EPA Fines Two Trucking Companies for Violating California Air Pollution Rules

EPA Fines Two Trucking Companies for Violating California Air Pollution RulesSource: Google Street View
Nina Singh-Hudson
Published on December 11, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cracked down on two interstate trucking companies, Capurro Trucking and Republic Services, for skirting California's air pollution regulations, enforcing hefty fines and highlighting the ongoing battle for cleaner air in a state choked by diesel emissions. The EPA announced today that the settlements require Capurro Trucking to shell out $119,162 and Republic Services, which includes 30 entities, to pay $100,000 for their noncompliance with the stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) Truck and Bus Regulation, as reported by EPA.

In what underscores the perpetual tension between industry demands and the health of Californians, Martha Guzman, the EPA Pacific Southwest Administrator, expressed the urgency of adherence to state rules that regulate hazardous air pollutants, especially in overburdened communities where residents bear the heavy weight of pollution from the diesel-powered, heavy-duty trucks that crisscross their streets, filling the air with particulate matter and the precursors to ground-level ozone. According to the EPA, the settlements are part of a broader initiative to enforce the Clean Air Act in California, where about 625,000 out-of-state trucks operate and are subject to the state's pollution control standards, many of which are older models responsible for excessive emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.

The rule at the center of these settlements has been crucial to California's plan to achieve clear skies since its inception in 2012, mandating truckers to upgrade their fleets to meet emissions benchmarks for nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, a matter that becomes all the more pressing considering that all vehicles covered by the rule and traveling in California since January 1, 2023, are required to boast engines from the 2010 model year or newer, a milestone in the march toward lesser emissions.

April saw CARB take it a step further, adopting the Advanced Clean Fleets rule, setting California on a trail toward electrification of its medium-and-heavy duty trucks by 2045—a vision aimed not only at cleansing the air but also at saving an estimated $26.5 billion in health costs from respiratory illnesses reduction and a whopping $48 billion in operational savings for fleet owners by mid-century. The CARB has forecast a promise of both healthier residents and leaner budgets for businesses that heed the call to modernize their wheels. In pursuit of these clean air objectives, an unforeseen collaboration between CARB and truck and engine manufacturers was announced in July, fostering a Clean Truck Partnership that balances public health concerns with the capacities and technological advancements of manufacturers.

For more details on how to report environmental violations or to learn more about California's Truck and Bus regulations, individuals are directed to visit the EPA's enforcement reporting website and CARB Truck and Bus Regulation page respectively.