City of Compton Fined $48,000 for Fleet Violations

March 15, 2011

The California Air Resources Board has fined the City of Compton $48,800 for a variety of infractions pertaining to its diesel fleet vehicles, including failing to properly maintain and self-inspect its diesel trucks and register construction equipment, as required by state law.

ARB investigators cited the city for failing to test and maintain records of smoke levels from its fleet of heavy-duty diesel vehicles for 2008 and 2009. The city was also faulted for not updating its trash trucks with diesel particulate filters and
affixing proper labels according to a pre-set schedule. Finally, the city failed to register and attach mandatory labels to its off-road fleet including skiploaders, frontloaders and other vehicles commonly used in construction.

"Diesel exhaust is a serious threat to community health," said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. "Fleets of diesel equipment and vehicles must meet clean-air standards and requirements in order to legally operate in California."

Of the $48,800 owed by the city, $36,600.00 will be paid to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support projects and research to improve California‚s air quality, while $12,200.00 will go to the Peralta Community College District to fund
emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges under the California Council for Diesel Education and Technology program.

Ryden added that the City has a checkered diesel vehicle maintenance and recordkeeping history dating back several years.

Under terms of the penalty, the City of Compton must:

* Ensure that staff responsible for compliance with the diesel truck emission inspection program attend diesel education courses and provide certificates of completion within one year;
* Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state's idling regulations;
* Ensure that trucks have the most recent engine-operating software installed to limit the amount of NOx (NOx, or oxides of nitrogen, is a primary ingredient of smog);
* Provide documentation to ARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next three years;
* Ensure that all 1974 and newer diesel-powered vehicles are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an engine certification label;
* Install the latest, most effective and available emissions control technologies as required on applicable diesel vehicles; and,
* Install and register equipment identification numbers on applicable off-road diesel equipment.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.