Release 09-47
May 21, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
World's largest equipment rental company fined $166,800 for emissions violations
Central Valley, Bay Area, Southern California areas affected

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined United Rental Inc. $166,800 this month for diesel emissions violations that occurred throughout the state in 2007 and 2008.

An ARB investigation found emissions violations occurred throughout United Rental's California facilities including Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego, Bakersfield, Fresno, Long Beach, Riverside, Oakland and San Francisco. United Rental is the largest equipment rental company in the world, with nearly 625 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

"Everyone should do their part to keep California's air clean," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Meeting clean air standards is a requirement for businesses throughout the state."

The law requires annual smoke tests for diesel fleets and, in conjunction with ARB's roadside smoke inspection program, ensures that all vehicles are properly maintained, tamper-free and free from excessive smoke emissions.

United Rental is required to:

United Rental will pay $166,800 in penalties: $125,100 will go to the California Air Pollution Fund that provides money for projects and research to improve California's air quality; $20,850 will go to the Peralta Community College District to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and, the remaining $20,850 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority that guarantees loans to off-road vehicle fleets that need to buy exhaust retrofits to comply with state regulations.

Diesel particulate emissions are associated with causing a variety of health effects including premature death and a number of heart and lung diseases.

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.