SACRAMENTO - C.K Transport of Lucerne Valley and VRGS Trucking of Fontana recently settled with the California Air Resources Board for $4,000 and $4,125 respectively for failing to properly inspect their heavy duty diesel trucks for compliance with the state's smoke emissions standards.
"Although it's impossible to put a price tag on clean air, violations such as these cannot go unnoticed," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "We need to ensure that diesel trucks, a significant source of smog, are following California standards to avoid exacerbating the already fouled air in our state and risking the health of our residents."
As agreed in the settlement, the two companies' staff responsible for compliance with periodic smoke and heavy duty diesel vehicle inspection programs is required to attend courses at the California Council on Diesel Education and Technology. Further, all their heavy duty commercial vehicle operators shall comply with the state's idling regulations, supply all smoke inspection records to ARB for the next several years, and have properly labeled engines to ensure compliance with the engine emission certification program regulations.
Diesel particulate matter can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis and other lung diseases, and reduce the body's ability to fight infections. Statewide in 2006, on-road diesel vehicles produced almost 17,000 tons a day of diesel particulate matter, which is 40 percent of the total emitted in California.
An ARB investigation showed that both C.K. Transport and VRGS Trucking failed to comply with mandated smoke emission standards. The ARB's periodic smoke and heavy duty diesel vehicle inspection programs require annual smoke opacity tests of California-based fleets. In conjunction with the roadside smoke inspection program, ARB uses these programs to ensure that all of California's heavy duty vehicles are properly maintained, unaltered and free from excessive smoke emissions.
ARB will deposit the penalty payments from both settlements into the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which was established to mitigate various sources of pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technology. This fund uses compliance settlement fees to fund various pollution-related research projects and related programs. Also, $1,000 from the VRGS Trucking's penalty will be directed to the Peralta Community College District to fund diesel technology education programs.
The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. 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.