The California Construction Trucking Assn. (CCTA) has filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in its nearly two-year-long legal battle against the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) heavy-duty, on-road truck and bus regulation that will ultimately force the replacement of most diesel-powered commercial trucks that do not meet 2010 EPA emissions standards in order to operate in the State of California.
The CCTA originally filed its litigation to CARB’s diesel engine regulation in March 2011 stating the state regulation is pre-empted by federal law, which prohibits states from enacting any law, rule, or regulation affecting the price, routes, or services of motor carriers. The Natural Resources Defense Council intervened by presenting a legal theory that CARB’s regulation was not actually a state regulation but effectively a federal regulation when the EPA hurriedly approved the California State Implementation Plan (SIP) in 2012 containing the challenged truck and bus regulation — a year after litigation began.
In December 2012, the U.S. District Court issued a decision that the EPA was an “indispensable party” to the litigation resulting from EPA approval of the SIP and that the court no longer retained jurisdiction. No decision was made on the merits of CCTA’s original legal argument. The CCTA will appeal that decision.
Additionally, the CCTA will file a Petition for Review with the Ninth Circuit challenging EPA’s approval of the SIP since the Clean Air Act prohibits EPA from approving a SIP in conflict with other federal law. CCTA believes the approval is in conflict with the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act and commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“Despite claims used to justify this regulation by regulators and environmental groups that public grant funding is readily available to assist truckers in complying – this is not true,” CCTA stated in a press release. “Small-business truckers are bearing the brunt of the multi-billion dollar expense to unnecessarily replace trucks originally built and certified to EPA emissions standards.”
Separately, the CCTA is being represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation in another action challenging the process used by the EPA in approving CARB's off-road diesel engine rules.
To read an open letter the trucking industry titled “Why We Should Continue to Fight” visit http://calcontrk.org/industry/carb/1027-cdtoa-vs-arb.