Four small California trucking companies are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over new emissions regulations. The suit comes despite approval of the regulations by the trucking industry’s largest trade group, the American Trucking Associations.
The companies claim they were left out of negotiations regarding the new regulations. They say the new rules will require a change in truck design and, therefore, substantial costs.
The companies are suing on the grounds that the EPA did not submit regulations to its Science Advisory Board, a panel that reviews Clean Air Act changes.
The EPA was not available for comment yesterday.
The Science Advisory Board includes scientists nominated from academia, industry and other research organizations who review new limitations and regulations proposed under the Clean Air Act.
"We're suing because federal regulators can't be allowed to thumb their noses at legal safeguards that are designed to ensure that new regulations are credible and well-considered," Ted Hadzi-Antich, senior staff attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, said in a statement. "When EPA acts like a scofflaw, it has to be called to account."
The Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the four trucking companies.
The rules, which appeared in the Federal Register in September, will require a 20 percent cut in emissions for heavy trucks by 2018.
"My business has already been crushed by the dismal economy and merciless regulatory climate in California,” said Norman R. “Skip” Brown, owner of Delta Construction, one of the four companies named in the suit. “With these regulations in place, my four heavy-duty vehicles could be declared obsolete, and there will be no hope my employees could get back to work.”
The four companies named in the suit are the California Dump Truck Owners Association, the Southern California Contractors Association Inc., Dalton Trucking Inc. and Delta Construction Co. Inc.