Release 09-27c
March 30, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
Temecula Valley Unified School District pays $18,500 in penalties
District failed to inspect its diesel fleet as required by law

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board in January fined the Temecula Valley Unified School District $18,500 for failing to inspect its diesel truck and bus fleet in 2006 and 2007.

The Riverside County-based school district is required by law, as are all diesel fleet owners, to perform periodic smoke inspections to test for excessive emissions and engine tampering.

"California's air quality laws require that all businesses be vigilant when it comes to maintaining equipment that has the potential to pollute the air," said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols. "When they slip up, we all pay the price."

The Temecula Valley Unified School District will split its fine as follows:

Other terms of the settlement include requirements that all staff responsible for compliance attend diesel education classes, and that each bus and heavy duty vehicle in the fleet carry proof that its engine meets appropriate emissions standards by having a manufacturer emission control label properly affixed to the engine.
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.