CARB fines ready mix company $7,000 for air quality violations

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The California Air Resources Board recently fined an East Bay concrete ready mix company $7,000 for failing to inspect its heavy-duty diesel fleets for 2007 and 2008. A CARB investigation showed that personnel with Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix, a subsidiary of Hanson Aggregates, failed to inspect and maintain records for their diesel truck fleet, as required by California law.

Annual smoke tests are required for diesel truck fleets in conjunction with CARB’s roadside smoke inspection program; the law ensures that all vehicles are maintained properly, tamper-free and free from excessive smoke. “Diesel truck inspections and maintenance are part of doing business in California,” says CARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “Customers expect businesses to follow the law.”

As part of the settlement, the Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix 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;
  • Revise all heavy-duty truck engine software with the latest low-NOx (oxides of nitrogen emissions) programming; and
  • Ensure that all diesel trucks meet federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are labeled properly with an emissions control label.
  • Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix will pay $7,000 in penalties: $5,250 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 $875 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and the remaining $875 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority to fund low-interest loans for owners of offroad diesel-powered construction vehicles.