Senate Approves Leyva Bill Requiring Smog Checks for Big Rig Trucks

SB 210 “is the next vital step to reducing pollution and cleaning the air we breathe”

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Earlier today, the California State Senate approved legislation authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will establish ‘smog check’ requirements for heavy-duty diesel trucks in California. Unlike personal vehicles, current law does not require heavy-duty vehicles to have the same types of smog checks that have been required for passenger vehicles for decades.

Over the next decade, SB 210 will assist in the removal of approximately 1,600 tons of harmful particulate matter, equivalent to taking 375,000 trucks off the roads in the state.  Around one million heavy-duty trucks drive on California roads annually and are major contributors to the state’s poor air quality conditions.

“Unlike the passenger cars that we drive to and from home and work every day, big diesel trucks that drive on our roads and highways do not have to undergo a smog check inspection,” Senator Leyva said.  “SB 210 is the next vital step to reducing pollution and cleaning the air we breathe across our state.  This bill presents a great opportunity for California to continue to lead the nation on improving air quality, while also enhancing the competitiveness of the trucking industry in our state.”

By modernizing and properly maintaining their fleets, many California based truck owners and operators strive to meet our nation-leading air quality standards. As such, these operators can be at a competitive disadvantage with non-compliant vehicles, including many out-of-state trucks.

California has some of the worst air quality in the nation, including areas such as the Central Valley and the Inland Empire—which serves as the primary route for transporting goods from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the rest of the country. Today, heavy-duty trucks operating in California account for nearly 60 percent of the harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from mobile sources and are the largest source of diesel particulate matter (PM 2.5), a carcinogenic and toxic air contaminant. Approximately 12 million residents across California live in communities that exceed federal ozone and PM standards. Increased exposure to harmful emissions has been directly associated with serious health  impacts, particularly for the elderly, small children, and people with pre-existing respiratory issues. SB 210 is an important step toward combating these harmful pollutants and improving air quality in California.

SB 210 is supported by many leading health, environmental and business organizations, including the American Lung Association of California, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Environmental Justice Alliance, California League of Conservation Voters, CALSTART, Cancer Action Network, Chanje Energy, Coalition for Clean Air, Environment California, Maternal and Children Health Access and Sierra Club California.