Release 09-23b
March 17, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
Waste hauler fined $ 22,500 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO- The California Air Resources Board fined a Los Angeles area waste collection company $22,500 last month for emissions violations in 2007.

An ARB investigation showed United Pacific Waste, based in Pico Rivera, Calif., failed to properly inspect their diesel powered vehicles. In addition, they did not comply with the solid waste collection vehicle rule by neglecting to install proper emission-reduction devices, required by law.

"Incredible technological progress has been made to cut diesel emissions from solid waste vehicles," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Applying these technologies is part of doing business in California."

The law requires owners of California-registered truck fleets to regularly inspect their vehicles to ensure that their engine emissions meet state air quality standards.

As part of the settlement, the waste collection company is required to:

Guarantee employees responsible for conducting the inspections attend a training class on diesel emissions compliance testing and provide certificates of completion within one year;

United Pacific Waste will pay $22,500 in penalties: $16,875 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 $2,812.50 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges. The California Pollution Control Financing Authority will receive the remaining $2,812.50 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.