By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Thursday, April 03, 2014
The California Air Resources Board has proven it isn’t afraid of fining companies for violating emissions standards in any capacity.
In the past, CARB has fined – besides among trucking companies and public utilities that violate California air quality regulations – makers of gas-powered tailgate beverage blenders, mini-scooter manufacturers and others,.
Add windshield fluid to the list.
On Tuesday, CARB announced it had fined Texas-based automotive products distributor FleetPride Inc. $418,500 for providing illegal windshield washer fluid to big rig retail supply stores throughout the state.
According to a CARB news release, FleetPride sold a de-icing windshield washing fluid that exceeded the state’s 25 percent limit for volatile organic compounds. California allows washer fluid to exceed the 25 percent mark for VOCs only in the state’s most ice-prone mountainous regions.
CARB bases its fines on the estimated amount of pollution caused by regulatory violations. The air quality agency estimates more than 31 tons of VOCs were emitted into the air as a result of the company’s violations.
During its investigation, CARB said it found several FleetPride washer fluids that don’t comply with state regulations – from individual gallons sold in retail outlets to 55-gallon drums of Krystal Kleer Windshield Washer Fluid 0 Degree Fahrenheit at truck stops. The illegal products were on the market for about three years before a CARB staff member noticed them.
“It is important that the composition of windshield washer fluid meets ARB’s VOC limits established for the region where it is sold,” said CARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden, according to the release. “Our goal is to protect public health.”
The fine amount will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to “support projects and research to improve the state’s air quality,” CARB said in the release.
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