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CARB Update - HB 2075 Could Be Considered Soon

CARB Update - HB 2075 Could Be Considered Soon

In response to PMTA's members' concerns about the implementation of California regulations in 2022 relating to warranty requirements for heavy-duty trucks, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a notice in November 2021 that they would not be enforcing CARB requirements in Pennsylvania until at least 2023. 

However, many members remain concerned that DEP's notice is insufficient to prevent legal challenges, and as a result, PMTA has been pursuing a legislative solution that would have the force of law. HB 2075, sponsored by PA State Rep. Jerry Knowles, which has already passed the state House, would suspend CARB in PA through model year 2024. This bill is up for a vote in the Senate this fall. Governor Wolf has indicated that he would not veto the bill. 

(Please note that HB 2075 would suspend CARB in PA only through 2024, with emissions requirements reverting to EPA guidelines. After model year 2024, without further legislative or regulatory action, PA would return to CARB regulation of heavy-duty trucks.)  

PMTA sent the letter below on HB 2075 to Senate leadership on Tuesday, August 30. Members are also encouraged to contact their state Senators to express support. 

RE:      PMTA Support for HB 2075 – Abrogation of CARB Regulations

Dear Senate Leaders:

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA), I am writing to express our strong support for House Bill 2075 (Knowles), which is currently on the Senate Table, and respectfully request its swift consideration by the full Senate. It’s also important to note that the Wolf administration is neutral on House Bill 2075 PN 2529.

PMTA represents the interests of the trucking industry in Pennsylvania, the lifeblood of the state’s economy. Almost 66,000 trucking companies in the Commonwealth move raw materials and manufactured goods within and among suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers. Almost all businesses in Pennsylvania depend on truckers and the 323,000 employees in the industry that keep the economy moving.             

Like other businesses, Pennsylvania’s trucking companies are struggling to recover from the pandemic. Supply chain issues make getting parts difficult, and the worldwide semiconductor shortage has led truck manufacturers to slow production to a crawl, with the cost of those trucks that are available up substantially since last year. At the same time, a critical driver shortage is affecting the industry’s ability to maintain the high standards and responsiveness that shippers and receivers have come to expect from truckers and that the economy depends on in many ways.

That’s why PMTA supports House Bill 2075, which would remove an onerous regulatory burden affecting Pennsylvania’s trucking companies by further increasing costs at the worst possible time.

In a regulation promulgated nearly 20 years ago, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) adopted the emissions standards of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) by reference for diesel-powered vehicles weighing over 14,000 pounds. As a result, any time CARB revises its rules, Pennsylvania’s Heavy-Duty Diesel Emissions Control Program automatically updates to adopt the California rules. No action is needed on the part of Pennsylvania to adopt CARB requirements for heavy-duty trucks now and in the future.

Last summer, PMTA heard from several of its members about steep and unexpected cost increases for new trucks. These increases in the price of trucks purchased in 2022 were the result of new CARB warranty requirements, which took effect automatically in Pennsylvania. Specifically, CARB now requires the extension of manufacturers’ warranties on trucks to increase. For Class 8 trucks, the warranty is increasing from 150,000 to 350,000 miles (less for lighter vehicles). This requirement has raised the cost of new Class 8 trucks in Pennsylvania between $2,100 and $5,500 this year, depending on type of truck and engine.

Though 13 states have adopted CARB’s emissions requirements in part, the warranty requirements are in effect in only two states other than California, including Pennsylvania. This had led many trucking companies with operations outside of Pennsylvania to consider purchasing and registering their trucks elsewhere in 2022 to minimize cost. Pennsylvania truck dealers are unable to compete effectively with those in other states for business, and lost vehicle sales result in less tax money and registration fee revenue for Pennsylvania.

On the other hand, Pennsylvania companies whose vehicles are not registered as apportioned have no choice but to register their trucks with PennDOT, which require the CARB warranty. These companies, most of which are small businesses, bear the full cost of this increased warranty on their new trucks, a burden that businesses in other states do not share.

But it is important to note that the 2022 warranty, though costly for trucking companies, has no real benefit for the environmentThe trucks sold with the CARB warranty are the same trucks sold under EPA standards. And because new trucks do not run if their emissions systems are broken, owners must fix problems in any case, whether they are covered by the warranty or not.

The trucking industry is proud of the incredible progress it has made in recent years to reduce emissions and improve air quality. Heavy-duty trucks produced today are about 99% cleaner than 1970 models. In just the past 20 years, the industry has slashed NOx emissions by over 90% and particulate matter emissions by over 98%.

As more and more trucks are replaced with newer, cleaner vehicles, emissions will continue to decline. Pennsylvania is number three in nation for highest percentage of new generation clean diesel heavy-duty trucks on the road at 59%, a full 10% higher than the national average.

But mandates like this warranty requirement create a disincentive for companies to buy new trucks. They force many truckers to hold onto older trucks, with less advanced emissions systems, because newer, cleaner trucks are unaffordable.

On November 6, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that the agency would not be enforcing CARB in Pennsylvania for heavy-duty trucks at least until July 31, 2023. PMTA appreciates DEP’s responsiveness to its concerns and for recognizing the harmful impact the regulation has on Pennsylvania’s trucking industry with no environmental benefits.

However, PMTA learned from several truck dealers and manufacturers that the notice has had little impact on truck sales in Pennsylvania because CARB is still a regulatory requirement, regardless of DEP’s enforcement plans. In fact, the notice includes specific language that it “does not protect a manufacturer, distributor, seller, renter, importer, leaser, or owner of a retail outlet from the possibility of a legal challenge by third parties…”

Because the only way to prevent lawsuits from being filed against those in the industry is to change the law, PMTA supports the passage of House Bill 2075, which would simply remove CARB emissions requirements for Pennsylvania heavy-duty trucks through model year 2024 and instead enforce the EPA standards in effect in almost all other states.

PMTA believes that abrogating the regulations, as provided by House Bill 2075, is the best way to ensure that, not only is DEP’s suspension of enforcement of the 2022 warranty requirement effective, but future CARB requirements are carefully considered before they are implemented in Pennsylvania. PMTA is concerned that turning the regulation of truck emissions in the Commonwealth over to the people of California through CARB is at best unresponsive to Pennsylvania’s unique circumstances and at worst, an unconstitutional delegation of authority. The latter deprives Pennsylvania’s citizens the opportunity to comment and its legislature the oversight it is entitled to under the regulatory review process.

PMTA asks the Senate to consider House Bill 2075 expeditiously to remove the costly CARB warranty requirement from truck sales in Pennsylvania now.

Thank you for your consideration, and please do not hesitate to contact me with questions.

Very truly yours,

Rebecca Oyler

President & CEO

Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association

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