Release 07-28
July 31, 2007

    Dimitri Stanich
(916) 322-2990

ARB settles with Coca-Cola Bottling Company for $528,500
SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board announced today that it has negotiated a settlement with Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles for $528,500 as a result of failure to properly inspect its diesel truck fleet for smoke emissions.

ARB documented violations of the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program, which requires annual smoke opacity tests of California-based fleets. The program, in conjunction with to ARB's roadside smoke inspection program, is used to ensure that all of California's heavy-duty vehicles are properly maintained, tamper-free and free from excessive smoke.

"The best way for corporations to avoid penalties is to keep their vehicles maintained to engine manufacturers' specifications," said Tom Cackette, ARB Acting Executive Officer. "ARB also encourages fleet maintenance personnel to attend training programs to become skilled on vehicle inspection requirements."

The California Air Pollution Fund will receive $396,375 and Peralta Community College District will receive $132,125 to distribute to campuses offering diesel education and technology courses. Coca-Cola will require staff responsible for compliance with smoke inspection programs to attend this training class, and is committed to compliance with clean air programs.

Diesel soot accounts for 70 percent of Californians exposure to toxics. Los Angeles residents are at particular risk since the region has the state's most pressing air quality 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.