According to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, there are less than 20 natural gas stations in the state of Wisconsin.
Changes in the Trucking Industry
According to the Food Safety News, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will require changes in the trucking industry. FSMA states the trucking industry needs to “improve tracking and tracing of processed foods and fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities in the event of a foodborne illness outbreak.”
For truckers, improving traceability means using the latest technologies, such as Global Positioning Systems to keep a record of where every pallet of food is at any given moment, as well as where it came from and where it is distributed, reported FleetOwner. Tracking food at a high level of detail will allow companies to cut down on wasted fresh product that can become spoiled in transit.
Currently, about 5 to 7 percent of fresh produce is lost during transportation. Such tracing technologies have now improved to the point where companies can keep track of not only where a product is, but also the temperature it’s stored at, among a wealth of other information.
“Technology is actually pretty good,” said Dr. John Ryan, president of Ryan Systems, who has spent more than 25 years developing high-tech quality control systems. “You can use sensors to get temperature readings at the pallet level and you can use GPS to track the load and cellular technology to transmit the temperature data in real time. We can also use sensors to detect tampering or find explosives.”
A set of Guidelines for Sanitary Transportation of Food was issued in 2005. The Department of Health and Human Services has yet to publish its protocol for food transportation as mandated by FSMA.
EPA to Penalize Non-compliant 2012, 2013 Engines
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an interim rule to make nonconformance penalties available to manufacturers of heavy-duty diesel engines in model years 2012 and 2013 for emissions of oxides of nitrogen.
The penalty would be approximately $1,900 per engine and could increase over time. This rule is being issued in response to concerns about the continued availability of International Truck engines while they pursue the certification process for an engine that will comply with the 2010 requirements.
Engine manufacturers can meet the current EPA requirements with non-compliant engines if they have previously earned credits by selling engines that surpassed the emissions requirements in place at the time of sale.
Meanwhile, California presents another set of concerns. The state has its own emissions regulations that do not allow for the sale of non-compliant engines once the banked emissions credits run out.
Talks Underway for Truck-Only Freeway in Southern California
Transportation officials in Southern California are discussing plans for a truck-only east-west freeway joining two major interstates. The plan is part of a comprehensive 30-year regional transportation plan for the area to improve the movement of goods in Southern California.
Specifically, officials are considering a truck-only link between Interstate 710 in Commerce, California and Interstate 15 in Ontario, California.
Approximately 40 percent of the goods coming into the U.S. arrive at the port complex of Los Angeles-Long Beach, and that contributes significantly to the 13,000 trucks, on average, that cross from Los Angeles County into San Bernardino County along current corridors every day. And, that number is expected to nearly double by 2035.
Officials are putting a heavy emphasis on “clean” trucks, too. For instance, the proposed truck-only freeway could be limited to zero-emission trucks that run on alternative fuels.