Owners of older cars and light trucks in California have long known that smog certification is required every other year as a condition of vehicle registration. No certification, no registration. It’s been that way since 1984. Big rigs, unlike passenger vehicles, don’t have to pass state smog checks. Diesel trucks spew the major portion of oxides of nitrogen and diesel particulate matter into California’s air.
It’s not likely to get better anytime soon, as more than one-third of the big-rigs registered in California and operating on our roads and highways are out of compliance with state emissions regulations, according to the California Air Resources Board.
That is, unless California acts, and the state Senate has taken the first step. Legislation was introduced Monday to establish a smog certification program for heavy-duty diesel trucks.