The California Air Resources Board today announced a $2.5 million settlement with SSA Containers, Inc. and its affiliates. The Seattle-based company received a notice of violation for failing to repower, retire or retrofit its cargo-handling equipment at the ports of Long Beach and Oakland, and for failing to certify large spark ignition engines on yard trucks servicing those terminals, as required by state law.
The company and its affiliates will pay $1.25 million to the Air Pollution Control Fund for pollution research, $728,060 to the South Coast Air Quality Management District to fund air filtration systems in schools located near ports, and $521,940 to the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement to fund the Northern California Breathmobile, which travels to disadvantaged communities in the Bay Area to meet health care needs of children with asthma.
“This settlement is part of a dynamic, focused effort to protect the health of people who live and work near ports from the harmful effects of diesel exhaust,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey. “We are glad that these worthy projects will benefit from the settlement monies but are working diligently toward the day when California’s air is so clean that they will no longer be necessary.”
SSA Containers and its affiliates fully cooperated with CARB during its investigation and provided all needed information as requested. As part of the settlement, SSA Containers, Inc. replaced all uncertified engines operating at its facilities, and is now in compliance with CARB’s Cargo Handling Equipment and Large Spark Ignition Engine Regulations.
SSA Containers, Inc. and its affiliates operate in various locations in California, including Oakland, Stockton, Long Beach, Port Hueneme, San Pedro and San Diego. The company has no prior CARB violations.
Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 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.
CARB is the lead agency in California for cleaning up the air and fighting climate change to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards. Its mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through the effective reduction of air and climate pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.