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CARB Member Dr. John G. Telles, MD Requests Stay of Truck Rules

At the November 19, 2009 meeting of the California Air Resources Board, Dr. John G. Telles, MD stated that he was requesting that the truck rules be set aside because of the Hien T. Tran fraud which has come to light. A video of the statement can be seen at: courtesy of the California Dump Truck Owners Association (CDTOA).  A transcript of his comments are below.

James Goldstene, executive officer of the California Air Resources Board and Ellen Peter, chief counsel for CARB spoke prior to Dr. John Telles in an attempt to white-wash the Tran fraud and science which was behind the truck rules. These comments can be seen in a video clip at: courtesy of the CDTOA.

Comments by Betty Plowman, CDTOAs Membership Services Director, concerning fraudulent credential issues associated with Tran and the CARBs responsibilities and potential liabilities are seen in a video clip at:,

Transcript of the Statement of Dr. John G. Telles, M.D., member of the California Air Resources Board, at the Board meeting November 19, 2009, regarding the high-level CARB cover-up on the on-road truck rule for the public record.

Despite statements made today that there was a known fact that there was a falsification of credentials regarding the methodology report, no one has yet made the comment that the staff and Board Members knew of the falsification prior to the vote and this is what I will be addressing in my comments. I would have expected, at this point, that staff would have made that comment in the public record.

I am going to request, because of ethical and legal implications related to the December 12, 2008 vote on the truck rule, that the truck rule be set aside until we go through a process of relooking at the report of “Methodology for Estimating Premature Death Associated with Exposure to Fine Airborne Particulate Matter in California.”

I wish to read now, into the public record, a letter that I wrote to Ellen Peters, chief counsel, which pretty much outlines why I strongly feel about this. The letter is dated November 16, 2009.

My review of events and circumstances preceding the December 12, 2008 vote on the truck rule has revealed documented facts and pertinent information not brought to the attention of the Board prior to the vote on the truck rule.

Key CARB personnel failed to inform the Board and the public of this information.

In CARB’s own internal documents this information was deemed to be pertinent.  CARB, in an internal document sent to the individual stated: “Your dishonesty regarding your education has called into question the validity of the report “Methodology for Estimating Premature Death Associated with Exposure to Fine Airborne Particulate Matter in California” in which you were the project coordinator and lead author. This report, in turn, supports other controversial and critical regulations adopted by the Air Resources Board.” (Dr. Telles refers to an exhibit to support this document).

The methodology report was pertinent to the truck rule because it supports Appendix D (Health Impacts from On-Road Diesel Vehicles) and Appendix E (Health Results Assessment Methodology) which make the fundamental argument for the reason for the rule-making.

This information is material to the vote because I, as a Board Member and perhaps other Board Members, would have moved to suspend the vote.

I believe it is the ethical, if not legal obligation, for the staff and Board Members to inform the whole Board of all pertinent information prior to a vote on state regulations so that a Board Member may make an informed decision when casting a vote.

The following is a brief outline of information that came to my attention on key CARB personnel prior to the vote.

In a letter, dated July 7, 2008, to Governor Schwarzenegger, Dr. Stanley Young, of the National Institute of Statistical Science, stated none of the authors of the draft “Methodology for Estimating Premature Death Associated with Exposure to Fine Airborne Particulate Matter in California” are professional statisticians.

The duty for drafting the response to this inquiry was given to the project coordinator and lead author of the report, the very person who later confesses that he misrepresented his credentials.

In this draft, the lead author falsely claims that he has a PhD from the University of California Davis.  This draft letter, dated November 4, 2008, was signed by the Secretary of the California EPA and was sent to Dr. Young.  To date, Dr. Young has not received a letter from the California EPA correcting this false claim.

On December 3rd and 4th , 2008, a professor from UCLA communicated with three CARB Board Members alleging the individual did not have a PhD in statistics from the University of California Davis.  At least one Board Member called senior staff at CARB and an investigation was initiated.

On December 8, 2008 the Chief of the Research Division asked the individual if he had a PhD in statistics from UC Davis. The individual on the evening of December 10, 2008, confessed to the chief of the research division that he did not have such a credential.

The following day the ARB had convened to deliberate the truck rule.  At that time, this Chief informed the Executive Officer, the Chief Deputy Executive Officer, the Chief of Heavy-Duty In-Use Strategies, the Chief of the Mobile Source Control Division, the Chief of the Health and Exposure Assessment Branch and at least one Board Member of the individual’s confession.

This information, however, was not relayed to the full board.

It was not until nine months later, at the public meeting of CARB in Diamond Bar on September 24, 2009, at the public testimony, raised this issue, that the staff informed the Board, for the first time, that the project coordinator and lead author of the supporting document of the truck rule had falsified his credentials.

At that time staff made no mention of the fact that they possessed this information prior to the vote on the truck rule.

Last week, November 11, 2009, I learned that that the Chair of CARB was also aware of this information prior to the vote. Thus neither the staff nor the Board Chair informed the full board of this discovery prior to the vote. The public, of course, was also not informed.

In a recent personal communication to me from a Board Member who knew at the time of the vote this information was withheld.  The Board Member state “I also realized it was wrong not to have informed you and other board members about the situation before we acted on the truck rule and at least give you the chance to decide for yourselves whether to delay was needed.”

As a board member of the California Air Resources Board I realize the state of California has vested in me the responsibility to review and vote on regulations that may have a significant impact on the economy and the health of the people of the people California.

To execute my duties it is imperative that I be informed of all pertinent matters relating to the regulations upon which I will be voting. Based on the foregoing facts documenting that key CARB personnel withheld information from the Board and the public, I believe the legitimacy of the vote may be in question.

The scientific validity of the report is not in question, but rather at issue the fundamental violation of procedure.  Failure to reveal this information to the board prior to the vote not only cast doubt on the legitimacy of the truck rule but also upon the legitimacy of CARB itself.

As legal counsel to the Board and in view of your wisdom, experience and knowledge, I seek your opinion in this matter.

Not taking action in this matter seems unacceptable in what appears to be a violation in both ethical and its legal implications; how we handle this challenge will reflect on the future credibility of the California Air Resources Board.

I believe CARB needs to seize the initiative and take steps to protect and preserve the integrity of CARB and its board members’ decision-making process.

End of transcript.