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newsrel -- Businesses fined for air quality violations Posted: 09 Jun 2011 12:59:08
Settlement of 33 cases generates $56K for community colleges, $188K for pollution control . FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Release #: 11-23 Date:06/09/2011 ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990 CONTACT: Karen Caesar 626-575-6728 firstname.lastname@example.org SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board announced today that since January 1, it has settled 33 cases involving air quality violations mostly by trucks and buses, primarily for failure to properly conduct and pass self-inspections aimed at measuring vehicle smoke emissions to ensure state requirements are met. Of the nearly $244,000 collected, approximately $188,000 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support air quality projects and research to improve California's air quality. An estimated $56,000 went to the Peralta Community College District to fund emission education classes at participating California community colleges under the California Council for Diesel Education and Technology program. “Fining a company is usually a last resort,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “We take every opportunity to educate business owners and explain the need for compliance with California’s environmental laws. But when a company is negligent or chooses to not cooperate, we must take action. Chances are good that they will not repeat the offense.” Fines totaled $243,659.00; none from this group exceeded $30,000. The five companies paying the highest amounts were: * Southern California Edison (SCE), fined $23,000.00, was cited for failure to properly self-inspect their diesel trucks to assure the trucks met state smoke emission standards, and to properly affix emission control labels on the engines of their fleet vehicles. * Versacold Logistics LLC, fined $20,325.00, failed to submit a report of activities involving transport refrigeration units at their Modesto facility by the required deadline. The company has now submitted a complete report and agreed to comply with all pertinent regulations. * Ensign United States Drilling (California) Inc., fined $19,125.000, failed to smoke test diesel vehicles in its fleet and to report and label its off-road diesel vehicles by the required deadline. * Paul Vaz Trucking, Inc., fined $19,000.00 for failing to properly self-inspect their diesel trucks and properly affix required emission control labels. * Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, fined $17,000 for failing to properly retrofit many of its urban buses and transit fleet vehicles to assure the trucks met state smoke emission standards. Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems. To read about mobile source enforcement cases settled for over $30,000 during this period, please visit these links: City of Compton fined $48,000 for diesel truck and equipment violations Southern California importer of off-highway vehicles ordered to pay $250,000 judgment #### ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.