Release 08-72
August 7, 2008

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728

Air Resources Board Cites Universal Waste Systems for $13,500
Company failed to comply with diesel truck, trash hauler rules

Sacramento, CALIF. - The Air Resources Board fined Universal Waste Systems, Inc., of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., $13,500 last month for failing to inspect its diesel fleet for excess emissions and complying with state regulations for trash trucks.

"Inspecting your business vehicles is a small price to pay for cleaner air," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Trash trucks play a vital role in modern life, regularly driving through neighborhoods where we work, live, walk and play. Their proper maintenance is required and those who choose to skip these check-ups must be reminded of their importance."

In addition to not inspecting its fleet as required by law, Universal Waste Systems also failed to retrofit some of its vehicles to meet the state's Solid Waste Collection Vehicle rule. This rule, adopted in September 2003, will reduce emissions of diesel soot by .3 tons per day once it is fully implemented in 2010.

Monies collected from Universal Waste Systems will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support emissions research, and to the Peralta Community College District for schools that conduct diesel education and technology courses. The courses are a joint training effort by community colleges, government and industry, created to assist the trucking and transit industries in complying with the ARB's diesel vehicle fleet regulations.

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.