The California Air Resources Board wrote 1,992 citations, collected $6.7 million in penalties and inspected 17,000 heavy-duty vehicles in 2006 to enforce emission laws, according to a recently released CARB report.
According to the report, the agency stops commercial vehicles, inspects emissions and checks for engine modifications made to Mexican trucks coming over the border and even ensures that school buses don’t idle in the presence of children.
“It is a big job, but if California is to keep moving toward its goal of clean, healthful air, it is an absolute necessity,” the report’s executive summary reads.
Citations increased from 1,576 in 2005, more than a 25 percent increase.
The 40-year-old prominent but controversial clean air agency levied fines against nine companies that either run or produce diesel trucks.
According to CARB’s 2006 enforcement report, Cummins Engine Company agreed to pay $1,092,500 for violating a 1998 agreement the company made with CARB to perform “clean air projects and reduce smog-forming emissions such as NOx.”
Other trucking companies were cited for failing to meet emission standards, including:
- AmeriGas, which paid $29,500 after a CARB investigation showed the company didn’t properly inspect diesel trucks to meet the standards;
- AT&T, which paid $161,750 after CARB said the company didn’t self-inspect its diesel trucks;
- Dependable Highway Express, which paid $75,000 for violating air quality regulations;
- Ferguson Enterprises Inc., which paid $137,000 and agreed to install low NOx software on all applicable heavy-duty diesel engines in their fleet. Based in Newport News, VA, the company has fleet operations in California;
- Scully Transportation Services, which paid $99,000 for violating air quality regulations;
- Sempra Energy, which paid $10,000 after CARB said the company didn’t properly inspect its diesel trucks; and
- Stater Bros. Markets, which paid $19,000 for violating air quality regulations.
CARB pursued fines for the vast majority – 1,986 – of the 1,192 citations, though 27 cases were filed in civil court and five criminal proceedings have been filed.
– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer