|Mary Salas Fricke
SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources
Board has fined Home Design/Lifestyle Furniture of Fresno $5,500 this month for diesel truck emission violations
that occurred in 2007 and 2008.
An ARB fleet audit found that the company had not been annually inspecting its heavy-duty diesel vehicles, as required by California law. Not performing the required smoke inspections can lead to increased cancer-causing diesel emissions.
"Despite continued air quality improvement in the Valley, the area still fails to meet federal health standards," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Cases like this remind us that everyone needs to do their part to keep harmful emissions down."
As part of the settlement, Home Design must:
The company will pay $5,500 in penalties: $4,125 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California's air quality; $687.50 will go to Peralta Community College District to fund emission education classes conducted by participating California community colleges under the California Council for Diesel Education and Technology; and, the remaining $687.50 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.
A decade ago, the ARB listed diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health. Exposure to 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.