CARB cites Apria Health Care $14,000 for air quality violations

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The California Air Resources Board recently fined Apria Health Care $14,000 for violations of the state’s clean air laws requiring diesel fleet owners to maintain the exhaust systems of their truck engines. A CARB investigation revealed that the Lake Forest-based company failed to properly inspect and document their diesel trucks as required by law.

Apria Health Care’s violations occurred in facilities located in Concord, Modesto, San Leandro, South San Francisco, Stockton, El Segundo, Lancaster, Oxnard, Santa Fe Springs, Tustin and Van Nuys. Violations occurred between 2006-2007 when Apria did not follow the Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection Program that, along with the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program, allows CARB to inspect vehicles for excessive smoke emissions and engine tampering.

“As a health care business, Apria should be especially sensitive to the impacts of its trucks on public health,” says CARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “CARB will continue to hold all fleet owners accountable for inspecting and maintaining their vehicles.”

The California Air Pollution Control Fund, established to mitigate sources of pollution through education advancement and use of cleaner technology, will receive $10,500 from the settlement. The remaining $3,500 will go to the Peralta Community College District, which maintains a diesel technology education training and program for diesel operating staff.

In addition to the fine, Apria has agreed to ensure that all staff responsible for the compliance with state regulations attend the California Council on Diesel Education and Technology class and provide proof of completion within one year. Apria must provide copies of all compliance records for 2008 and the subsequent four years, and maintain proof that each vehicle in its fleet meets emissions standards at least as stringent as the U.S. federal standards. Finally, the company’s vehicle operators will be instructed to comply with state idling regulations.