Release 09-94
October 21, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
Pacific Petroleum fined $21,000 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined Pacific Petroleum $21,000 last month for emissions violations during 2006 and 2007.

An ARB investigation showed Pacific Petroleum failed to properly inspect its diesel vehicles for smoke emissions at its Santa Maria, Calif., terminal.

"Routine inspections and maintenance are essential steps to meet California's clean air standards," said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. "Companies that fail to inspect their diesel vehicles can increase toxic pollutants in the air."

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 settlement, Pacific Petroleum is required to:

Pacific Petroleum paid $21,000 in penalties: $15,750 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund for projects and research to improve California's air quality. The Peralta Community College District received $2,625 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and, the remaining $2,625 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.