Release 09-57
June 18, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and contractors fined $47,750 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System $47,750 in May for diesel vehicle emissions violations.

An ARB investigation showed that MTS failed to meet transit fleet vehicle requirements, and did not inspect their heavy-duty diesel vehicle fleet. MTS paid a fine of $11,375 for failing to meet the fleet vehicle requirements. MTS maintenance contractors Veolia Transportation Services, First Transit and McDonald Transit Associates paid a combined fine of $36,375 for failing to meet the emission test requirements for the MTS diesel vehicle fleet.

"Local communities, transit customers and the mechanics who work on the vehicles are particularly vulnerable and should not pay for emissions violations with their health," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols.

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.

MTS is required to:

MTS paid $47,750 in penalties: $35,812.50 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund for projects and research to improve California's air quality; the Peralta Community College District received $5,968.75 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and, the remaining $5,968.75 went 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.