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Sep 1, 2009

Sunbelt Rentals fined $98,500 for emissions violations

Sunbelt Rentals fined $98,500 for emissions violations
SACRAMENTO –  The California Air Resources Board last week fined
Sunbelt Rentals $98,500 for emissions violations in 2007 and 2008
around the state.
During a routine investigation, ARB investigators found that
Sunbelt Rentals, headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C., failed to
conduct diesel truck smoke tests in 2007 and 2008 at 20 of its
California fleet facilities.
“Californians depend on clean air as part of living a healthy
life,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols.  “When companies
violate air quality laws, we all lose.”
Under the penalty, Sunbelt Rentals must:
•       Ensure that staff responsible for compliance with the diesel
truck emission inspection program attend California community
college diesel emissions education courses and provide
certificates of completion within one year, or provide proof that
any contractor used to do the annual smoke tests has taken this
course within the last four years;
•       Complete heavy-duty diesel engine software and control
technology upgrades in compliance with regulations;
•       Comply with the ARB’s anti-idling regulations and all other
applicable regulations;
•       Supply all smoke inspection records to ARB for the next four
years; and,
•       Properly label engines to ensure compliance with the engine
emissions certification program regulations.
The company will pay $98,500 in penalties: $73,875 will go to
the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding
for projects and research to improve California s air quality;
$12,312.50 to Peralta Community College District to fund emission
education classes; and, the remaining $12,312.50 to the
California Pollution Control Financing Authority to guarantee low
interest loans for fleets purchasing diesel exhaust retrofits or
new engines or vehicles..
Failure to inspect diesel vehicles can lead to an increase in
harmful airborne particles that Californians breathe.  Over 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.
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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