Environmental groups are furious over a piece of the transportation funding deal reached this week by California Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders that would delay stricter air quality regulations on commercial trucks.
The provision was tucked into the transportation deal to win the neutrality of the trucking industry, which would bear the brunt of the two diesel tax increases in the legislation.
This did not go over well with environmental advocates.
“We’re opposed to a last-minute dirty deal,” says Bill Magavern with the Coalition for Clean Air.
“To have this poison pill emerge at the 11th hour, it’s just incredibly disappointing,” adds the Sierra Club's Kathryn Phillips.
Environmentalists say reducing truck emissions is crucial to improving California’s air quality. But under the proposal, the state would not be able to require the truckers to retire, replace or retrofit their vehicles until the trucks are 13 years old, or have either reached 800,000 miles or 18 years old.
“This could cause a big problem if our air agencies are trying to clean up the trucks on the road that are causing pollution,” Magavern says.