CARB Roundup for 2015 and Forecast for 2016 By Sean Edgar, CleanFleets.net, CMSA Affiliate Member

California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations continued to affect the moving and storage industry in 2015. As 2016 approaches, new challenges are on the horizon. This article provides an end of year checklist for movers and forthcoming regulations: Truck and Bus Regulation: Fleets that “phased-in” compliance for their heavy trucks must meet a 100% filter requirement on 1/1/2016 unless reported credits extend that date. For lighter trucks, nearly all 1997 and older model year trucks (i.e. 1996 engines) must be replaced unless mileage tracking and reporting to CARB is accomplished under the low use exemption. Federal auditing will affect the van lines as USEPA is teaming up with CARB to conduct fleet audits and enforcement. A Virginia interstate carrier recently paid over $390,000 for missing filter deadlines and failing to verify the CARB compliance of trucks they hired; Opacity Testing: All diesel truck owners of two or more trucks greater than 6,000 lbs GVWR must have the opacity test or state Smog Check inspection performed to cover the December 31 compliance deadline. Make sure you have an opacity test result for each truck and CleanFleets performs this testing should it not be completed yet during 2015. Flat Floor Trailers (53-feet and longer): CARB received federal approval in 2013 for this regulation. Both the trailer and the tractor that pulls it on California roads must meet the aerodynamic requirements by adding Smartway approved aerodynamic devices and/or tires. Only fleets that applied to CARB back in 2011 or 2012 can be running a portion of their trailers non-compliant. Big enforcement expected in 2016; Propane Forklifts and Sweeper: The little known Large Spark Ignition (LSI) Regulation affects owners of four or more propane or gasoline forklifts and sweepers. There were fleet average targets to meet between 2009-2013 and facilities that do not know if they met the targets may call us for advice. Keeping Documentation: Ensure that you have clear records of what you own, how much you use and make the CARBrequired disclosures when selling trucks; Sustainable Freight Strategy: In 2016, CARB and/or the South Coast AQMD will focus regulations on “freight facilities” (which includes warehouses) with the goals of identifying possible facility emissions caps based on distance to neighbors and number of truck trips. Sean Edgar testified for CARB to abandon this project because clean trucks are already mandated at all freight facilities. CleanFleets has already assisted dozens of CMSA members with these requirements. You may email Service@CleanFleets.net with any questions related to this article or call 916-520- 6040 Ext 102.

AMSA Highlights Falling Moving Costs with the Military Times

Scott Michael, AMSA president and CEO, sent a letter to the editor of the Military Times responding to a story about military moving costs.

“Regarding your story, “Watchdog: Costs drop for shipping troops’ goods,” this analysis shows what the American Moving & Storage Association has been saying all along: that PCS moving costs have actually fallen steadily in the past five years.

Overall, though, we are disappointed that the GAO report looks at too long a timeframe, from 2001 to 2014, and thus misses this notable drop in costs. The earlier period of time that the GAO looked at included the implementation of the DP3 program, which shifted a significant workload and cost from PPSOs to moving companies for counseling, shipment management and data entry. It also included the addition of full-value replacement and repair coverage on claims of lost or damaged items, another significant cost factor. Even so, PCS moving costs continue to decline.

Meanwhile, the moving and storage industry has made substantial financial investments in improved service, which have resulted in higher satisfaction scores in surveys of those who have been relocated. Despite the decreases in moving expenses under the PCS program, members of the military are feeling better about the service they receive from their movers.

While the moving and storage industry supports prudent spending by the federal government, cutting the PCS program’s budget, which accounts for less than one percent of the Defense Department’s overall budget and is already on the decline, can only harm the ability of service members and their families to successfully move to and from duty stations or extended training.

Our industry takes great pride in the services we provide to the nation’s military, and we strongly believe the American taxpayer is getting a great value for the dollars spent on moving costs in this program. The falling costs and rising satisfaction rates show this to be true.”

Highway Bill a Victory for Moving Companies and Consumers, Says American Moving & Storage Association

Alexandria, VA) —The American Moving & Storage Association represents national van lines, independent movers and industry suppliers, and serves as the home of the ProMover certification program. Scott Michael, president and CEO, and Dan Veoni, vice president of government affairs, comment on today’s passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act by the U.S. Congress.

“The American Moving & Storage Association commends Congress for passing a bipartisan, long-term transportation funding bill that will provide much-needed investments in our nation’s roads. This bill represents a victory for both moving companies and consumers,” said Scott Michael. “We are pleased to see that the legislation addresses many of the priorities we have been fighting for this year, especially higher annual funding levels over a shorter period of time. Our bridges and highways urgently need a serious upgrade that will help strengthen America’s economy. This bill makes sure that both moving company drivers and everyday Americans can have access to a more modern transportation system. We thank all our members who visited and contacted congressional offices this year for helping achieve this successful result.”

“The American Moving & Storage Association appreciates that Congress heard our calls for regulatory reform that will better protect consumers and improve safety on our nation’s highways,” said Dan Veoni. “The bill removes the flawed Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores from public view while the agency improves the program’s methodology. It also establishes a household goods working group to reduce the paperwork burden on consumers, and creates a pilot program for young veterans to drive commercial vehicles across state lines, although we believe this should be expanded to all qualified commercial driver’s license holders under the age of 21. Finally, we are glad to see that Congress will not increase the number of states allowed to impose new tolls on interstate highways, which would have added burdensome new costs on both movers and consumers.”

Scott Michael added, “The American Moving & Storage Association urges President Obama to sign the FAST Act into law without delay. Even with the passage of this bill, our work is not complete. We will continue to fight for strong consumer protections and federal policies that ensure a safe, successful moving experience for millions of people each year.”