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Time to Smog-Check Diesel Trucks

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The smog check is a fact of life for passenger car drivers in California, and it has been for a long time. Every other year drivers have to bring their cars into a smog check location to guarantee that they’ve been maintained and aren’t filling the air with pollutants.

Oddly, even though heavy-duty diesel trucks rank as one of the biggest culprits for pollutions the state doesn’t require their owners to get these check-ups. Any way you look at this it makes zero sense. Well, luckily, this may change soon based on a bill being proposed by state Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino). With this legislation the state would be mandated to create a smog check program that diesel operated trucks would have to honor in order to get on California roads.

Certainly, demanding that heavy-duty diesel trucks subject themselves to smog checks is definitely overdue. Especially when you consider that unhealthy smog days in Southern California has recently risen after what amounts to years of improvement.

In particular, smog-filled, unhealthy air is rampant in inland communities throughout Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. Here, trucks dominate the roads as they play such a big role in the agriculture and goods-movement industries. In fact, around a million heavy-duty trucks navigate in California each year. Naturally, this represents just a small fraction of all the vehicles on the roads. However, diesel trucks are responsible for roughly 60 percent of the smog-creating nitrogen oxides from cars. Furthermore, they produce 80 percent of the soot from motor vehicles.

The Current State of Things

Currently, state regulators have no way of monitoring whether trucks’ emission controls are inspected and repaired so that pollution is limited. Yes, newer trucks are designed with advanced pollution controls, however, if we’re not inspecting them to ensure they are always working, it doesn’t really matter. After all, one truck with malfunctioning emission controls can be as detrimental to air quality as several polluting trucks.

Definitely this legislation is a long-time coming and hopefully the results of it will be profound for improved air quality.

What do you all think? This legislation is hugely important, right?

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