Release 08-16
February 22, 2008

    Gennet Paauwe

ValleyCrest Companies settle for $65,000
California clean truck laws violated

SACRAMENTO - Earlier this month ValleyCrest Companies, of Calabasas, Calif., settled with the California Air Resources Board for nearly $65,000 for failure to comply with state clean truck laws.

ValleyCrest neglected to properly inspect their diesel truck fleet for excess smoke emissions during 2006 and 2007, resulting in violations in the following cities: Cypress, San Diego, Pleasanton, Sacramento, Fillmore, Sunol, Farmington, Sylmar, Santa Ana, Redwood City, San Jose, Gardena, Aliso Viejo and Modesto.

"Fleet owners are responsible for the maintenance of their trucks - including annual smoke tests," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Neglecting all or part of required maintenance can have serious impacts on a company's profits and have a detrimental effect on air quality and public health."

In addition to the penalty, ValleyCrest employees responsible for compliance with the state's truck emission inspection laws must complete training through the California Council on Diesel Education and Technology. Emission control labels must also be properly affixed to engines, and all applicable employees must be instructed on how to comply with California idling restrictions by February 2009. Finally, ValleyCrest is required to submit compliance records to ARB through 2012.

As a result of the settlement, ValleyCrest will pay $48,656 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, 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. Further, $16,219 will go to the Peralta Community College District to fund diesel technology education programs.

A decade ago, the ARB listed diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health. Since then, 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.