Release 09-106
November 30, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728

Kern County company fined $14,500 for emissions violations

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has fined Sturgeon & Son, Inc. $14,500 for emissions violations during 2007 and 2008.

An ARB investigation showed Sturgeon & Son, Inc., based in Bakersfield, Calif., failed to properly inspect some of their diesel vehicles, as required by California law. Failing to conduct these inspections can lead to an increase of toxic diesel particulate matter in the air.

"Diesel exhaust contains toxic particles that are dangerous to human health," said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. "Every effort companies make to keep their heavy-duty diesel vehicles in compliance with ARB's regulations helps to save lives."

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

As part of the settlement, Sturgeon & Son is required to:

Sturgeon & Son paid $14,500 in penalties: $10,875 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund for projects and research to improve California's air quality. The Peralta Community College District received $1,812.50 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges. The remaining $1,812.50 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.