SACRAMENTO, CA --- SNH Transport of Oxnard, Calif., is the first small business to receive a cleaner-running truck with the assistance of the California Air Resources Board's voucher and loan guarantee money.

The owner of SNH Transport traded in his 1988 truck for a new 2009 model ahead of ARB diesel regulation requirements. The trucker used Voucher Incentive Program, or VIP, money as a down-payment and the loan guarantee program to finance the remaining balance of the purchase price of a new truck.

"It is exciting to see the trucking community combine financial assistance programs to spur activity in the banking, dealership and manufacturing sectors," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Truckers are driving away with cleaner-running trucks and Californians are getting cleaner air to breathe." 

The loan guarantee program provides loan opportunities to small businesses that have less than 100 employees and generate less than $10 million in annual revenue made primarily in California. The program is a partnership with the State Treasurer's Office California Capital Access Program, or CalCAP, to provide nearly $240 million in financial assistance to truckers affected by the statewide clean truck and bus rule and the diesel truck greenhouse gas reduction plan.

"In tough economic times, the program provided an affordable way to keep this trucker on the road with newer, greener equipment," said State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. "The new rig will burn less fuel and help make our air cleaner and healthier."

Truckers can apply for loans at participating financial institutions to finance new vehicles, engine exhaust retrofits or SmartWay aerodynamic equipment that improves gas mileage and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The maximum amount per loan is $1.5 million.

The Voucher Incentive Program helps small California-based fleets replace their older, polluting trucks with newer, cleaner models. More than $15 million is available and is open to any qualified truck owner to fund heavy-duty truck replacements statewide. Between $30,000 and $35,000 is available per grant, depending on the age of the old truck. Eligible trucks must operate 75 percent of the time in California and have a 1993 model year or older engine.

Participating truck dealerships can help business owners check eligibility and apply for a voucher. Grants are made on a first-come, first-served basis and qualifying applications are reviewed and approved within five business days.

VIP and the loan guarantee programs are part of the state's overall plan to cut toxic diesel emissions 85 percent by 2020. In December, ARB adopted statewide clean truck and bus regulations to bring California closer to meeting federally mandated air-quality standards and deadlines.
For additional program information about regulations and incentive programs that affect California trucks, go to:

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.