Release 08-106
December 30, 2008

    Leo Kay
Bay Area ready mix company fined $7,000 for air quality violations

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board fined an East Bay concrete ready mix company $7,000 this month for failing to inspect its heavy-duty diesel fleets for 2007 and 2008.

An ARB investigation showed that Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix, subsidiary of Hanson Aggregates, personnel failed to inspect and maintain records for their diesel truck fleet, as required by California law. Annual smoke tests are required for diesel truck fleet, in conjunction with ARB's roadside smoke inspection program; the law ensures that all vehicles are properly maintained, tamper-free and free from excessive smoke.

"Diesel truck inspections and maintenance are part of doing business in California," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Customers expect businesses to follow the law."

As part of the settlement, the Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix is required to:

Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix will pay $7,000 in penalties: $5,250 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, providing funding for projects and research to improve California's air quality. The Peralta Community College District will receive $875 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges. The remaining $875 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority to fund low-interest loans for owners of off-road diesel-powered construction vehicles.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems.

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.