Release 09-85
September 21, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
Southern California waste hauler Arakelian Enterprises fined $270,000 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined Southern California waste hauler Arakelian Enterprises, also known as Athens Disposal Company, $270,000 this month for diesel emissions violations.

An ARB investigation showed Athens, based in City of Industry, Calif., failed to properly inspect their diesel vehicles during 2005 and 2006. The company also failed to comply with the solid waste collection vehicle rule by neglecting to install legally required emission-reduction devices from 2004 through 2008. The installation of these devices is critical in the reduction of diesel emissions. The emissions benefits lost during the time that these devices were not installed are of great consequence to the residents where these vehicles travel, denying them cleaner air to breathe.

"Diesel emissions are the most pervasive toxic air contaminant in California," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Routine truck inspections are critical in reducing those emissions and providing clean air for residents."

The law requires owners of California-registered truck fleets to regularly inspect their vehicles to ensure that their engine emissions meet state air quality standards.

As part of the settlement, Athens is required to:

Athens paid $270,000 in penalties: $202,500 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund for projects and research to improve California's air quality. The Peralta Community College District received $33,750 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and, the remaining $33,750 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