Release 09-75
August 31, 2009

    Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
Sunbelt Rentals fined $98,500 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board last week fined Sunbelt Rentals $98,500 for emissions violations in 2007 and 2008 around the state.

During a routine investigation, ARB investigators found that Sunbelt Rentals, headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C., failed to conduct diesel truck smoke tests in 2007 and 2008 at 20 of its California fleet facilities.

"Californians depend on clean air as part of living a healthy life," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "When companies violate air quality laws, we all lose."

Under the penalty, Sunbelt Rentals must:

The company will pay $98,500 in penalties: $73,875 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California s air quality; $12,312.50 to Peralta Community College District to fund emission education classes; and, the remaining $12,312.50 to the California 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. Over a decade ago, the ARB listed diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health. Exposure to unsafe levels of 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.

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