Release 07-60
December 11, 2007

    Patricia Rey

ARB Settles with San Joaquin Valley's Todd Plumbing, Inc.

Failure to meet state smoke emission standards in diesel truck fleet costs $5,625 in penalties

SACRAMENTO - Todd Plumbing, Inc. of Visalia recently settled with the California Air Resources Board for $5,625 for failing to properly inspect its heavy duty diesel trucks for compliance with the state's smoke emissions standards.

"Violations such as these exacerbate already fouled air in a part of the state that needs all the help it can get," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Our enforcement efforts are crucial to obtain those emission reductions so needed for Valley residents."

As agreed in the settlement, Todd Plumbing's staff responsible for compliance with periodic smoke and heavy duty diesel vehicle inspection programs is required to attend courses at the California Council on Diesel Education and Technology. Further, all Todd's heavy duty commercial vehicle operators shall comply with the state's idling regulations, supply all smoke inspection records to ARB for the next several years, and have properly labeled engines to ensure compliance with the engine emission certification program regulations.

The ARB's periodic smoke and heavy duty diesel vehicle inspection programs require annual smoke opacity tests of California-based fleets. In conjunction with the roadside smoke inspection program, ARB uses these programs to ensure that all of California's heavy duty vehicles are properly maintained, unaltered and free from excessive smoke emissions. An ARB investigation showed that Todd Plumbing, Inc. failed to comply with mandated smoke emission standards.

Diesel particulate matter can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis and other lung diseases, and reduce the body's ability to fight infections.

ARB will direct the penalty payment on behalf of Todd Plumbing, Inc. to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which was established to mitigate various sources of pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technology. This fund uses compliance settlement fees to fund various pollution-related research projects and related programs.

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.