Release 09-33
April 8, 2009

    Mary Fricke
Leading waste management company fined $14,240 for diesel emission violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board recently fined a Central Valley environmental services company $14,250 for diesel smoke emissions violations.

MP Environmental Inc., headquartered in Bakersfield, Calif., was cited for failure to maintain diesel emissions records for the period of 2005 and 2006, as required by law.

"Successful business owners are savvy enough to know that air pollution penalties are much more than an expensive mistake," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Fines can also cost a business its good reputation."

ARB requires on-road, heavy-duty diesel vehicle owners to conduct annual smoke inspections and repair vehicles with excessive smoke emissions. ARB's enforcement teams randomly audits fleets, maintenance and inspection records, and tests a representative sample of vehicles. Vehicles failing the emissions test must be repaired and retested. A fleet owner that neglects to perform the annual smoke inspection is subject to fines.

As part of the settlement, MP Environmental Inc. must comply with the following:

The company will pay $14,250 in penalties: $1,781 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California's air quality; $1,781 will go to Peralta Community College District to fund emission education classes conducted by participating California community colleges under the California Council for Diesel Education and Technology; and, the remaining $10,687 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority to fund low-interest loans for owners of off-road, diesel-powered construction vehicles.

More than a decade ago, the ARB listed diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health. Exposure to unsafe levels of diesel emissions can increase the risk of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. 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.