Shippers, receivers must obey California reefer emission rule

11/19/2012 11:15:00 AM
Coral Beach

Courtesy California Air Resources BoardTransport refrigeration units that are compliant and registered with the California Air Resources Board will have an ARB number (circled in red). Equipment not based in California does not have to be registered, but it must be compliant with emission regs. A California regulation effective Jan. 1 could cost produce shippers and receivers $1,000 or more per violation if refrigeration equipment on the trucks they hire is not in compliance — even if the trucks don’t stop in California.

The rule from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) covers truck and rail owners and operators, and any “hiring entity” that uses their services.

Rodney Hill, an air pollution specialist from CARB who helped develop the rule, discussed its implications for produce during a Web seminar sponsored by Western Growers, Irvine, Calif., the California Grape and Tree Fruit League, Fresno, and C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.

The rule applies to grower-shippers, freight brokers, freight forwarders and receivers. Depending on circumstances, fines could be as much as $10,000 per violation, per day, under California’s Health and Safety Code, Hill said.

Hill gave an example of a truck being loaded in Arizona and traveling through California on its way to a delivery point in Oregon. Even though no deliveries are made in California, the rule applies because the truck is operating within the state. The rule applies regardless where trucks are licensed.

Rodney Hill, California Air Resources BoardHillCompliance for hiring entities shouldn’t be too difficult, though, according to Hill and others in the Web seminar.

Matt McInerney, Western Growers executive vice president, said due diligence and documentation are the keys to keeping produce companies out of trouble. Hill agreed with that assessment.

“Begin changing your contracts now so you will be ready Jan. 1,” McInerney said.

“For those of you who have pre-printed pads of bills of lading, I know you want to use up what you have. But you should get new ones printed, or get a stamp made with the right language so you can add it to the forms you have on hand.”

Hill said hiring entities and loading dock personnel will not be expected to inspect refrigeration equipment to see if it is compliant.

However, if the equipment is not compliant and the hiring company’s contracts and other documents don’t have language showing it required the carrier to use compliant equipment, citations and fines will be issued, Hill said.

Western Growers has developed sample documents for produce companies. The compliance statement must have its own signature line and should read: “Carrier or its agent certifies that the TRU equipment furnished for loading this shipment is in compliance with California regulations.”

Shannon Leigh, transportation manager for C.H. Robinson, said the company changed contracts and other documents to include the language effective Oct. 28.

“The goal is to help shippers avoid fines,” Leigh said, adding that C.H. Robinson has been working with CARB for years to make sure its equipment and clients are compliant. “Our intention is to ensure proper due diligence to minimize the risk for our grower-shippers”

click image to zoomCourtesy California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board has a variety of websites with information to help shippers, receivers and others understand their obligations under California state law. Effective Jan. 1, any shipper or receiver who hires a carrier to transport their produce must take measures to ensure that the refrigeration equipment is compliant with the California law -- even if the truck doesn't stop in the state but merely travels through it.



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Mike    
33566  |  November, 20, 2012 at 01:14 AM

This article makes no sense. What is required? Compliant for what? Hill seems so proud of himself for creating such a steep fine for being non compliant he forgot to mention what all this is about.

Coral Beach    
November, 20, 2012 at 09:51 AM

Mike, The regulation and its history is quite complicated, and since shippers, receivers and others who will come under it Jan. 1 don't actually have to inspect equipment, I did not include many of the technical details. The reg involves emissions from refrigeration equipment commonly called TRUs (transport refrigeration units) and gen sets. The online seminar slides are now available at: http://tinyurl.com/Seminar-slides. Check out slides 4, 5, 6 and 7 for basic technical details. California adopted the reg in 2004. It became law in 2009 and enforcement began in 2010. The reg was amended in 2011. I encourage you to check with Western Growers, the California Grape and Tree Fruit League and C.H. Robinson -- as well as the websites listed in the box above -- for additional details. The message from the online seminar and this story is that shippers, receivers and others who hire carriers to haul refrigerated loads will be required as of Jan. 1 to hire only carriers with compliant eqiupment, if the load will be going to, from or through California. I hope this helps, Coral Beach, staff writer

dgallo    
New York  |  November, 20, 2012 at 08:01 AM

Great!!!! More gov't regualtion and fines. This will indeed help freight rates from Cal to NY. I have no idea why anyone would want to be truck driver any more...It's a hard enough life without the regs. When it gets to the point that we are all unproifitable that's when these jack#$%es will be happy. Way to go Gubmint!!!

anonymous    
November, 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Is this only for produce? or any refrigerated product?

Ken    
Irvine, California  |  November, 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM

The regulations applies to the equipment (TRU), regardless of the product being transported.

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