Release 09-92
October 8, 2009

    Mary Fricke
(916) 322-2990
Humboldt Transit Authority fined $24,000 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined Humboldt Transit Authority $24,000 this month for failure to inspect its diesel truck fleet for smoke emissions during 2007 and 2008.

An ARB investigation showed that the Humboldt Transit Authority consisting of Arcata/Mad River Transit System, Eureka Transit Service and Humboldt/Redwood Transit System failed to meet the transit fleet vehicle requirements, and did not inspect all the vehicles in their heavy-duty diesel fleet.

"Diesel emissions are the most common toxic air contaminant in California and are a threat to public health," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Transit authorities must ensure vehicles are properly inspected to provide clean air for passengers and the surrounding region."

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.

As part of the settlement, Humboldt Transit Authority is required to:

The Transit Fleet Rule is the California Air Resources Board's effort to reduce both criteria pollutant emissions and exposure to toxic air contaminants from urban buses and transit fleet vehicles.

Humboldt Transit Authority paid $24,000 in penalties: $18,000 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund for projects and research to improve California's air quality. The Peralta Community College District will receive $3,000 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and, the remaining $3,000 will go 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.