Release 08-59
June 25, 2008

    Karen Caesar

Pasadena to pay $23,250 to ARB for diesel emission violations
City failed to assure diesel fleet complied with state regulations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has fined the City of Pasadena $23,250 for diesel emission violations that occurred in 2005.

It was revealed during an ARB enforcement audit that the City had not been conducting the required periodic self inspections on their diesel vehicles such as garbage trucks and other heavy duty material transporting vehicles.

"This fine makes it clear that controlling diesel emissions is a top priority for California," said ARB's Executive Officer James Goldstene. "Owner operators, large private fleets or, as in this case, fleets owned by municipalities are all required to obey the law and follow the regulations and guidelines designed to clean California's air and protect public health."

The inspections are part of a system designed to make sure that diesel trucks are compliant with California emissions standards. Failing to conduct these inspections can lead to an increase of toxic diesel particulate matter in the air.

As part of the settlement, Pasadena city employees that are responsible for conducting the inspections must attend a mandatory class on diesel emissions and provide certificates of completion within one year. The company must also provide documentation to ARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next four years. In addition, all of the City's heavy duty trucks must have their software revised with the latest Low NOx programming. Lastly, the City of Pasadena must make sure that all of their diesel trucks are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an emission control label.

Per the terms of the settlement, the City of Pasadena will pay $23,250 in penalties; $17,375 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California's air quality with the remaining $5,875 to Peralta Community College District to fund emission education classes.

A decade ago, the ARB listed diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health. Exposure to unsafe levels of 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.