SACRAMENTO, CA --- The California Air Resources Board said it fined Robertson's Ready Mix $65,700 in May for diesel truck emissions violations during 2007 and 2008.

ARB said its investigation showed that the ready mix company failed to properly inspect the company's heavy-duty vehicle fleet. According to the company's website, the fleet numbers more than 950 trucks that serve the construction industry.

"Routine inspections guarantee that vehicles stay clean, meet California's air quality standards and protect public health," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Failing to perform these inspections can lead to an increase in air pollution."

The law requires annual smoke tests for diesel fleets and, in conjunction with ARB's roadside smoke inspection program, "ensures that all vehicles are properly maintained, tamper-free and free from excessive smoke emissions," ARB said.

Robertson's Ready Mix is required to:

  • Guarantee employees responsible for conducting the inspections attend a California community college training class on diesel emissions compliance testing and provide certificates of completion within one year  
  • Provide documentation to ARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next four years  
  • Ensure all of the company's heavy-duty diesel trucks have their software updated with the latest low-NOx (oxides of nitrogen emissions) programming
  • Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state's idling regulations
  • Ensure that all diesel trucks are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an emission control label.  

Of the $65,700 in penalties, $49,275 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to help pay for projects and research to improve California's air quality. The Peralta Community College District will receive $8,212.50 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges. The remaining $8,212.50 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, which guarantees loans to off-road vehicle fleets that need to buy exhaust retrofits to comply with state regulations.