Redding Joins North State Counties in Opposing New Clean-air Standards for Big Rigs

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Redding became the first city to ask the California Air Resources Board to delay pending diesel-truck emission regulations that one council member said would decimate the north state trucking industry and lead to higher prices and empty store shelves.

In a 5-0 vote, the Redding City Council directed Mayor Rick Bosetti to write to the state board and ask for a 10-year delay of the regulations currently set to begin in less than four months.

Without the delay, truck owners—including owner-operators in their big rigs, contractors, farmers and local governments—will be forced to abandon vehicles older than the 1996 model  year and retrofit newer models with a $20,000 particulate filter or an engine manufactured in 2010 or later.

Betty Plowman, a truck driver from Vacaville with 24 years of experience and a north state representative for the California Construction Trucking Association, said CARB adopted the regulations in 2008, essentially mandating “that we would all have to buy new trucks” by 2014 despite a statewide economic slump.

A new truck costs $135,000 or more and a new dump truck would be in the $200,000 range, Plowman said. Those purchases would require a down payment of 30 to 35 percent and the used trucks would have no trade-in value. In short, it would be a big expense for a small operator.

“CARB gave money to the large national fleets (to help mitigate the costs), but they replace vehicles every couple of years. The big companies love this rule because it drives the little guy out,” Plowman said.

Delaying the new regulations would not impact Shasta County’s air quality and it would help small business owners find suitable vehicles or modify their existing equipment, according to Ross Bell, manager of the Shasta County Air Quality Management District.

“You don’t have an air pollution problem up here but you’re being penalized like you’re living in Los Angeles,” Plowman said.

“This will decimate our economy,” Councilman Gary Cadd said, adding that the $20,000 particulate matter filter “is a piece of junk” that is too temperature sensitive to be of use in slow-moving construction vehicles and prone to overheating in other uses.

Cadd added that he supports Greg Mann’s suggestion that the city assert its “coordination authority,” a process that requires federal agencies to work with local governments before implementing policies or plans that impact the local community. CARB would fall under that provision through the National Environmental Protection Act, Cadd said.

The city of Redding joins Shasta, Butte, Glenn and Colusa counties in writing to CARB and asking for more time.

Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at
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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Handouts Don't says:

    "…despite a statewide economic slump."

    We are NOT in an "economic slump."

    • Avatar Scott says:

      Maybe you're not, but a lot of the rest of us are, and much of the country with it…

      • Avatar Handouts Don't says:

        People have certainly got their mileage out of using "the economy" as an excuse, haven't they?

        Not everyone has indeed lost footing or ground during this "recession." In fact, many of us have managed to prosper and grow due to excellent entrepreneurialism, planning, investment management and investment skills. Personally, our family has taken advantage of unique opportunities in the down market and have done quite well.

        If the "economy" was so bad, why are things like luxury car, upscale department stores (like Dillard's and Nordstrom's), high end resorts and so many other upper class goods thriving in sales?

        • Avatar Jeff says:

          People like yourself are obtuse of the way things really are. After all you don't live a reality that the majority live in. When speaking about high end retailers or high end resorts. The only reason those places do well is because their clients never lost a job or house. Glad your life is so perfect enjoy.

          • Avatar Handouts Don't says:

            Even the lower class folks are thriving in our economic recover!

            Just read an article that a Ford Fusion, which is a poor people's car, doesn't stay on the dealer's lot for more than a week or so.

            All over the economy is BOOMING!

            Have you been to the mall or out to dinner recently?


            Can't use the "economy" as an excuse anymore.

          • Avatar Handouts Don't says:

            And, by the way, I hope making personal attacks makes you feel better about yourself.

    • Avatar redbirddog says:


      Read the Hunger Games. We are creating a two-tiered society. Sounds like you live in the glass bubble of "The Capitol." Get out and see what the real world 50 miles from the Pacific Ocean looks like. You are so wrong it hurts! $80 Billion a month pumping into the economy is the only thing keeping your glass enclosure intact. CARB is killing businesses that produce and supply "The Capitol."

  2. Avatar CouldBeTrouble says:

    The onslaught of Agenda 21 is preceeded by crippling "carbon" taxes, crippling economic measures, cripplingly larger and larger government, crippling diverse wars that tax our "sequestered" military, crippling welfare roles designed to remove all incentive, elites who exclude themselves from their own laws and a state run media that imbues the will of the tyrants. All this and more thanks to our society's malaise, apathy and complacent disreguard to history. I think the "match point" has arrived and most of the players still have not realized it.

