SACRAMENTO - Hartwick & Hand, Inc. of Victorville recently settled with the California Air Resources Board for $31,125 for failing to properly inspect their heavy duty diesel trucks for compliance with the state's smoke emissions standards.
"California's public health is top priority that should not be jeopardized by uninspected trucks polluting our air," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "We will continue to catch and penalize violators of the state's air quality standards."
As agreed in the settlement, Hartwick and Hand's staff responsible for compliance with periodic smoke and heavy duty diesel vehicle inspection programs is required to attend courses at the California Council on Diesel Education and Technology. Further, all their heavy duty commercial vehicle operators shall comply with the state's idling regulations, supply all smoke inspection records to ARB for the next several years, and have properly labeled engines to ensure compliance with the engine emission certification program regulations.
Diesel particulate matter can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis and other lung diseases, and reduce the body's ability to fight infections. Statewide in 2006, on-road diesel vehicles produced almost 17,000 tons a day of diesel particulate matter, which is 40 percent of the total emitted in California.
A fleet audit by ARB showed that Hartwick & Hand, Inc. failed to comply with mandated smoke emission standards. The ARB's periodic smoke and heavy duty diesel vehicle inspection programs require annual smoke opacity tests of California-based fleets. In conjunction with the roadside smoke inspection program, ARB uses these programs to ensure that all of California's heavy duty vehicles are properly maintained, unaltered and free from excessive smoke emissions.
ARB will deposit $23,343.75 of the penalty into the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which was 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. The additional $7,781.25 from the Hartwick and Hand's penalty will be directed to the Peralta Community College District to fund diesel technology education programs.
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.