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Businesses fined over $383,000 for air quality violations
Settlement of 53 cases generates $57,000 for community colleges, $326,000 for pollution control research and projects
SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board announced today settlement payments of $383,375 for 53 air quality violation cases in the third quarter of 2011. Settlements from the cases will benefit California community colleges and help fund air quality research and clean-air projects.
The majority of the violations involved truck and bus fleets that failed to conduct the annual emissions tests that ensure clean-running engines, as required by law.
“Businesses play a vital role in environmental protection,” said Paul Jacobs, Chief of ARB’s Mobile Source Enforcement Branch. “We work hard to establish and maintain good relationships so that we can educate business owners and keep them updated. However, if errors are made and air quality suffers as a result, we are required to take action.”
Of the $383,375.00 collected, $326,275.50 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support air quality projects and research to improve California's air quality. The Peralta Community College District received $56,130.75, and $968.75 went to the Palomar College Foundation, to fund emission education classes under the California Council for Diesel Education and Technology program.
The five companies paying the highest amounts:
- Foresthill Motorsports, LLC paid $155,000 for selling 29 motorcycles that were illegal for use in California.
- Tahoe Truckee Disposal Co., Inc. paid $25,125 for failure to comply with diesel fleet self-inspection requirements, and neglecting to install required emission-reduction devices.
- Alcal-Arcade Contracting, Inc. paid $21,075 for failing to self-inspect its diesel fleets and for not affixing emission control labels to engines.
- Kenyon Plastering, Inc. paid $21,000 for failing to inspect its diesel fleet and for not affixing emission control labels to engines.
- Redding Yamaha SeaDoo paid $20,000 for removing emissions control equipment from motorcycles, rendering them uncertified and illegal for sale in California.
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.
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.