The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
May began with the CMSA’s 97th Annual Convention in San Diego, discussed in greater detail in this issue. In addition to an informative program and terrific events, the CMSA installed its new Chairman and held its first Board meeting of the Association year. We are grateful for the successful year we had with 2014–2015 Chairman Jay Casey and look forward to continued successes under the leadership of Chairman Pat Longo. The month included a lot of regulatory issues, affecting both individual members and industry-wide, related to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Mentioned in last month’s column and reviewed at the Convention was the impact of CARB’s current far-reaching initiative, the California Sustainable Freight Strategy. As CMSA prepares to address proposed new regulations, Sean Edgar of CleanFleets.net has advised that this coming year will again be an active year of advocacy for the Association.
In its Sustainable Freight: Pathways to Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Discussion Draft, CARB states that:
“To achieve its healthy air quality, climate, and sustainability goals, California must take effective, well-coordinated actions to transition to a zero emission transportation system for both passengers and freight.
“The freight transport system is a major economic engine for our State, but also accounts for about half of toxic diesel particulate matter (diesel PM), 45 percent of the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that form ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, and six percent of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California.
“These statistics include emissions from trucks, ships, locomotives, aircraft, harbor craft, and all types of equipment used to move freight at seaports, airports, rail yards, warehouses and distribution centers.
“… [A] less-polluting, more efficient, modern freight transport system is a preeminent policy objective for the State of California – and will continue to be so for several decades to come.”
CMSA will continue to address these issues and remain optimistic that our efforts will have a positive impact, similar to our accomplishments related to the On-Road Diesel Engine regulations. Again, we will focus on the facts: Movers are vocational truckers who, as the result of operating far fewer annual miles than freight haulers who are the basis of air quality studies, have less of an environmental impact. Yet, imposing the same regulations on vocational truckers creates a greater negative financial impact than the ones placed on the high-mileage operators who generate far more PM2.5 and NOx emissions. Additionally, vocational truckers are community employers who are negatively impacted financial pressures associated with excessive regulatory compliance. We expect this to be a protracted and challenging campaign, but will do all within our abilities to ensure that future rules are fair to our membership.
- CMSA Communicator