CARB fines Western Farm $114,000 for air violations

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The California Air Resources Board recently fined a Fresno-based farm service company $114,000 for failing to inspect its truck fleet for diesel emissions violations in 2006 and 2007 throughout the Valley.

Western Farm distributes farm products, including seeds and fungicides. CARB says violations occurred at the company’s facilities in Greenfield, Salinas, Bakersfield, Watsonville, San Jacinto, Riverside, Visalia, Walnut Grove, Firebaugh, Five Points, Hollister, Merced, Delano, Vernalis, Modesto and Imperial.

A CARB investigation revealed that Western Farm did not comply with the state’s Periodic Smoke Inspection Program in 2006-2007, which ensures that trucks in California meet health-based emissions requirements.

“Making the commitment to state regulations and health and safety codes protects the quality of our air,” says CARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “As we continue to push for the compliance of our regulations, awareness grows, and progress toward a cleaner California becomes a reality.”

Of the settlement amount, $85,500 will be distributed to the Air Pollution Control Fund, with the remaining $28,500 paid to the Peralta Community Colleges for a program that trains diesel fleet staff on compliance with CARB diesel programs. CARB’s periodic smoke inspection program requires the owners and operators of California-based trucks and fleets of two or more heavy-duty diesel motor vehicles to annually inspect the smoke opacity of their vehicles that are four years older than the model year of that vehicle’s engine.

In addition to the fine, Western Farms has agreed to:

  • Comply with the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program and the Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection Program;
  • Attend the California Council on Diesel Education and Technology class;
  • Provide copies of all compliance records for 2008 and subsequent four calendar years;
  • Provide proof that each engine of the fleet meets emissions standards at least as stringent as U.S. federal standards; and
  • Instruct all employees to meet the idling regulations.
  • These requirements are part of California’s overall effort to lower diesel emissions, the goal an 85 percent reduction from 2000 levels by 2020.