City of Palmdale fined $18,500 for air quality violations
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board fined the city of Palmdale this week $18,500 for diesel emissions violations that occurred in 2006 and 2007.
An ARB enforcement audit found that the city had not been conducting the required annual periodic smoke emissions inspections on their heavy-duty on-road diesel vehicles. The inspections are part of a system designed to make sure that diesel trucks are compliant with California emissions standards. Failing to conduct these inspections can lead to an increase of toxic diesel particulate matter in the air.
"As part of our crackdown on diesel emissions, our enforcement staff has been searching for entities in violation of California's air quality standards," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Everyone from business owners to city governments are responsible for keeping California's air clean."
Per the terms of the settlement:
- Palmdale city employees that are responsible for conducting the inspections must attend a mandatory California Community College class on diesel emissions and provide certificates of completion within one year;
- The company must provide documentation to ARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next four years;
- All of the city's heavy duty trucks must have their software revised with the latest Low NOx (oxides of nitrogen emissions) programming, and;
- The city of Palmdale must make sure that all of their diesel trucks are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an emissions control label.
Per the terms of the settlement, the city of Palmdale will pay $18,500 in penalties; $13,875 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California's air quality with the remaining $4,625 to Peralta Community College District to fund emissions education classes.
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. California has aggressively worked to cut diesel emissions by cleaning up diesel fuel, requiring cleaner engines for trucks, buses and off-road equipment, and limiting unnecessary idling.