Release 10-34
May 19, 2010

    Karen Caesar
626-575-6728 desk
626-818-0145 cell

Over $86,000 in settlement funds go to community colleges, clean-air fund
Settlements benefit education and air quality projects, research

SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board distributed more than $86,000 to community colleges and a state clean-air fund in April as a result of settlements with companies that violated clean air laws.

The violations included failure to conduct smoke inspection tests, comply with trash truck regulations and install certified emissions reduction equipment on diesel engines.

“Diesel emissions are a serious health threat to those who live – and work – near these vehicles,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden.  “Compliance with state rules ensures that these emissions are kept in check.  We’re glad that these settlements will benefit community colleges and clean-air research and education.”

These settlements, totaling $86,100, will be distributed to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and the Peralta Community College District. The fund will receive $64,575 for projects and research to improve California's air quality.  The remaining $21,525 will go to the college district to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges around the state.  

These settlements were the result of the following violations:

Failure to properly inspect their diesel vehicles, as required by California law, between 2005 and 2009:

Failure to properly inspect diesel-powered vehicles between 2007 and 2008; and, neglecting to install proper emission-reduction devices, required by law:

Installing illegal diesel exhaust retrofits on customer vehicles in 2007 and 2008:
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.

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.