While all vehicles used diesel engines in the past, trucks are the most common motor vehicles to employ such engines today. Over the years, research has shown that inhaling diesel fumes can be harmful to humans, particularly when the fumes are inhaled on a regular basis.
For individuals in certain professions, inhaling diesel fumes may be a frequent occurrence. Commercial motor vehicle drivers are often exposed to diesel fumes, as the trucks they drive use diesel engines for power.
In response, California has designated air pollution standards to regulate the diesel fumes released into the air. The California Air Resources Board, or CARB, has designated August as "Gear Up for Clean Truck Month," both to enforce the state's existing laws and to educate drivers about the regulations and the importance of abiding by them.
CARB's executive director explained the intent of the campaign, stating, "Our goal this month is to do everything in our power to make sure truckers know the rules and that they understand how to comply. All our diesel regulations were adopted with one thing in mind - protecting public health."
California regulations are meant to improve the quality of diesel vehicles. The requirements include:
- Implementing fuel-saving technologies
- Using "diesel soot filters"
- Improving old engines, either by upgrading an existing engine or purchasing a new engine
- Reporting information about the trucks in a fleet to CARB
Throughout the month, CARB officials, as well as inspectors from other state agencies, will examine trucks throughout California to ensure they are in compliance with state regulations.
Source: The Trucker, "CARB enforcement campaign to focus on trucker compliance, education," August 6, 2012.
Our firm handles situations in which individuals are harmed by diesel fumes. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our California diesel fumes page.