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In a regulation promulgated nearly 20 years ago, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) adopted the California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions standards by reference for diesel-powered vehicles weighing over 14,000 lbs. As a result, any time CARB revises its rules, Pennsylvania’s Heavy-Duty Diesel Emissions Control Program automatically updates to adopt the California rules.

In 2021, in an effort led by PMTA, the DEP suspended the enforcement of the CARB warranty rule through July 31, 2023.

Just ahead of the suspension expiration, in June 2023, the DEP extended its policy of non-enforcement until January, 2026. 

In March 2023, the Pennsylvania Senate passed Senate Bill 254, that would block the DEP from enforcing CARB rules with the expectation that new federal standards will be issued in 2027.

The bill was referred to the House Transportation Committee and has not been brought to the floor.

PMTA supports the overall repeal of the California air pollution control standards in Pennsylvania to prevent further costly emissions mandates from affecting the industry, However, with DEP’s CARB suspension set to expire July 31, 2023, action is urgently needed now to provide certainty for the industry in Pennsylvania and control the cost of new trucks for businesses in the state this year.

Effect on PMTA members:

We anticipate all costs of vehicles will increase because of these increasingly stringent emission standards. The cost increase for 2022 trucks sold in Pennsylvania was the result of the significant extension of warranty requirements for new trucks in the CARB regulations. Previously, the warranty period for class 4 through 8 trucks was five years, 100,000 miles or 3,000 operation hours, whichever came first. In 2022, the five-year limit was unchanged under CARB, but the required warranty was extended to:

  •       350,000 miles for class 8 vehicles
  •      150,000 for class 6 and 7 vehicles, and
  •       110,000 for class 4 and 5 vehicles

The extension of these warranty requirements resulted in significant increases in the cost of new trucks.

How PMTA is fighting

unlawful emissions regulations

  • June 20, 2023 12:43 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    Harrisburg, PA -- PMTA and four of its members filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board for its unlawful attempt to outsource regulations on truck sales to California regulators. Other PMTA member companies named in the lawsuit are Peters Brothers, Inc., H.R. Ewell, Inc., Kenworth of Pennsylvania and Transteck, Inc.

    In 2002, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board promulgated a regulation that incorporates California’s standards for heavy diesel engines — like those in commercial trucks — in perpetuity. As a result, when California adopted a new regulation requiring new engines to meet dramatically more stringent emissions standards and requiring extended warranties, those rules automatically became law in Pennsylvania.

    This will have devastating impacts on Pennsylvania companies. For example, Peters Brothers replaces approximately 13 trucks each year, which means they must pay a huge chunk of extra money for warranties the company neither wants nor needs. This added burden alone has the family reluctantly, but seriously, considering buying their trucks in Wisconsin, where they have another hub.
    Only the Pennsylvania General Assembly can make law in Pennsylvania, because only the General Assembly speaks for the people it represents, and to whom it is accountable.
    “Pennsylvania cannot give away governing power to unelected bureaucrats in California,” said Luke Wake, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “Pennsylvanians should only be governed by their own representatives in the state legislature. No one in Pennsylvania ever consented to be ruled by the California Air Resources Board.”
    State regulatory agencies cannot outsource rulemaking authority to government agencies in other states. Doing so subverts democratic accountability to the people and is an affront to our Constitution.
    Furthermore, letting California call the shots forces regulations on Pennsylvania citizens and businesses without their input, economic analysis, consideration of alternatives, or debate over whether the new standards are even needed in Pennsylvania.
    The case is Peters Brothers, Inc., et al., v. Penn DEP, et al. [https://pacificlegal.org/case/pa-trucking-diesel-carb-standards/], filed in The Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, PA.

    Media Contact:
    Kyle Griesinger
    Media Manager
    Pacific Legal Foundation
    Email: [email protected] 

Click the above photo to learn how CARB regulations are impacting Pennsylvania business owners.

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Phone: 717-761-7122 • Fax: 717-761-8434

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