Release 08-71
July 2
9, 2008

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728

ARB cites DS Waters $74,250 for air quality violations
Leading bottled water company disregarded clean air laws

Sacramento, CALIF. - This month the Air Resources Board fined DS Waters of America, Inc., $74,250 for violations of California’s clean air laws that require heavy-duty vehicle owners to inspect their diesel fleets.

DS Waters', a leading bottled water company, violations occurred in facilities located in Irvine, Lakeside, Orange, Riverside, Santa Ana, Temecula, Chico, Fresno, Manteca, Milpitas, Sacramento, Salinas, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Bakersfield, Covina, Gardena, Lancaster, Los Angeles, Oxnard and Van Nuys.

An ARB investigation revealed that DS Waters, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., failed to inspect their diesel truck fleet for excess emissions or document those inspections, as required by law.

"The ARB will continue to enforce clean air regulations through out California” said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “Each penalty should be taken as a lesson for companies who use non-compliance as a basic business practice."

The California Air Pollution Control Fund, established to mitigate sources of pollution through education advancement and use of cleaner technology, will receive $55,687.50 from the settlement. The remaining $18,562.50 will go to the Peralta Community College District which fund the statewide diesel technology education training and program for diesel operating staff.

In addition to the fine, DS Waters has agreed to ensure that all staff responsible for the compliance with state regulations attend the community college diesel emissions education courses and provide proof of completion within one year. DS Waters must provide copies of all compliance records for 2008 and the subsequent four years, and maintain proof that each vehicle in its fleet meets emissions standards at least as stringent as the federal standards, and also by maintaining their engine labels for Low NOx/reflash compliance. Finally, the company’s vehicle operators will be instructed to comply with state idling regulations.

Each year in California, diesel particulate matter contributes to an estimated 2,900 premature deaths, 3,600 hospital admissions, 240,000 asthma attacks and respiratory symptoms and 600,000 lost workdays. Overall, diesel engine emissions are responsible for the majority of California's potential airborne cancer risk from combustion sources. Diesel pm has received a considerable amount of ARB attention to insure the quality of public health.

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.