CA Drayage Fleets Get Reprise from Clean Fleets Rule

January 2, 2024

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Just days before the California Air Resources Board was slated to implement a wide-reaching step in the Advanced Clean Fleets rule, the agency has decided to postpone the move until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “grants a preemption waiver applicable to those regulatory provisions or determines a waiver is not necessary.”

In a letter to the California Trucking Association, dated December 27, CARB addressed the group’s opposition to the impending rule, which took the form of a federal lawsuit this past October (CTA v. CARB, Case No. 2:23-cv-02333). As a response to the suit, CARB stated it will not take enforcement actions against high-priority or drayage fleets if they fail to meet reporting requirements or add new internal combustion engine vehicles to the registry during this period. The agency will also refrain from taking action against “vehicles that exceed their useful life periods,” which also includes 2007-2009 model-year natural gas drayage trucks. According to the letter, CARB will not de-register those vehicles until the EPA makes its final decision.

While California fleets have been granted this temporary relief, CARB encouraged fleets to comply during this period and “reserves all of its rights to enforce the ACF regulation in full for any period for which a waiver is granted or for which a waiver is determined to be unnecessary.” The letter also highlighted the fact that in response to this decision, CTA will not file a preliminary injunction motion “seeking to enjoin enforcement of the challenged provision of the ACF regulation while the waiver request is pending.”