By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Monday, June 09, 2014
The California Air Resources Board recently lowered its enforcement hammer on a trio of associated agricultural and trucking companies for failing to meet state emissions standards for reefers and trucks.
According to a news release, JR Custom Harvesting Co. Inc., New Venture Trucking LLC, and Zion Harvest Co. Inc., were fined a total of $140,925 for multiple air quality violations. The companies are associated.
CARB said the Salinas, Calif.-based company failed to properly self-inspect its diesel trucks to ensure they met state smoke emissions standards; didn’t meet the California Truck and Bus Regulation’s Engine Model Year Compliance schedule; and didn’t register its Transport Refrigeration Units in the ARB’s TRU tracking system.
CARB investigators also found the company had noncompliant reefers that didn’t have required labels.
“All businesses operating in the state must do their part to protect public health,” CARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden said, according to the news release. “We are hopeful that this company will learn from this experience that, in the long run, it doesn’t pay to circumvent the rules.”
JR Custom Harvesting provides farm labor for growers harvesting produce as well as trucking service to move produce from the field to California and Arizona processing facilities. CARB said the citations were the first such violations for the company.
The settlement agreement requires the company to pay $105,694 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California’s air quality. The company also will pay $35,231 to the Peralta Colleges Foundation to fund diesel education classes at participating state community colleges.
Zion Harvest Co. owners may find little solace in the fact that the agricultural and trucking company’s fine was less than half the amount CARB recently fined the makers of hair products.
In early June, CARB announced it had fined Conopco Inc. $362,500 after investigators found volatile organic compounds in Motions Oil Sheen & Conditioning Spray and TreSemme Root Busting Spray.
In a news release about the hair products, CARB estimated “17 tons of excess VOCs were emitted as a result of direct sales to consumers of these two products.”
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