Release 04-08      
March 29, 2004


Jerry Martin 
Gennet Paauwe 
(916) 322-2990

Air Board Settles Five Enforcement Cases for $154,000

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today it has reached settlements with five companies which sold products in California that violate clean air regulations. The total amount received from these settlements was $154,000.

"Enforcement of ARB regulations is an important line of defense against the deterioration of air quality in California," said ARB Executive Officer Catherine Witherspoon. "We must assure compliance with our regulations to protect the health of the most sensitive members of our population, children, those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly."

Pennzoil-Quaker State Company (PQS) paid a $76,500 settlement. PQS sold, supplied, offered for sale, and manufactured for sale in California 12,253 gallons of Rain X De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid, and 10,592 gallons of Rain X All Season Windshield Washer Fluid. The areas of California where the violations occurred have regulations limiting volatile organic compounds (VOC) in products to ten percent. PQS's products exceeded that.

Ace Hardware Corporation made a settlement payment of $50,714. During a routine compliance survey for small off-road engines at their Santa Barbara Home Improvement Center, ARB found that, statewide ACE was offering for sale 645 chainsaws and 1068 line trimmers that were non-California compliant. Through an error in the coding of the trimmers and chainsaws, Ace allowed the non-compliant units to be distributed and sold in California stores. A recall campaign undertaken by ACE was not successful because most of the non-compliant equipment had already been sold.

Quinsey Kawasaki, Inc. (Quinsey) in San Diego signed a settlement agreement and paid a $13,250 penalty. Quinsey offered for sale and sold twelve Yamaha Banshee off-road recreational vehicles that were not certified for sale in California. Quinsey corrected the violations by re-purchasing the vehicles from the consumers, replaced them with legally certified models, and sold the illegal models outside California.

Joe's Muffler and Brake (Joe's), in Los Angeles has paid a penalty of $12,500. It was discovered through a joint investigation between ARB and the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), that Joe's was installing non-compliant aftermarket catalytic converters on vehicles. Investigations revealed that during a six-month period Joe's had installed 86 of these illegal devices. Ultimately the owner of Joe's pleaded guilty to seven counts of violating the California Vehicle code and one count of violating the Business and Professions code. Joe's paid $9,600 in fines, $1600 to ARB for investigative costs and $1300 to BAR for their costs. In addition, the consumers that can be contacted will be paid restitution, and the owner will be on three years probation.

For their settlement, Scepter Corporation (Scepter) submitted a check for $10,000. Scepter, a portable fuel container manufacturer, was found to be producing gas cans for sale in California that did not meet state permeation requirements. The company has made modifications to their production process to correct the deficiencies.

All monies collected by ARB from these settlements have gone into the state's Air Pollution Control Fund. The APCF is used to mitigate various sources of pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technology.

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.