NORTHSTATE, Calif. - Some trucking companies will be out of business as of January 1 because of new requirements from the California Air Resources Board.
Ron Lord, the owner of Lord Trucking out of Red Bluff said many of these truckers will be facing unemployment because they simply cannot afford to meet the new requirements.
Lord has been in the industry for almost 30 years.
He said he received a letter from the board last week. It states that all vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds from the 2000 to 2004 model years will be forced to upgrade to a verified soot filter or be replaced altogether.
Lord bought his 2000 model year big rig in 2005. He said the cost for his truck to get the filter would be $24,000.
Although he knew the board was adding some new regulations he said he was still shocked when he found out the extent of them.
"I always thought this was a right-to-work state. I thought you had the right to work and when they take your right to work away, well what do you do? I don't have any way of feeding my family after they take my truck away. I'm 68 years old so I ain't just going to run out and get a new job just anywhere at my age so this totally puts me out of the business and puts me out of work," Lord said.
Lord said he has seen some filters for around $16,000 but that either way, that is a lot of money to fork out before the new year, especially on top of the annual fees that truckers already have to pay.
Lord said there are a few agriculture-related exemptions to the new rules. He hauls logs and strawberries, but he said what the state considers to be agriculture is very select.
According to the legislation, if truckers don't upgrade their trucks, they will be looking at $1,000 fines per violation per month at minimum.
Lord said there is a group of local truckers that is hoping to meet and work on some solutions.