The city of Irvine could soon be adding new regulations, and potentially hefty fines, for commercial trucks that use city roads, according to a memo from Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan to the Irvine city manager. The memo, dated Sept. 16, cites concern from Irvine residents and requests the City Council issue new requirements for all asphalt trucks to be covered.

This agenda item, supported by Irvine City Council Member Mike Carroll, arrives just two weeks after dozens of Irvine residents addressed the City Council with continued concerns over potential toxic emissions emitting from the All American Asphalt facility near Orchard Hills, on Tuesday, Sept. 14. While residents fear the facility itself is a major cause of pollution, residents add that the trucks contribute to the noxious odors impacting the quality of life near the area.

During the meeting, residents presented video evidence of commercial trucks using residential streets in Irvine while transporting loads of uncovered asphalt.

However, Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel explained that no such regulation existed.

“There is a vehicle code that governs that loads must be covered, however there is a specific carve out that asphalt trucks do not need to be covered,” Hamel said. “So there is no provision to enforce asphalt trucks that are not covered.”

In the memo, Khan presented recommended actions, which included using the municipal code for enforcement in the form of fines, for asphalt trucks that did not comply with designated routes.

“Furthermore, we recommend the City Council consider utilizing the municipal code to include enforcement of designated commercial routes by the Irvine Police Department through all means appropriate, including but not limited to significant fines and other penalties,” the memo read. “Finally, we request the City Council consider utilizing the municipal code to defined restricted routes by adjusting the maximum vehicle way to prevent asphalt and commercial trucks from driving on certain roads, while also providing the necessary exemptions for school buses, delivery vehicles, and emergency vehicles.”

The Irvine City Council will discuss this agenda item during the council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 28.