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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Fined $256,000 for Violating Air Pollution Laws

Yes that headline is correct. The state fined the County for air pollution law violations. 

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board fined the Los Angeles CountyDepartment of Public Works $256,375 for failure to comply withCalifornia air quality regulations.
A routine investigation by ARB’s Enforcement Division documentedthat LADPW failed to:
Properly self-inspect its diesel trucks to insure they met statesmoke emission standards;Properly affix Emission Control Labels on the engines of theirfleet vehicles;Follow requirements of the Transit Fleet Vehicle and PublicAgency and Utility Rules.

“This significant fine reflects the serious nature of LADPW’sviolations,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “We holdpublic agencies accountable for their mistakes the same as we doprivate businesses. We hope that this fine sends a message topublic and private fleet managers that they must follow the lawand maintain their vehicles and records properly.”
LADPW provides regional bus service for Los Angeles Countyresidents and also operates a public works fleet to maintainroads and county infrastructure. Following ARB’s investigation,LADPW realized that the transit and public works fleet requiredmore hands-on management and its staff have since worked with ARBto ensure that both fleets are in compliance.
As outlined in the settlement agreement, the LADWP paid$192,281.00 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, whichprovides funding for projects and research to improveCalifornia's air quality, and $64,094.00 to the Peralta CollegesFoundation to fund diesel education classes conducted by LosAngeles Trade Tech College under the California Council forDiesel Education and Technology (CCDET) Program.
As part of the settlement, LADPW must also comply with thefollowing:
Ensure that staff responsible for compliance with diesel truckmaintenance attend CCDET diesel education courses;Instruct vehicle operators to comply with California idlingregulations;Ensure that trucks have the most recent low-NOx softwareinstalled;Provide documentation to ARB that smoke opacity inspections arebeing conducted for the next three years; andEnsure that all 1974 and newer diesel-powered vehicles are up tofederal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and areproperly labeled with an Emission Control Label.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, Californiaidentified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminantbased on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and otherhealth problems.


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