Release 08-84
September 26, 2008

    Gennet Paauwe

Bimbo Bakeries pays $305,000 in air quality penalties
Maker of Francisco and Oroweat breads, Tia Rosa tortillas failed to inspect diesel trucks

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board last week fined Bimbo Bakeries USA of Fort Worth, Texas, $305,250 for air quality violations that occurred in 2006 and 2007.

ARB fleet inspectors cited Bimbo Bakeries, part of Grupo Bimbo, an international bakery leader, for failing to test their diesel trucks for excess emissions at 58 fleet facilities around the state.

"All businesses - including large conglomerates - that operate in California must adhere to clean-air laws," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Businesses stand to lose money, customers and good will if they skirt air quality laws."

As part of the settlement, Bimbo Bakeries must:

Bimbo Bakeries paid $305,250 in penalties; $228,937.50 to the California Air Pollution Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California's air quality, and $76,312.50 to the Peralta Community College District to fund diesel emissions education courses.

There are 900,000 diesel trucks that operate in California. The ARB is working to cut the health risks posed by dirty diesel engines, the goal an 85 percent reduction in diesel emissions from 2000 levels by 2020. Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. Exposure can cause cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular problems as well as premature death.

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.