SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board fined the city of San Buenaventura, also known as Ventura, this month $8,500 for diesel emissions violations that occurred in 2006 and 2007. An ARB investigator found that the city had not conducted annual inspections on some of its heavy-duty on-road diesel vehicles. Failing to conduct these inspections can lead to an increase of toxic air contaminants and diesel particulate matter in the air. “California has long been stigmatized for its poor air quality,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. “When cities do not comply with clean air rules they are only adding to the problem.” The law requires owners of California-registered truck fleets to regularly inspect their vehicles to ensure that their engine emissions meet state air quality standards. As part of the settlement, the city is required to: • Guarantee employees responsible for conducting the inspections attend a mandatory California community college class on diesel emissions and provide certificates of completion within one year; • Provide documentation to ARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next four years; • Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state’s idling regulations; • Revise all heavy-duty truck engine software with the latest low-NOx (oxides of nitrogen emissions) programming; and, • Ensure that all diesel trucks are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an emission control label. The city of San Buenaventura paid $8,500 in penalties: $6,375 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, providing funding for projects and research to improve California’s air quality. The Peralta Community College District received $1,062.50 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges. The remaining $1,062.50 went to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority to fund low-interest loans for owners of off-road diesel-powered construction vehicles. Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems. 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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