California Truckers Challenge Constitutionality of Diesel Regulations

States are pre-empted from regulating motor carriers — as in forcing either the replacement of engines or retrofitting of equipment with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF’s) that can cost upwards of $20,000 per vehicle.

Media release below.


Truckers Will Continue Legal Battle against CARB and U.S. EPA

Owner-operators and small-fleet trucking business owners to challenge constitutionality of diesel engine regulations

Upland, CA. Jan. 17 – The California Construction Trucking Association (CCTA) has filed a Notice of Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in its nearly two-year-long legal skirmish against the California Air Resources Board (CARB) heavy-duty, on-road truck and bus regulation (CDTOA v. CARB, Case No. 2:11-CV-00384-MCE-GGH).

The CARB heavy-duty, on-road truck and bus regulation will ultimately mandate the forced replacement of most diesel powered commercial motor vehicles that do not meet 2010 EPA emissions standards to continue operating in the State of California. Current rules are forcing either the replacement of engines or retrofitting of equipment with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF’s) that can cost upwards of $20,000 per vehicle. 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. Small-business truckers are bearing the brunt of the multi-billion dollar expense to unnecessarily replace trucks originally built and certified to U.S. EPA emissions standards.

The CCTA originally filed its litigation to CARB’s diesel engine regulation in March 2011 stating the regulation is pre-empted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) found at 49 USC § 14501 which prohibits states from enacting any law, rule, or regulation affecting the routes, price, or services of motor carriers. Environmental activists intervened in the case presenting a legal argument that CARB’s regulation was not actually a state regulation but effectively a federal regulation when the U.S. EPA hurriedly approved the California State Implementation Plan (SIP) in 2012 that contained the challenged truck and bus regulation – nearly a year and a half after litigation began.

In December 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a decision stating that the U.S. EPA was an “indispensable party” to the litigation resulting from EPA approval of the SIP and that the court could no longer retain jurisdiction. No decision was made on the merits of CCTA’s original legal argument which ultimately if CCTA loses opens the door for other states to adopt CARB’s diesel engine regulations.

Besides the Notice of Appeal to the Ninth Circuit, the CCTA will now also proceed with an Original Petition to the Ninth Circuit challenging U.S. EPA’s approval of the California SIP containing the heavy-duty, on-road truck and bus rule as a violation of the FAAAA and a commerce clause violation of the U.S. Constitution. The Clean Air Act (CAA) does not grant authority to US EPA to regulate in-use engines.

Separately, the CCTA is being represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation in another action challenging the process used by the U.S. EPA in approving CARB’s off-road diesel engine rules.
Read an open letter the trucking industry titled “Why We Should Continue to Fight.”

About the CCTA

The California Construction Trucking Association (formerly known as the California Dump Truck Owners Association) is a 501 (c) (6) trade association originally founded in 1941 and headquartered in Upland, California. CCTA membership consists of over 1,100 member motor carriers ranging in size from one-truck owner-operators to fleets with over 350 trucks. CCTA members operate in multiple modes of trucking from vocational trucking to property carrying in both intrastate and interstate commerce.


Joe Rajkovacz
Director of Governmental Affairs & Communications
California Construction Trucking Association & Western Trucking Alliance
+1 909 982 9898

2 thoughts on “California Truckers Challenge Constitutionality of Diesel Regulations”

  1. Much better idea than parking trucks; donate as much as you can to the Pacific Legal Foundation. I’ve done so for years. They’ve got a wonderful track record in fighting this government excess. The CCTA must have a good chance of beating these bureauocrats, since I’ve noticed that PLF doesn’t take on cases where they don’t feel there’s a very good chance of winning.

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