Release 09-65
July 21, 2009


Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728

California sod company fined $9,500 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has fined a Camarillo, Calif., business $9,500 this month for failing to properly inspect its diesel truck fleet for smoke emissions.

An ARB investigation showed Pacific Sod, a subsidiary of Pacific Earth Resources, failed to test, measure, record and maintain records for its diesel trucks in 2007 and 2008 at its Camarillo and Patterson, Calif., terminals.

"Routine inspections ensure California meets clean air standards," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Companies that fail to inspect their diesel vehicles can contribute to excess air pollution."

Annual smoke tests are required for diesel truck fleets, in conjunction with ARB's roadside smoke inspection program; the law ensures that all vehicles are properly maintained, tamper-free and free from excessive smoke.

As part of the penalty, Pacific Sod is required to:

Pacific Sod paid $9,500 in penalties: $7,125 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund for projects and research to improve California's air quality; the Peralta Community College District received $1,187.50 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and, the remaining $1,187.50 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.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our web site at