The California Air Resources Board says a bus company modified its diesel particulate filters and sensors to avoid complying with California emissions regulations.
That company will now pay $388,000 in fines.
According to a CARB news release, Vallejo Citizens Transit Co., a subsidiary of Dallas-based MV Transportation Inc., operated buses for the city of Vallejo, Calif. After an informant tipped off CARB investigators, CARB enforcement staff conducted two inspections of the Texas company’s buses in 2010 and found both diesel particulate filters and back pressure sensors had been tampered with and made ineffective.
Vallejo Citizens Transit Co. was cited for failure to properly maintain diesel particulate filters; failure to regularly self-inspect its diesel vehicles as required by state law; failure to comply with emission control labels; and failure to comply with urban bus emission reduction requirements.
According to the news release, CARB said it approached Vallejo Citizens Transit Co. leaders about the issues multiple times, but reached no agreement with the company. The case was referred to the California Attorney General for litigation in Solano County Superior Court before being settled through mediation in April.
CARB said Vallejo ended its contract with the bus company in 2013. The company then dissolved, though MV Transportation Inc. “operates subsidiaries in 29 states,” the news release says.
“This private business served the public and must be held accountable for its violation of the public’s trust,” CARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden said, according to the release. “Unfortunately, Vallejo Citizens Transit Co. and its parent company, MV Transportation Inc., had to learn the hard way that it never pays to circumvent the law. Their blatant disregard for basic pollution prevention resulted in a significant penalty.”
The company paid $290,000 to CARB’s Air Pollution Control Fund, which supports air quality research. Vallejo Citizen’s Transit Co. also paid $97,750 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District School Bus Supplemental Environmental Project. That money will be used to retrofit older school buses with diesel particulate filters to bring the buses into compliance with California’s Truck and Bus Regulation.
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