from dealers or financial institutions at their place of business and in the vehicle at a location known to the driver. Records that document good faith efforts must be kept for two years and may be subject to audit. Vehicle owners that made good faith efforts before January 1, 2014, and are still unable to meet the compliance requirements of the regulation should contact CARB at the number below before July 1, 2014, in order to discuss alternative compliance options and penalties.”
Roadside Inspection Failure to Comply: Vehicle Impound: (see CA vehicle code section 27159)
“Any uniformed member of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) may order a vehicle stored when it is located within the territorial limits (the entire state) in which the (CHP) member may act if requested by a representative of the State Air Resources Board (CARB) to remove the vehicle from service pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 44011.6 of the Health and Safety Code. All towing and storage fees for a vehicle removed under this section shall be paid by the owner.”
CleanFleets understands that this provision has been exercised on about 500 occasions over the past few years.
4. Roadside Inspections: What a Driver SHOULD DO
The listing below provides CleanFleets suggestions that a truck driver should do:
- Carry clear documents in a weatherproof pouch (the current CARB certificate, DPF installation invoices, the most recent Fact Sheet from the CCTA website showing your trucks compliance deadline);
- Keep maintenance records in the vehicle (the most recent opacity test, filter cleaning invoice and 90-day inspection)
- Be patient, polite and answer questions truthfully. Know that handing over current documents as suggested above can shorten an inspection greatly.
- Know that enforcement officers have very little ability to change the law as written today – your time is money and arguing at roadside cannot change the law!
Roadside Inspection Basics: “Attitude is Everything”
Over the past few years I have been fortunate to do training for more than 5,000 truckers impacted by CARB rules. At a recent session I was pressed to explain “exactly” how a roadside inspection takes place (for example: who says what, who can issue a ticket, how much the ticket could be for, do I need to stop for inspection or keep on going?).
I blurted out the first thoughts that came to my mind – the outcome is the direct result of the attitude of the driver and also that of the enforcement officer. A combative truck driver is probably going to be spending more time on the side of the road then one who can hand over proof of compliance and cooperate with any tests that are ordered.
Recordkeeping & Paperwork Audits by CARB
On a random basis or in responses to complaints or multiple citations, CARB may open an enforcement case on a truck owner. CARB has access to the databases of the DMV and CHP and routinely issues audit letters to truck owners. Below is the regulation language and what to expect if audited.
The regulation states, “Audit of Records: The vehicle owner must make records available to CARB at its request for audit to verify the accuracy of the records. In the event the records are not made available within 30 days of the request, the CARB may assess penalties for non-compliance. (See “Truck and Bus Regulation” at 13CCR Section 2025 (t))
Relating to PSIP/opacity testing, fleet owners must, “permit an Air Resources Board inspector to review the inspection records specified in section 2194 at owner/operator designated fleet locations by appointment.” (see 13CCR Section 2192).
Paperwork Audits: What a Truck Owner SHOULD DO
These are suggestions that a truck owner should do if audited by CARB:
- Provide clear copies of the documents in a timely manner and obtain proof of mailing.
- Keep EVERY PURCHASE AND MAINTENANCE RECORD for as long as you own the truck and be prepared to hand over any DPF documents (and make a Sales Disclosure) for any truck you sell.
Can the AQMD’s Also Inspect My Trucks and Fine Me Too?
At Least Three (3) Levels of Oversight.
There are three levels of government that implement clean air regulations, requirements and enforcement.
- The US EPA is responsible for stationary sources (like factories, landfills and some mining operations). It also develops motor vehicle emissions standards (like the 2007 and 2010 diesel engine standards).
- CARB is the state agency under CalEPA that is also granted the authority to regulate motor vehicle emissions (mobile sources) under a provision in the federal Clean Air Act (the federal law signed in the 1970’s recognized that California had several clean air laws in place prior to the federal law).
- An finally there is the 35 local air quality management districts (abbreviated as “AQMDs” or “APCDs”) primarily oversee stationary sources and have only narrow authority over mobile sources like trucks. The South Coast AQMD (SCAQMD) is the largest and most “active” and covers all of Los Angeles Orange and smaller western but populated parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
So Who Enforces What?
CARB enforces its many statewide rules like the Truck and Bus Regulation, Port/Drayage Truck Regulation, TRU regs and other programs like the Engine Label and Periodic Smoke Inspection.
There are two exceptions in the Southland. First, the Port of Los Angeles Police Department has an agreement with CARB to enforce against truckers in their jurisdiction. Second, starting around 1999 SCAQMD passed rules affecting diesel transit buses, trash trucks, street sweepers and public agency operated trucks.
Those rules require the public agencies and their contractors to purchase natural gas vehicles when replacing trucks. SCAQMD inspectors may conduct inspections to ensure compliance with their local fleet purchasing requirements but they do not have an agreement (at this time) with CARB to write citations for trucks that may be in violation of CARB’s truck regulations.
We highly recommend that all CCTA members keep their CARB TRUCRS filing for the current year in each vehicle and drivers are trained to hand it over at inspection stops.
Who You Gonna Call?
CARB’s help line is 1-866-6DIESEL. Also a new and improved CARB website can be found at the following link: www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/truckstop/tb/truckbus.htm
CCTA Staff members, Rudy, Betty, George and Joe can at least help point you in the right direction, especially if you are a small fleet.
CCTA’s endorsed CARB Consultant CleanFleets can potentially help resolve some of CCTA member’s issues at a discounted fee.
916-520-6040 Ext 102