Release 08-75
September 5, 2008

    Dimitri Stanich

Propane distribution firm pays ARB $36,375 for diesel emission violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has fined a Cameron Park, Calif., propane distributor $36,375 this month for diesel truck emission violations.

An ARB audit of Suburban Propane found that the company did not annually inspect its heavy- duty diesel vehicles in 2006 and 2007 at fleet centers in Placerville, Rancho Cordova, Redding, Yreka, Grass Valley, Clearlake, Lancaster, Santa Cruz, Marina, Turlock, Oakhurst, Fresno, Escondido, Lake Isabella, San Jose and Concord.

"ARB's diesel inspection program keeps dirty trucks off the roadways so communities can breathe easier," said ARB Chief Counsel Ellen Peter. "We will continue to ferret out and assess penalties against companies failing to inspect their vehicles."

As part of the settlement, Suburban Propane must comply with the following:

The company will pay $36,375 in penalties: $27,281.25 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 $9,093.75 going 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.