Release 09-46
May 21, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
MTA fined $162,000 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority $162,000 in April for diesel vehicle emissions violations during 2006 and 2007 at its Los Angeles terminals.

An ARB investigation showed that the MTA failed to meet the transit fleet vehicle requirements, and did not inspect their heavy-duty diesel vehicle fleet.

"Diesel exhaust is the most common air toxic in California and poses a serious threat to public health," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Transit fleets must meet clean air standards to protect passengers and surrounding communities."

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.

As part of the settlement, MTA is required to:

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority will pay $162,000 in penalties: $121,500 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, for funding projects and research to improve California's air quality; the Peralta Community College District will receive $20,250 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and, the remaining $20,250 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority which guarantees loans to off-road vehicle fleets that need to buy exhaust retrofits to comply with state regulations.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

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.