The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is going after the big fish this year, with millions in fines levied against some of the biggest companies in the country over violations of the state’s Truck and Bus Regulation, rules for refineries and the chemistry of cosmetics and air fresheners.

On the “whale” hit list are brand name firms like 3 M, Anheuser-Busch, Benjamin Moore Paints, Chevron, Husqvarna, Phillips 66, Tesoro Refining Mitsubishi, Walgreens, Walmart, Whole Foods and Winnebago, along with a host of other, smaller fish. You can see the complete list at https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/enforcement-2019-case-settlements.

Very few of the settlements announced so far in 2019 involved truck violations. The big one involved Anheuser-Busch paying $500,000 for failing to bring 86 trucks into compliance with the in-use performance standards and failing to properly self-inspect their diesel trucks to assure the trucks met state smoke emission standards under the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP). The half-billion-dollar fine splits two ways:

  • $250,000 will go to the Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California’s air quality; 
  • $250,000 will go to the South LA Urban Greening and Community Forestry Project. 

Now political correctness rears its head. The South LA Urban Greening and Community Forestry Project, proposed by California Greenworks, will plant 300 trees over five years in the public parkways of “disadvantaged communities” located in South Los Angeles County. 

“To ensure authentic community engagement and participation, California Greenworks will host 15 neighborhood outreach events, and ten South Los Angeles Community Forestry Workshops facilitated by certified arborists,” CARB specified in the settlement agreement.

We know this is a ton of stuff to track, but failure to meet the CARB Truck and Bus rule will mean even more punishment. The most important thing is making sure your fleet is complying before your next DMV registration deadline. If it’s not, you will lose the opportunity to use or sell those vehicles in California under provisions of SB1. This change applies to every diesel vehicle over 14,000 GVW. Check it out at:https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/mcs/dieselcomp

By Brendan Slagle, ECA President Email: [email protected]