CARB fines company $230,250 for big rigs' diesel violations

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Monday, October 21, 2013

It’s highly unlikely that the compliance director at one California company subscribes to Land Line Magazine.

If someone at KS Industries had occasionally flipped through back issues of Land Line during the last five years, they might have seen dozens of articles about California’s Truck and Bus Regulation, also known as the Retrofit Rule – the state’s multibillion-dollar restrictive truck regulation.

The California Air Resources Board announced Monday it was punishing KS Industries with a $230,250 fine for failing to keep its diesel trucks compliant with emissions regulations.

In a news release issued Monday, CARB said Bakersfield, Calif.-based KS Industries, an engineering and construction firm, didn’t update its fleet of heavy-duty diesel trucks as required by California’s State Truck and Bus Regulation.

CARB says the company missed two deadlines: retrofitting 1996 through 1999 heavy duty trucks with diesel particulate filters by Jan. 1, 2012, and updating 2000 through 2004 model year trucks by Jan. 1, 2013.

“The Air Resources Board is committed to improving air quality and educating business owners about how to comply with the regulations that were created to help achieve this goal,” CARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden said, according to the release. “All businesses that depend on their vehicle fleets need to pay attention to the specific deadlines of the State Truck and Bus Regulation, and understand that ignoring or forgetting them can result in a hefty fine.”

$172,688 of the fine went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to be spent on air pollution research, with the remaining $57,562 going to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District to fund the School Bus Retrofit Supplemental Environmental Project.

KS Industries also agreed to ensure that staff responsible for compliance with the state’s diesel truck emission inspection program attend a diesel education course and complete the course within six months; instruct vehicle operators to comply with state idling limits; ensure trucks have the most recent engine-operating software installed to limit NOx, or oxides of nitrogen; ensure all 1974 and newer diesel vehicles meet federal emissions standards and have a proper engine certification label; and become compliant with the Truck and Bus Regulation by Nov. 15, 2013.

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