SACRAMENTO, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The trucking and construction industry praised California regulators for delaying implementation of the bulk of new regulations on diesel emissions.
The move was hailed as a positive gesture to industries hit hard by the recession and are continuing to struggle to recover, the Los Angeles Times said Saturday.
"Four of every 10 construction workers in California have lost their jobs," said Michael Kennedy, general counsel of the Associated General Contractors of America. "It is difficult to revisit decisions already made. This is an example of good government."
The California Air Resources Board announced Friday it would hold off on the requirement that would require the retrofitting of about 250,000 heavy trucks with improved exhaust filters by 2014 and mandate the retirement of medium-weight trucks when they are 20 years old.
The Times said the new standards would have slashed diesel emissions in California, particularly the San Joaquin Valley and the state's seaports and rail yards, by 70 percent in the next decade. The price tag for compliance, however, was estimated at $3.8 billion.
The Air Resources Board did implement a number of amendments that would keep the emissions program moving forward at a slower pace.
"The changes we set in place today will continue those public health benefits while reducing the cost of compliance by more than 60 percent," board Chairman Mary Nichols said in a written statement.