Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection Program Working for Cleaner Air
SACRAMENTO – Nine of every ten diesel trucks or buses tested through the California Air Resources Board's (ARB) Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection Program are passing, according to results from the first six months since testing resumed.
ARB Chairman Barbara Riordan said, "An inspection of heavy-duty diesel vehicles is like a smog check for passenger cars. After six months of operation, ARB data shows that while 10 percent of all on-road diesels tested are significant polluters, the majority on the road are making the grade."
The Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection Program (HDVIP), implemented in July 1998, was created to clean up heavily polluting diesel vehicles. More than 10,000 diesel vehicles have been inspected for excessive smoke at random roadside testing zones. Over 1,000 citations have been issued, with assessments of more than $252,000 in penalties. A portion of these penalties go to the California Energy Commission to fund research for cleaner diesel engines and cleaner-burning fuels.
The ARB is concerned about heavy-duty diesel vehicles because they make up about 2 percent of California's on-road vehicle fleet, yet they contribute approximately 30 percent of the motor vehicle borne nitrous oxides (NOx) emissions into the air and about 60 percent of soot emissions. Motor vehicles emit more than 50 percent of all air pollution in California. The ARB and local air districts receive hundreds of complaints from the public each year regarding heavy-duty diesel smoke and fumes. To report any smoking vehicles, including trucks and buses, Californians can call 1-800-END-SMOG.
There are programs available from the ARB to help diesel engine owners comply with heavy-duty diesel engine emission standards. For instance, through a number of communities colleges, the ARB offers courses aimed at helping fleet operators and mechanics perform proper maintenance on heavy-duty diesel engines. The ARB also helps diesel owners upgrade older diesel engines to lower-emission engines with funding through the $25 million Carl Moyer Program.
ARB staff meet monthly with interested trucking and bus companies to discuss the benefits of cleaner-burning engines and compliance assistance with diesel vehicle inspection programs. For further information, please visit ARB's web site at www.arb.ca.gov/enf/hdvip/hdvip.htm.