Release 08-20
March 19, 2008

    Karen Caesar

Air quality violations cost Central Coast businesses $57,500

Companies in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo failed to test diesel trucks for excess emissions

SACRAMENTO - Marborg Industries, E.J. Harrison and Sons, and the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority have settled with the California Air Resources Board for a combined total of $57,500 for failing to properly inspect their heavy duty diesel vehicle fleets to assure that state smoke emission requirements had been met.

"All of us, from individuals to large businesses, must bear some responsibility for cleaning up our environment," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "The Air Resources Board believes strong enforcement is necessary so that regulated entities understand that violators will not get away with polluting our air."

Santa Barbara-based Marborg Industries, a waste management service, settled for $26,000, while E.J. Harrison and Sons, a trash collection company headquartered in Ventura, paid $18,500 to settle and the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority paid $13,000. All three were cited for violating the state's Periodic Smoke Inspection Program, which requires that owners of California-registered truck and bus fleets perform regular inspections of their vehicles to ensure that their engine emissions meet state air quality standards. Marborg and Harrison were also cited for violations of the Solid Waste Collection Vehicle regulations.

In addition to their payments, the companies have also agreed follow rules set forth by the smoke inspection program and will require all fleet staff responsible for compliance with the ARB's regulations to attend classes conducted by the California Council on Diesel Education and Technology.

All monies are being paid to 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, upon appropriation by the Legislature, uses compliance settlement fees to support various pollution-related research projects and related programs.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing substances. In 1998, California identified diesel exhaust as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems. People exposed to higher levels of emissions from diesel-fueled engines are at higher risk for developing cancer.

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.