Re: your Aug. 16 article, â€śNew air rules causing firms to sell old diesel gear abroadâ€?:
Camarillo Engineering has been a progressive steward of the environment by voluntarily cleaning up the air by replacing 25 of the dirtiest diesel engines in our fleet of off-road heavy-duty construction equipment at a cost of more than $3 million. We could not have achieved this without state incentive funding, but it wonâ€™t be enough to meet the regulation adopted July 26 by the California Air Resources Board.
It was very clear this regulation was voted on because of political pressure from the governorâ€™s office. Our industry provided the Air Resources Board with a reasonable plan that would clean up emissions, allow us to stay in business, meet federal emission mandates and produce the cleanest construction fleet in the world.
Now CARB is telling our industry to do something no other industry in California has been asked to do: get rid of equipment before its useful life is over and purchase new equipment before it is economically sensible to do so. The major manufacturers of new equipment do not have to meet these same requirements until four years after the rule is implemented. This is a backward strategy.
CARBâ€™s regulation will drive up the costs of all construction. Californians can count on buying less infrastructure with the bond funds they approved in November, and they will sit longer in traffic. Meanwhile, a regulation that encourages contractors to â€śretireâ€? or get rid of machines results in the layoff of thousands of well-paid, highly skilled construction workers.
Despite all of these reasons, CARB unanimously voted for the regulation, with little concern for its impact on our industry and Californiaâ€™s infrastructure. The governorâ€™s re-election campaign was based on his wish to rebuild California. Now his political machine is forcing us to build less, without ever asking a taxpayer.
â€” Dave Porcher, Oak Park
(The writer is the department manager for mechanics and maintenance staff at Camarillo Engineering Inc. â€” Editor)