E-Communicator Article

The President's Column

by Steve Weitekamp

October 2013

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) On-Road Diesel Engine regulation as well as other CARB rules continue to be a source of both confusion and concern to many impacted carriers. CMSA members have the benefit of detailed information related to the regulations that will undoubtedly have a negative impact on many transportation companies and the greater California economy over the next several years. CMSA receives daily calls related to the regulation and works to provide regulatory guidance and compliance tools for our membership, such as the tables included in this issue.


Our membership is ahead of the curve in regards to the CARB regulations. With the help of CleanFleets.net and its director Sean Edgar, CMSA has provided CARB education at conventions, chapter presentations, workshops, Communicator articles and tables over the last three years. If you weren't a member, where would you have gotten this important information? Let me ask in another way: Have you received the kind of information CMSA regularly provides from any other source? My experience says no.


Realizing the major negative aspect of significant replacement costs imposed on carriers with already functional fleets, it is worthwhile to consider some less negative byproducts of the rule. There should be opportunity for compliant carriers to provide capacity that will be lacking as a result of out of state carriers and others not being in compliance. We should also see some leveling of the playing field as far as equipment costs are concerned. The regulations should also create a barrier to entry for marginal players who will need to have CARB-compliant equipment. Looking at the rule from the perspective of making lemonade when life gives you lemons, I would encourage carriers to market their compliance to their customers. You have invested thousands of dollars on upgraded equipment and expending countless work hours to ensure that your customers goods are moved on the greenest, most modern equipment in the world while providing the same quality service they have come to expect.


Some believe that there will not be resources or political will to enforce these rules. Evidence of actions already being taken on other CARB rules would indicate otherwise. A frequent question is, how hard will it be to catch me if I don't take the required steps to comply? To that, I might answer by quoting Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt who recently stated:


“There were 5 exabytes of information created by the entire world between the dawn of civilization through 2003 … Now that same amount is created every two days … the growth rate, of course, is accelerating…”

My takeaway: It’s getting ever easier for regulators to find those not in compliance.

October 2013 - CMSA Communicator

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