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Monday, November 10, 2008

City of Palmdale fined $18,500 for air quality violations

You have to love that CARB fines cities in California and gets settlements. It shows that no one is immune.

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined the city
of Palmdale this week $18,500 for diesel emissions violations
that occurred in 2006 and 2007.

An ARB enforcement audit found that the city had not been
conducting the required annual periodic smoke emissions
inspections on their heavy-duty on-road diesel vehicles. The
inspections are part of a system designed to make sure that
diesel trucks are compliant with California emissions standards.
Failing to conduct these inspections can lead to an increase of
toxic diesel particulate matter in the air.

"As part of our crackdown on diesel emissions, our enforcement
staff has been searching for entities in violation of
California's air quality standards," said ARB Chairman Mary
Nichols. "Everyone from business owners to city governments are
responsible for keeping California's air clean."

Per the terms of the settlement:

* Palmdale city employees that are responsible for
conducting the inspections must attend a mandatory California
Community College class on diesel emissions and provide
certificates of completion within one year;
* The company must provide documentation to ARB that the
inspections are being carried out for the next four years;
* All of the city's heavy duty trucks must have their
software revised with the latest Low NOx (oxides of nitrogen
emissions) programming, and;
* The city of Palmdale must make sure that all of their
diesel trucks are up to federal emissions standards for the
vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an emissions
control label.

Per the terms of the settlement, the city of Palmdale will pay
$18,500 in penalties; $13,875 will go to the California Air
Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and
research to improve California's air quality with the remaining
$4,625 to Peralta Community College District to fund emissions
education classes.

A decade ago, the ARB listed diesel particulate matter as a
toxic air contaminant in order to protect public health.
Exposure to unsafe levels of diesel emissions can increase the
risk of asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory diseases.
California has aggressively worked to cut diesel emissions by
cleaning up diesel fuel, requiring cleaner engines for trucks,
buses and off-road equipment, and limiting unnecessary idling.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.

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