  3. Avatar Jeff G says:

    Once again the Redding city council demonstrates its remarkable ability to pass knee-jerk resolutions based on sound-bite reporting. The only surprise was the unanimous vote.

    Fleets were offered grants to adopt to the new technology early, but many choose to 'wait and see.' Well, time's up. And I question the solvency of any business unable to budget $8-10,000 per truck when given 6-7 years' notice. A wise lady once told me "Your failure to plan is not my emergency."

    Even still, small fleets and owners operating exclusively in nox-exempt areas (most rural counties including Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, & Yuba) can delay retrofits until as late as 2016.

    And trucks made in 1994-1995 are legal as-is until 2016.

    Trucks not eligible for a dpf retrofit do not have to be discarded. They can update to a 2010+ engine.

    Carb is so far from perfect it isn't even funny. And these new requirements are costly. But their mandates do work (On your next road trip, just look at how few trailers are soot-stained these days). And, unfortunately, these mandates are necessary (the "free market" would never volunteer to pay more for the same services delivered in a more environmentally-friendly manner)

  4. Avatar c says:

    If we are in an economic slump, then why were August sales for Ford, Toyota and GM at 5 year highs, all with double-digit increases from last year?

  5. Avatar Josh says:

    Apparently Jeff g doesn't own or know anything about trucking. Look at the fewer soot stained trailers. Intelligence speaking at its finest. Everyone that agrees that carb is on track in keeping the pollution down needs to spend one month working at a trucking company and look at the what they are having to deal with. As far as the economy being better because car sales are up and people can afford a ford focus. Get real people.

    • Avatar Jeff G says:

      Funny, I'm currently pulling a Paccar load out of Bowling Green, KY. And having spent 14 days in the shop so far this year with EGR, doser, & dpf issues — I'm no stranger to directing profanity laden diatribes at the air resource board.

      CARB is not perfect — it is a classic example of beaurocrats & politicians mandating engineering guidelines ("In 10 years, we're going to reduce X emissions by 50%!" They then set a standard that takes effect all at once –in ten years– flooding the road with relatively untested technology since the market puts off the costly upgrade until absolutely necessary).

      That trucks today burn cleaner is not in doubt. 2010+ engines can drive nearly 150 miles before emitting the same amount of particulate matter as that released from charbroiling a hamburger patty. The lack of soot caked on trailers is just an easy reference for the layman. Another is the remarkable improvement in air quality in Los Angeles (with each trip I can make out more definition on the foothills).

      Delaying the implementation 10 years is not an answer — it's throwing out the baby with the bathwater (an all too common political approach to problem solving these days). Small fleets and owners would continue to avoid upgrades either by buying used trucks when they might have bought new — or participating in the exploding "glider kit" market (whereby dealerships assemble essentially new trucks from parts using remanufactured, and non-approved, engines).

  6. Avatar rmv says:

    Divide and Conquer.

    You folks are all allowed your opinions, GOD Bless America!

    Do you see what the liberal, progressive, movement is?

    Divide and Conquer. It is working in ALL areas of OUR GREAT COUNTRY.

    GOD Bless America, The Greatest Nation in History!

    I don't have the answers, but I DO see the problem. GOD is My answer, is he Yours?

  7. Avatar James M. McCully says:

    I live in Solano Co.I know Betty and have followed her efforts in this regard. Our one party very business unfriendly St. Government again acted against the interests of the citizens who generate the jobs and therefore tax monies. I intend to go to our Farm Bureau Meeting on Monday 9/9 to hear Betty speak. She,I and others here in Solano are trying to wake people up and get them involved in getting these fools out of public office and off our payroll.

  8. Avatar cheyenne says:

    According to a survey by the American Lung Association eight of the top ten dirtest air cities are in southern California. Redding is ranked as the seventh cleanest air city in the nation. I am very familar with this issue as the EPA is fighting with Wyoming about "Haze" yet the American Lung Association ranks Cheyenne, Wyoming as the #1 cleanest air city in the nation.

    Shasta County has cleaned up their air, any long term resident could tell you about the smell in Anderson from the paper mills and the smell from the dairy farm on I5 north of the river. Those smells are gone but so are the jobs they represented.

    It is time for southern California to clean up their enviroment instead of telling others who have cleaner enviroment what to do.

  9. Avatar nking says:

    where do we sign up for the class action lawsuit against the state; we broke no laws with our one truck operation – now our freedom is being taken from us and we are being forced in to poverty because of a law that punishes the innocent.