CARB fines City of Needles $6,000 for emissions violations

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The California Air Resources Board recently fined the City of Needles $6,000 for diesel emissions violations that occurred in 2006 and 2007. CARB says its enforcement teams found that city employees failed to inspect their heavy-duty diesel vehicle fleet. The law requires annual smoke tests for diesel truck fleets and, in conjunction with CARB’s roadside smoke inspection program, ensures that all vehicles are maintained properly, tamper-free and free from excessive smoke.

“The inspection program is essential to ensure that vehicles stay clean and meet California’s air quality standards,” says CARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “By maintaining these standards, we can continue to breathe healthier air in our state.”

As part of the settlement, the city is required to:

  • Guarantee employees responsible for conducting the inspections attend a mandatory California community college class on diesel emissions and provide certificates of completion within one year;
  • Provide documentation to CARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next four years;
  • Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state’s idling regulations;
  • Revise all heavy-duty truck engine software with the latest low-NOx programming; and
  • Ensure that all diesel trucks are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are labeled properly with an emissions control label.
  • The City of Needles will pay $6,000 in penalties: $4,500 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, providing funding for projects and research to improve California’s air quality. The Peralta Community College District will receive the remaining $1,500 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges.