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Large trucks and buses made before 2010 will be prohibited from operating on California roadways starting Jan. 1. It’s the final rule in a set of clean air regulations the California Air Resources Board passed nearly 15 years ago.

The rule applies to diesel vehicles that weigh at least 14,000 pounds. The air resources board said there are an estimated 200,000 vehicles that have yet to comply with the rule just days before the new year, including roughly 70,000 big rig trucks, or about 10% of the commercial motor vehicles operating in the state, according to trucking lobbying groups.

The air resources board has said 2010 and newer engines do a better job of filtering out harmful particulate matter.

When we passed the regulations in 2008, it was to reduce community exposure of toxic air contaminants, it is 100% to protect public health,” said Gerald Berumen, spokesman for the air resources board.

State regulators have said that while big rigs make up about 6% of vehicles registered in the state, they account for more than half of the pollution emitted from mobile sources. — KCRA