Release 09-27b
March 30, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
Ventura County Transportation Commission Fined $5,000
Agency's buses failed to meet required diesel soot reductions

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board last month fined the Ventura County Transportation Commission $5,000 for excess diesel emissions in its transit vehicle fleet.
"California's air quality has enough problems," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Public entities especially need to set an example and act responsibly to follow the law."

The State's Fleet Rule for Transit Agencies requires any transportation agency to use Jan. 1, 2005 as a baseline and not to exceed 60 percent of its fleet's diesel emissions as of that date. On December 31, 2007, Ventura County Transportation Commission's diesel emissions total surpassed that amount.

The Ventura County Transportation Commission will divide its fine as follows:

In 1998, the ARB identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health. Exposure to diesel emissions can increase the risk of cancer and serious respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. 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.