Truck rule hurts everyone - The Packer

Truck rule hurts everyone

07/30/2010 09:55:47 AM
The Packer Editorial Board

Regional growing areas have a number of benefits when they promote their local deals in the summer, with fresher product, local pride, less transportation and lower prices, to name a few.

Thanks to new California transportation regulations, the country’s No.1 producing state may be giving another reason for buyers to look local.

New state emission regulations for refrigeration units on trucks that operate in California are causing problems for out-of-state buyers of California produce.

Through the first half of this year, trucks carrying product out of the state have been fined, delayed and forced off the roads until they comply with the lower emissions standards.

On top of that, the California Air Resources Board — which developed and enforces the regulations — is looking at stricter enforcement, possibly holding brokers, wholesalers and anyone who makes transportation arrangements responsible for trucks that do not comply.

Trucking groups and produce groups, such as Western Growers, have worked with the board but have found it to be increasingly hostile to business.

Some parts of California have legitimate air quality issues, but rules like this put the burden of fixing the problems unfairly on the shoulders of business.

Rules like this give incentives for non-California companies to refrain from doing business with the state, which would result in fewer California fruits and vegetables being shipped and consumed, lower revenues for California businesses, and even lower revenue for the state’s politicians.

That’s bad business and bad government.

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