Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

DATE: AUGUST 19, 2003

SUBJECT: AIR RESOURCES BOARD PROPOSED DIESEL TRUCK RULE

Staff Coordinator: Lauren Ramezani, Sr. Administrative Analyst

RECOMMENDATION

Authorize the Mayor to sign a letter to the Air Resources Board (ARB) opposing the proposed ruling affecting diesel trash trucks.

BACKGROUND

This item has been brought to the City Council at the request of Councilmember McTaggart. This item has to do with the California Air Resources Board's (ARB) proposed rule to control diesel particulate matter for diesel fueled solid waste collection vehicles i.e. trash trucks. A public hearing to discuss the proposed regulations has been scheduled for September 2003. If approved the ARB will adopt new sections 2020, 2021.1 and 2021.2, title 13, California Code of Regulations. Councilmember McTaggart would like the City Council to oppose these proposed rules and write a letter to ARB accordingly. (draft letter attached)

DISCUSSION

The goal of the proposed rule is to reduce particulate emissions from diesel fueled vehicles, including garbage trucks. The new requirements will require the City to:

  1. Ensure that garbage contractors are in compliance with the proposed retrofit rules. The deadline to phase in truck retrofits starts December, 2004. (i.e. all new trash trucks purchased will have to be low emission vehicles.)
  2. Report to the ARB the names and owner and fleet information of all of its contractors for which it regulates rates;
  3. Provide the ARB with a description of the total cost and funding source required to bring the contractor into compliance with the retrofit requirements.

In addition, the City would be required to submit annual reports to the ARB that include a statement from each contractor that it is in compliance with the retrofit requirements; a statement from the City stating that signed statements have been received from each contractor; and the names of any contractor who has not submitted the requirement information.

The League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties, the Regional Council of Rural Counties and the Solid Waste Association of North America- California Chapters all strongly oppose the rule as currently drafted. (Letter attached) These organizations agree with the need to reduce particulate emissions from diesel fueled vehicles, but strongly object to the portion of the proposed rule that applies to rate regulated solid waste haulers, in particular, the proposed rule's placing local governments in enforcement and regulatory roles.

IMPACT ON CITY: If approved, the City will be impacted. There will be additional staff time spent gathering and providing the necessary reports; the City could face possible penalties for not providing the reports; and there could be possible rate increases for residents. Staff has also contacted the City Attorney's office. The City will be obligated to report on its haulers compliance, or lack of. However, it seems that the only penalties will be if the City does not submit an annual statement to the ARB. Additionally, even though the ruling says "municipalities…shall ensure compliance…", it is the ARB that is responsible for making sure the trucks meet these new retrofit requirements.

The City currently has 11 authorized non-exclusive commercial haulers and 2 exclusive residential haulers. The proposed ruling will not affect RPV commercial haulers because the City does not regulate their rates. However, it will impact the City's residential haulers since the City sets a maximum rate for its residential haulers.

Staff has contacted Waste Management regarding the impact of this proposed rule on trucks servicing RPV and possible rate increases. Waste Management has informed staff that it will not request extraordinary rate adjustments and that their company policy is to automatically change any old truck (8 years or older, or when the truck reaches the municipality's maximum vehicle age limit) to new Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) powered trucks. Ivy Rubbish Disposal only operates one truck (and has a back up truck), therefore, it will not be affected by the proposed ruling. However, in September 2003, Ivy Rubbish plans to request the City Council to approve the assignment of their contract to Universal Waste Systems, Inc. (UWS). UWS will have to address potential rate increases at that time.

FISCAL IMPACT

Staff has not been notified of any rate adjustment request at this time. However, if in the future Waste Management or UWS (if their assignment is approved), requests an extraordinary rate adjustment, the City Council can either pass the rate increase to customers, or use the Waste Reduction Fund to offset the costs.

Respectfully Submitted:
Dean E. Allison, Director of Public Works

Reviewed by:
Les Evans, City Manager