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California passes law requiring ‘smog checks’ for semis


California lawmakers have passed a ‘smog check’ bill that will crack down on diesel trucks that operate within the state.

On September 20, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 210 — also known as the “Clean Trucks, Clean Air” bill — into law.

The bill will require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to coordinate with multiple state agencies to “to develop and implement a Heavy-Duty Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program for non-gasoline heavy-duty on-road trucks (14,000+ pounds)” and “establish test procedures for different vehicle model years and emissions control technologies to measure the effectiveness of the emissions control of PM and NOx.”

CARB will first be required to create a pilot program to develop and prove their smog test technologies. Two years after the completion of the pilot program, the Heavy-Duty Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program is set to be implemented and enforced.

The bill gives CARB the authority to impose fines and penalties on truckers who fail to comply with emissions standards.

Single-vehicle fleets and trucks registered in another state that operate within California will still be subject to the new smog check law.

SB210 requires that the cost for compliance not exceed $30 per year.

Under current California law, passenger vehicles older than 6 years are required to pass an emissions test every two years.

“Now that it has been signed into law, SB 210 will be a vital next step to reduce pollution from the many big diesel trucks that travel on the roads and highways in the Inland Empire and across California,”  said Senator Connie M. Leyva, the author of the bill.  “Just as car owners have to get their own personal cars ‘smog checked’ every two years, so too should truck operators be required to maintain their emissions controls so that we can ensure long lasting air quality improvements here in California.  With Governor Newsom’s signature, SB 210 reinforces California’s leadership on improving air quality and public health, while also leveling the playing field for law-abiding truck owners and operators in our state.”

The new smog check law is intended to replace CARB’s current Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP), which is a less stringent annual smoke opacity inspection program.

The Heavy-Duty I/M program is expected to remove 93,000 tons of NOx and 1,600 tons of PM 2.5 from the air, equivalent to taking 145,000 and 375,000 trucks off the roads.

Industry groups including the Western States Trucking Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Cattlemen’s Association oppose the new smog check law.


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