Release 09-98
November 9, 2009

    Mary Salas Fricke
Santa Maria company fined $21,675 for emissions violations at Salinas terminal

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board last month fined a Santa Maria, Calif., based company $21,675 for failing to inspect its diesel trucks at a Salinas fleet center for compliance with the state's smoke emissions standards.

ARB investigators found that Rancho Harvest, Inc., failed to conduct diesel truck smoke tests in 2006 and 2007 at the Salinas facility, as required by state law.

"Our number one goal is compliance," said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. "This violator immediately recognized and rectified the problem, allowing them to avoid more costly fines."

Under the penalty, Rancho Harvest must:

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 $16,256.25; $2,709.38 will go to the Peralta Community College District to fund diesel education classes; and, the remaining $2,709.37 to the California Air Pollution Control Financing Authority.

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.