Release 08-73
August 12, 2008

    Gennet Paauwe

Clougherty Packing/Farmer John pays $63,300 in air pollution penalties
Subsidiary of Hormel Foods failed to file transport refrigeration facilities report on time,
inspect diesel truck fleet for excess emissions

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined Clougherty Packing/Farmer John, of Los Angeles, $63,300 last month for failure to comply with diesel truck emission requirements.

ARB inspectors found that Farmer John failed to file a one-time report for its Vernon, Calif., distribution facility, violating the Transport Refrigeration Unit facilities regulation. Further, the company failed to inspect its diesel truck fleet for excess emissions in 2006 and 2007.

As a result of the penalty, Farmer John must:

Facilities with 20 or more cold storage loading docks are required to monitor, keep records and report activities that create emissions, including diesel-powered refrigeration units mounted on trucks, trailers, shipping containers and rail cars. These activities take place during the loading and unloading of perishables goods at distribution centers around the state.

Annual diesel trucks inspections are designed to make sure that California emissions standards are met. Failing to conduct these inspections can lead to an increase of toxic diesel particulate matter and smog-forming nitrogen oxides into the air.

The California Air Pollution Control Fund, established to mitigate various sources of pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technology, will receive $47,475 and the Peralta Community College District will get $15,825 from Farmer John to fund diesel education courses at five community college campuses around the state.

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.