SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board recently fined New Bern Transport Corporation, one of Pepsi Bottling Group's overland trucking contractors, $280,125 for violating air quality laws during 2006-2007.
New Bern failed to inspect their heavy duty diesel trucks, resulting in increased emissions of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Cities affected by the increased emissions from the Indianapolis, Ind. based company include: San Diego, Brawley, Bakersfield, Mojave, Ventura, Santa Maria, Baldwin Park, Carson, San Fernando, Indio, Buena Park, Riverside, Aliso Viejo, Sunnyvale, Santa Rosa, Benicia, Hayward, Ukiah, Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, Salinas, Redding, Eureka and Durham.
"These routine inspections make sure that diesel trucks stay within their target emission levels," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Companies that break the law will be held accountable and should also carry the burden of putting public health at risk."
The issue was brought to the attention of ARB enforcement personnel during a routine inspection of New Bern's smoke testing records, which brought to light the extent of the violations.
As part of the settlement, the responsible New Bern employees will attend a mandatory diesel education and technology class and provide certificates of completion within one year, place emission control labels on all of their heavy duty vehicles and bring them up to federal emission standards, and provide documentation for the next four years that smoke inspections are being carried out on schedule.
ARB will place $210,094 into the California Air Pollution Control Fund. This fund uses settlement fines to conduct air pollution research and fund several programs aimed at reducing emissions as well as educating the public on pollution prevention. The remaining $70,031 will go to the Peralta Community College District to fund diesel education classes.
A decade ago, the ARB listed diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health. Exposure to unsafe levels of diesel emissions can increase the risk of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. California has aggressively worked to cut diesel emissions by cleaning up diesel fuel, requiring cleaner engines for trucks, buses and off-road equipment, and limiting unnecessary idling.
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.