“Shake, Rattle and Roll”

At 3:20 A.M. on August 24, when something woke me from a deep sleep, my bed began to shake and I heard what sounded like my windows cracking.

“Earthquake!” I yelled as the family congregated in the hallway to watch the hanging ceiling light continue to sway for at least 3 minutes. I instantly went to the USGS website (www.data.scec.org/recenteqs/) and it was already there, 6.0 centered in American Canyon just 20 miles from me. “FaceBook” was busy as friends in Napa began to post pictures of their homes, debris spilled everywhere. My favorite broker, Theresa Long lost almost her entire collection of antiques, many passed down through generations and over 200 years old. Everyone I have spoken to in Napa had damages and the clean-up continues.
It was a stark reminder that I have become complacent and failed to secure bookcases and other furniture that could topple. Thanks, Bob Dorozio, for sending me instructions on how to do this.

Dump Truck Shortages?

Forty-eight hours after the earthquake, I received a call asking if I knew of any dump trucks available for the clean-up. It turns out finding a truck to haul off debris was becoming difficult. Gee, now who predicted that might happen?

For several years I quoted to CARB a report from PUC which attempted to explain the need for keeping dump trucks regulated, long after freight had been de-regulated. It was clearly stated by PUC that “a stable dump truck force was critical to California because of the many natural disasters” our state faces. And that was long before 9-11 when we also now face terrorist attacks, when heavy-equipment and dump trucks are first on the scene. Sadly, this argument fell on deaf ears.
I did remember that at one time mileage for disaster relief was to be deducted from the “work truck” classification, so I sent off a letter to CARB enforcement asking if this is still true. Call me a skeptic, but I now want everything in writing. My question was, “For those in the Work Truck classification (20,000 miles) will the mileage incurred as a result of the earthquake be exempted?” Here was the reply;

“I thought we specifically called this out in the Work Truck like we did for NOx Exempt and Low-Use, but it appears we didn’t.”

“Our intent was to apply it to that provision as well. Therefore the mileage accrued in support of an emergency event, which would include an earthquake, does not count towards the usage limits of the Work Truck extension as well, if the vehicle was dispatched by a local, state or federal agency. Emergency use includes miles traveled to and from an emergency event and reporting the miles the vehicle was used to support the emergency event is required for any vehicle that exceeds the annual limits.”

How odd…the exemption only applies to government work…not hauling for private concerns, for regular people. So a word to the wise, keep your documentation, the more the better.

Sorry It’s Too Late – Pay the Fine!

I have now heard from three members who have installed DPF’s after July 1, 2014, and they are all being threatened with fines of up to $1,000 a month for this delay. As you can imagine, these folks are all very upset, and their calls have been ignored for up to eight days or longer. These “gross violators” will now each have their cases turned over to the investigation unit within CARB, at which times their fines will be determined.

My CARB Chair Replacement Prediction

Liberals calling for Steinberg (undergrad from UCLA, and JD from UCD) to run for State Attorney General or even more remotely the California Supreme Court, is all miss-direction.

I was able to meet with Assembly members Perea and Gray on August 12th. They along with many others had introduced AB 69 to delay the “hidden gas tax” coming to all of us in January. I was warned that the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Senate President Pro Tem Darryl Steinberg would let this die at the close of the session.

Sure enough, our elected officials spent the last day banning plastic bags and making sure diaper changing tables will now be installed in men’s bathrooms. And because, as a woman, I like to be right in my predictions, here is another one for you. Darryl Steinberg has been termed out.

I would say he has just secured a new position with CARB as it’s new chair.