Release 09-99
November 16, 2009

    Mary Salas Fricke
Tehama County commercial recycler fined $7,950 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined commercial recycler Omega Waste Management Inc., also known as Specialized Fibers, $7,950 last month for diesel emissions violations during 2007 and 2008.

An ARB investigation showed that Omega Waste Management, Inc., based in Corning, Calif., failed to properly inspect their heavy-duty diesel on-road vehicles. The company also failed to comply with the solid waste collection vehicle rule's retrofit and emission control labeling requirements.

"Recycling companies play an essential role in environmental protection in that they help prevent tons of waste from ending up in landfills," said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. "However, improving one part of the environment at the disadvantage of another doesn't make sense. Fleet maintenance, annual vehicle inspections and compliance with California's clean air laws is also vitally important."

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, Omega Waste Management is required to:

Omega Waste Management paid $7,950 in penalties: $5,962.50 of which was deposited in the California Air Pollution Control Fund for projects and research to improve California's air quality.
The remaining $1,987.50 was submitted to the Peralta Community College District to fund diesel emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 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.