Some truck owners in Arizona awoke New Year’s Day to an anti-pollution law that prohibits them from driving their older trucks because they don’t meet the state’s emissions requirements.

A ban on trucks older than 1988 – rated at 26,000 pounds or more and registered within the Greater Phoenix area - was passed in 1996 and lawmakers believed that eight years would be enough time for these trucks to be phased out or retrofitted for compliance.

Not so, according to officials of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality which has been fielding phone calls from hundreds of small-truck operators who were unaware of the new law. Although the majority of truck owners are in compliance, about 2,000 or so small operators are not prepared, because notices about the law were mailed out in November and some say this was not enough time to respond.

Non-compliant truck owners have some leeway. Truck owners can get a one-year reprieve if they can prove that they have ordered parts needed to make their engines comply or are on a waiting list to get the needed repairs. Otherwise, trucks with pre-1988 engines that fail the emissions test will not be given their registration.