The penalty was assessed to KS Industries for failing to update its diesel trucks to clean up harmful emissions in accordance with the State Truck and Bus Regulation. More specifically, the company failed to retrofit certain heavy duty diesel trucks in its fleet with diesel particulate filters by the following two compliance deadlines:
- Jan 1., 2012 (applicable to 1996 - 1999 model year heavy trucks)
- Jan. 1, 2013 (applicable to 2000 - 2004 model year heavy trucks)
“The Air Resources Board is committed to improving air quality and educating business owners about how to comply with the regulations that were created to help achieve this goal,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “All businesses that depend on their vehicle fleets need to pay attention to the specific deadlines of the State Truck and Bus Regulation, and understand that ignoring or forgetting them can result in a hefty fine.”
Part of the monetary penalty ($57,562) was paid to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to fund the School Bus Retrofit Supplemental Environmental Project. The remainder of the fine will be used by ARB for air pollution research funding.
Additionally, KS Industries will be required to:
- Ensure that staff responsible for compliance with the diesel truck emission inspection program attend a diesel education course and provide certificates of completion within six months;
- Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state’s idling regulations;
- Ensure that trucks have the most recent engine-operating software installed to limit the amount of NOx (NOx, or oxides of nitrogen, is a primary ingredient of smog);
- Ensure that all 1974 and newer diesel-powered vehicles are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an engine certification label.
- Become compliant with the Truck and Bus Regulation by November 15, 2013.
California's diesel regulations were adopted in part because of the harmful gases found in diesel exhaust, including over 40 known cancer-causing compounds (see related video above). Because of its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant in 1998.