Past Pages from Feb. 20, 2012: Tough trick: Clean-air regs cost Nevada companies big bucks

 PAST PAGES – Feb. 20, 2012
Nevada transportation companies that do business in California are finding it costly to comply with rules and regulations enacted to clean up California’s air.
Beginning Jan. 1, new California Air Resources Board rules require privately owned diesel trucks to be retrofitted with exhaust filters to capture pollutants before they are emitted to the air.
CARB regulations also stipulate replacement of older vehicles beginning in 2015 so that from 2020 to 2023 all older vehicles would be upgraded to meet 2010 exhaust emissions standards.
Fines for vehicles that are out of compliance can run about $1,000 a day, says the California Trucking Association. Many northern Nevada transportation companies have found it most prudent to begin upgrading their fleets — at no small cost.
Jeff Lynch, president of ITS Logistics in Sparks, estimates his company has spent between $5.5 and $6 million over the last two years revamping his fleet of more than 300 big rig trucks to comply with CARB regulations. ITS Logistics purchased 33 new tractors in 2011, and it purchased 16 new Volvo tractors in 2010.

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo

Farmers enjoying increased demand for local products
The demand from retailers and restaurants for locally grown products is paying dividends for northern Nevada’s farmers.
Take Chris Foster, owner of Hidden Valley Honey.
Foster began producing honey full time after losing his job as a molecular biologist, but it wasn’t until the small Reno company placed its products in Whole Foods Market that business really took off.
Hidden Valley Honey has a coveted six-foot-tall display at Whole Foods that Foster re-stocks with about 500 pounds of honey every week.
Hidden Valley Honey sells almost as much honey to Whole Foods as it sells to 14 different Scolari’s locations,
Foster says.
“If it wasn’t for that display, I don’t think the honey would move that well — it would disappear on the shelf. But having its own stand sets it apart and that has helped sales a lot,” he says.
Hidden Valley Honey, which also sells beeswax candles, soap and lip balm, was recruited by Scolari’s two years ago as the demand rose for local goods. Hidden Valley Honey recently landed its products in Raley’s and three other Whole Foods stores in California as well, and Foster and his wife, Karen, estimate they are selling roughly 40,000 pounds of honey each year.

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo


Loans to smalled of business borrowers beginning a comeback
Microlending — the business of getting tiny loans out to entrepreneurs who need to buy a truck or a equipment for a one-man shop — is stirring back to life in northern Nevada.
Nevada Microenterprise Initiative, the pioneer microlender in the state, is back in the business after a year in which it stopped lending while it reorganized its board and management structure.
And Disabled Veterans Assistance Foundation USA, a nonprofit headquartered in Laguna Niguel, Calif., has launched a 50-state program to provide microloans to disabled
veterans who are looking to launch or expand small businesses.
—Page 1, by John Seelmeyer


EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature snippets of stories that published a decade ago to provide readers a 10-year perspective of business news in the region. This week’s stories first published in the Feb. 20, 2012, edition of the NNBW.


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