Release 09-73
August 18, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728

City of Fresno to pay up to $1 million for new diesel vehicles
City also fined $49,250 for diesel emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board last week fined the city of Fresno $49,500 for diesel emissions violations at multiple fleet centers and entered into a settlement that will bring the city's fleet of diesel vehicles into compliance with state regulations ahead of the mandated schedule.

ARB investigators found that the city had not been testing, measuring, recording, and maintaining the records of their on-road vehicle fleet's diesel smoke emissions.

"The city of Fresno went through extraordinary steps to resolve these violations and work with us to craft an effective settlement that will provide cleaner air for its residents," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "This settlement not only remedies the violations but goes much further to reduce emissions from the city's off-road fleet ahead of ARB's regulatory timeline."

Under the settlement, the city must:

In addition, the city is not allowed to apply for any funding from the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program for early compliance with the off-road vehicle rule.

The California Air Pollution Control Fund, established to mitigate various sources of pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technology, will receive $36,937.50 of the $49,500 fine; $6,156.25 will go to the Peralta Community College District to fund diesel education classes conducted by California Community Colleges statewide; and, the remaining $6,156.25 to the California Air Pollution Control Financing Authority to guarantee low interest loans for fleets purchasing diesel exhaust retrofits or new engines or vehicles.

Failure to inspect diesel vehicles can lead to an increase in harmful airborne particles that Californians breathe. In 1998, the ARB listed diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health. Exposure to diesel emissions can increase the risk of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory 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.

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