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newsrel -- Western Farm agrees to pay $114,000 for air violations

Posted: 17 Oct 2008 11:03:44
Fresno company breaks smoke inspection rules.

Release 08-93
October 17, 2008

Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990


Western Farm agrees to pay $114,000 for air violations
Fresno company breaks smoke inspection rules

SACRAMENTO: The Air Resources Board fined a Fresno, Calif.-based
farm service company $114,000 last week for failing to inspect
its truck fleet for diesel emission violations in 2006 and 2007
throughout the Valley.

The company distributes farm products, including seeds and
fungicides. Violations occurred in the following facilities:
Greenfield, Salinas, Bakersfield, Watsonville, San Jacinto,
Riverside, Visalia, Walnut Grove, Firebaugh, Five Points,
Hollister, Merced, Delano, Vernalis, Modesto and Imperial.

An ARB investigation revealed that Western Farm did not comply
with the state’s Periodic Smoke Inspection Program in 2006-2007
which ensures that trucks in California meet health-based
emission requirements.

“Making the commitment to state regulations and health and
safety codes protects the quality of our air,” said ARB Chairman
Mary Nichols. “As we continue to push for the compliance of our
regulations, awareness grows and progress toward a cleaner
California becomes a reality.”

The settlement amount will be distributed to the Air Pollution
Control Fund at $85,500 with the remaining $28,500 paid to the
Peralta Community Colleges for a program that trains diesel
fleet staff on compliance with ARB diesel programs. ARB’s
periodic smoke inspection program requires the owners and
operators of California-based trucks and fleets of two or more
heavy-duty diesel motor vehicles to annually inspect the smoke
opacity of their vehicles that are four years older than the
model year of that vehicle’s engine.

In addition to the fine, Western Farms has agreed to:

• Comply with Periodic Smoke Inspection Program and the Heavy
Duty Vehicle Inspection Program;

• Attend the California Council on Diesel Education and
Technology class;

• Provide copies of all compliance records for the 2008 and
subsequent four calendar years;

• Provide proof that each engine of the fleet meets emissions
standards at least as stringent as U.S. federal standards; and,

• Instruct all employees to meet the idling regulations.

These requirements are part of California’s overall effort to
lower health risks posed by dirty diesel engines, the goal an 85
percent reduction in diesel emissions from 2000 levels by 2020.
Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40
other known cancer-causing compounds. Exposure can cause cancer,
respiratory and cardiovascular problems as well as premature

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.


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