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Forget septic — big rig regulation will affect us all

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Re: the recent flap about unnecessary well and septic inspections. These inspections are just another way to afford employment and revenue to another tier of bureaucracy at the cost of homeowners, and will result in a further degradation of salability. I can see greedy prospective employees lining up now for a slice of that pie. There is another impact that has so far eluded anyone at the news organizations: On Dec. 12, the state Air Resources Board adopted landmark rules to clean up pollution from “big rigs,” which includes over-the-road trucks weighing over 14,000 pounds, school busses, fire trucks and other diesel-powered equipment to take effect Jan. 1, 2011 and will require operators to: 1. Repower, i.e. replace engines in vehicles older that 2010, 2. Install exhaust gas filters costing $10,000 - $16,000 each, and 3. Install fuel-efficient tires and aerodynamic devices on trailers. (There are about 400,000 heavy-duty vehicles registered in California, and more than 500,000 trailers), or 4. Junk their equipment. If you look around you, you will not see any item you own or use that will not be affected by this measure, at a time that has been described as the “worst economic conditions ever.” The good part is that it will “save” 9,400 lives and $49 billion to $69 billion between 2011 and 2025, and any trucker with good credit can get a loan to replace their equipment, but all loans must be paid back. Oh, well. Truett D. Neathery Applegate