SACRAMENTO – Under a settlement agreement reached with the California Air Resources Board, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling LLC will pay $137,000 in penalties for violating a state air quality regulation.
A routine investigation conducted by CARB staff revealed that Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling, a West Coast bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola brands, failed to meet smoke-test requirements for many heavy-duty diesel trucks in its fleet. The case was settled in June.
The documented violations were related to the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program requiring California fleets with two or more heavy-duty vehicles to do annual smoke opacity self-testing. A smoke opacity test uses instruments that are designed to quantify the visible black smoke emissions and determine if they are over the legal limit.
CARB operates a roadside smoke inspection program to determine if heavy-duty trucks and buses are emitting excessive smoke. CARB staff also check for tampering and engine certification label compliance. But CARB cannot inspect all regulated vehicles. The Periodic Smoke Inspection Program serves as a companion to the roadside inspection program to ensure all heavy-duty trucks and other vehicles do not exceed the legal levels of smoke.
“Breathing particulates from diesel vehicle emissions is extremely harmful, causing respiratory illness, increased risk of heart disease and cancer, and premature death,” CARB Executive Officer Richard W. Corey said. “To protect the public, fleets must conduct annual smoke opacity tests to ensure compliance with this important regulation. Heavy-duty trucks still contribute the majority of on-road smog-causing and fine particle pollution. Moving rapidly to zero-emission trucks will slash that pollution, but until then we need to continue to strictly enforce our existing heavy-duty truck regulations.”
Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling also is required, as part of the settlement, to attend a smoke-test training course, submit Periodic Smoke Inspection Program tests for the entire applicable fleet for calendar year 2021, and to comply with all other CARB regulations going forward.
CARB'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. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.