The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced yesterday that it had issued fines totaling more than $2 million to operators of heavy duty diesel truck and bus fleets across the state in 2013 . The fines were levied against a total of 256 different companies, including several small businesses.
The announcement may have been linked to criticism of ARB during its April 25, 2014, hearing in which it approved extensions of compliance deadlines for businesses that had not yet complied with ARB’s Truck and Bus Regulation. During that hearing, several representatives of California's trucking industry objected to giving more time to truckers who had not yet complied, arguing that the extension put those who had complied at a competitive disadvantage with those who had not.
Emissions from diesel engines are a source of harmful particulates and other pollutants that are precursors to photochemical smog. Both are of concern to residents of Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley who not only suffer from some of the worst air quality in the nation, but also are part of one of the nation's largest transportation corridors.
By announcing the total fines as well as noting the number of companies affected for 2013, ARB has made it clear that it hasn't left those who failed to comply completely off the hook. Although the majority of the individual fines were under $10,000 each, some companies were issued much higher penalties. Those companies included Thermo King Corporation ($213,200), KS Industries, Inc. ($230,250), California Gas Transport ($136,125), and GC Harvesting ($120,000).
“ARB’s diesel risk reduction program is designed to limit the amount of harmful pollution from diesel engines,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. “Companies who fail to comply with the regulations are contributing to that pollution, and that is when ARB must take action.”
Further information about California's truck and bus regulations may be found here: The Truckstop