June 9, 2006
SACRAMENTO -- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has received settlement monies amounting to $299,000 from Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., BNSF Railway, and Dependable Highway Express (DHE) for failing to properly self inspect their diesel truck fleets as required under the ARB's Periodic Smoke Inspection Program.
"ARB regulations are established to ensure that all of California's heavy-duty diesel vehicles are properly maintained and free from excessive smoke," said ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon. "These settlements send a clear message that ARB's self-inspection program must be taken seriously."
The Periodic Smoke Inspection Program requires that owners of California-based truck and bus fleets perform annual inspections of their vehicles to ensure that their engine emissions meet state and federal air quality standards.
Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., a wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies located in Virginia, paid $137,000 for noncompliance with the smoke emissions program. The settlement monies were distributed between the California Air Pollution Control Fund (APCF), which received $102,750, and the Peralta Community College District, which will use the remaining $34,250 to fund diesel technology education programs at California Community Colleges. In addition, all compliance personnel for Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. must attend diesel education and technology classes. Applicable trucks in their fleet must also have their computer software upgraded to reduce excess smog-forming emissions.
BNSF Railway paid $ 65,250 to the APCF and $21,750 to the Peralta Community College District for their violations. As part of their settlement, both the California BNSF Manager of Environmental Operations and the Project Manager of Vehicle Fleets must attend diesel education classes. They must also upgrade their engine emissions software to meet state emissions standards.
DHE made payments to the APCF for $56,250 and to the Peralta Community College District for $18,750. In addition to upgrading engine emissions software, compliance personnel for DHE must attend training courses that focus on commercial vehicle idling regulations.
The APCF 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.
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.
The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at http://www.arb.ca.gov