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newsrel -- Foster Enterprises fined $300,000 for violating California air quality laws

Posted: 17 Jan 2013 13:11:02
Please consider the following news release from the California
Air Resources Board:




News Release 13-03

Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728


Foster Enterprises fined $300,000 for violating California air
quality laws

SoCal court imposes first-ever penalty for not complying with
refrigerated trailer rule

LOS ANGELES – The San Bernardino County Superior Court has fined
Foster Enterprises, an Ontario-based refrigerated transportation
and cold storage business, $300,000 after an Air Resources Board
investigation revealed that the company failed to upgrade older
diesel engines in its refrigerated trailer fleet as required to
meet current emissions standards.
The case is noteworthy in that it resulted in the first
court-imposed fine issued under ARB’s 2004 Transport
Refrigeration Unit (TRU) regulation. The company owners will pay
$200,000 and the balance of the fine will be stayed, as long as
they comply with the terms in the judgment handed down by the San
Bernardino County Superior Court, and keep their fleet updated as
required. The company is not connected to Foster Farms.

“All business owners should pay attention to this case,” said ARB
Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “This company actually had to pay
twice – once to comply with the law, and then again as a penalty.
Had the owners complied originally, they would have saved us and
themselves significant time and money, and helped to keep a level
playing field for their colleagues and competitors.”

Although the diesel engines powering “reefer” units on trucks and
trailers are relatively small, large numbers of these engines
congregate at distribution centers, truck stops and other
facilities, resulting in the potential for health risks to those
that live and work nearby.
California’s TRU regulation, adopted in 2004, gave fleet owners
several years to plan for compliance before enforcement began.
Fleet owners now need to gradually replace or retrofit their
reefer engines, beginning with those dating from 2002 and
earlier. Most companies have invested substantial resources to
follow the rules. Foster Enterprises, which is located near a
school and residential area, continued to operate reefers powered
by engines from the 1980s and 1990s. The majority of Foster’s TRU
fleet – 32 units – were out of compliance on the first day of

The ARB originally offered to settle the case for much less than
the ultimate penalty. Because the company refused and continued
to operate the high-polluting TRUs, ARB referred the matter to
the Attorney General for prosecution. Finally, months after the
deadline and in order to avoid a trial, the business owners sold
their non-compliant units and leased cleaner TRU trailers, about
18 months later than their competitors.
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.

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