Release 09-17
March 2, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728

Victor Valley Transit fined for air quality violations

The California Air Resources Board has fined Victor Valley Transit Authority $3,500 for failure to inspect its diesel truck fleet for smoke emissions during 2006.

An ARB investigation showed that Victor Valley Transit Authority failed to meet the transit fleet vehicle requirements. In addition, they did not inspect their heavy-duty vehicles. The law requires owners of California-registered truck and bus fleets to regularly inspect their vehicles to ensure that their engine emissions meet state air quality standards.

"California clean-air laws are written to protect our most vulnerable populations, including children and the elderly," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Through their actions, public transit agencies that ignore air pollution laws essentially convey that public health is unimportant."

As part of the settlement, the transit authority is required to:

Victor Valley Transit Authority will pay $3,500 in penalties: $2,625.50 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 the $437.50 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges. The California Pollution Control Financing Authority will receive the remaining $437.50 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 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. New research links vehicle exhaust and lung cancer mortality in trucking industry workers exposed to diesel and other types of vehicle emissions with increasing years of work.

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.