The California Air Resources Board costs the city of Farmersville roughly $300,000 on one new vacuum truck as emission standards become more strict
FARMERSVILLE – The California Air Resources Board throws Farmersville for a loop as it tightens its emissions standards on heavy-duty trucks once again, putting the city council at a crossroads on how to move forward.
Only a few months before the deadline, the city of Farmersville was told that two of their heavy-duty diesel trucks were no longer compliant with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission standards. Now, the city council is deliberating what to do next. They have by the end of the year to buy compliant vehicles. The council is still deliberating on the issue and will come to a conclusion soon, but for now, they are weighing their options.
“It came at us from left field,” Council member Gregorio Gomez said. “Not something that we were expecting, so we are able to absorb the costs.”
CARB announced that heavy-duty diesel trucks with engines older than 2010 models would not meet the new emissions standard of the state. The two non-compliant diesel truck types that Farmersville uses are a 1994 international dump truck and a 2006 Vactor vacuum truck. Farmersville city council deliberated on the notice of non-compliance and are at a crossroads.
If the city does not comply, they will get a registration hold from the DMV and the vehicle will be completely removed from the state in 2023. Farmersville can either petition to be exempt from this mandate, retrofit the vehicles, or purchase new ones all together.
The dump truck that Farmersville uses is for city maintenance, whether that is hauling or dumping dirt, debris, cement, trash or other materials alike. Public Works Director Jeff Dowlen said the loss of the dump truck would be an inconvenience, but it is not essential. The vacuum truck, however, is used to maintain the city’s sewer collection system. It is crucial to maintaining the city.
“This vehicle is used to keep the sewer collection system operating properly and efficiently to prevent sewage spills, blockages and damage to wastewater equipment,” Dowlen said. “The loss of this asset is extremely concerning.”
Even though Farmersville was not expecting this new compliance measure, the city is able to afford the purchase of a new vacuum truck, according to Dowlen. The cost of a new vacuum truck would be roughly over $300,000. Gomez stated the funds would be taken from the general fund.
There is also an exemption for this mandate if the vehicle is not used often, which would be 1,000 miles per calendar year in California. Retrofitting the vehicle to meet the CARB standards would be their third option. However, Farmersville is required to have a solution by the end of the year and Gomez said it could take months for CARB to respond to these other options.
“We were really backed into a corner, and it was not a decision that we took lightly,” Gomez said. “They only gave us just three months to find a way out of it, so it just really was not a good position to be in.”