Gas Tax Could Cause more smog in California
Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), also known as The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 or simply the Gas Tax, was recently signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown last week. However, one thing that was not mentioned about the bill was that there was wording in the bill that limits regulators’ ability to further regulate big-rig trucks. This is some great news for the trucking industry, given the increases in diesel costs that will come. According to the Los Angeles Daily News,
…Owners of trucks that currently meet California rules cannot be required to retire or upgrade their rigs until their machines are either 13 years old or have traveled at least 800,000 miles. Some truck owners would be able to operate their rigs here for up to 18 years. This would keep older, higher-polluting trucks at 2010 emission standards for years to come.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District claims that the projects funded by SB 1 will inevitably allow more trucks to be on the road and will result in an increase in air pollution. Unfortunately, diesel happens to be the greatest source of smog-forming emissions.
State transportation officials dispute the claim that the bill will lead to more pollution because it will require all trucks in operation to meet the 2010 emissions standards.
We will have to wait and see what air quality tests reveal about the impact, if any, from the passage of SB 1.
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